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A relative with whom one shares a common ancestor

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A Quick Tip by Sharrie

  • May 19, 2011
As long as I can remember, my cousins have always been first and foremost, my friends. I've many cousins and I live around them as a child. There were many older and younger children at my grandparents' home each day after school and my childhood was filled with games and fun time with my cousins. As we grew older, we were spread out in different corners of the world but I still managed to stay close and intimate with some of my favorite cousins. I do love my cousins very much and although I haven't seen a few for a long time, I sure miss them a great deal! Cousins are the best!

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Sharrie ()
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I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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In kinship terminology, a cousin is a relative with whom one shares a common ancestor. In modern usage, the term is rarely used when referring to a relative in one's own line of descent, or where there is a more specific term to describe the relationship: e.g., brother, sister, aunt, uncle. The term blood relative can be used synonymously, and underlines the existence of a genetic link.

A system of degrees and removes is used to describe the relationship between the two cousins and the ancestor they have in common. The degree (first, second, third cousin, etc.) indicates one less than the minimum number ofgenerations between either cousin and the nearest common ancestor; the remove (once removed, twice removed,etc.) indicates the number of generations, if any, separating the two cousins from each other.

For example, a person with whom you share a grandparent (but not a parent) is a first cousin; someone with whom you share a great-grandparent (but not a grandparent) is a second cousin; and someone with whom you share a great-great-grandparent (but not a great-grandparent) is a third cousin; and so on. The child of your first cousin is yourfirst cousin once removed because the one generation separating you and the child (the cousin) represents oneremove. You and the child are still considered first cousins, as your own grandparent (this child's great-grandparent), as the most ...

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