Q:

What is a fourth cousin?

A:

Quick Answer

A fourth cousin is someone in a family who shares the same great-great-great-grandparents. First cousins share the same grandparents and second cousins have the same great-grandparents. Ordinal numbers of cousins are in the same generation as each other. For instance, all of the children of siblings are first cousins.

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Cousins who have children are different degrees of "removed." For example, the children of a first cousin are considered a first cousin once removed. The term removed in this case refers to being one generation removed from another person. The first cousin of a grandmother is technically considered a first cousin twice removed because there is a two-generation difference.

Generations of cousins enumerate two less than a common ancestor. If a shared ancestor is 10 generations in the past, the person is an eighth cousin in the same generation. The son or daughter of a seventh cousin is a seventh cousin once removed.

One of the easiest ways to document family members is with a relationship chart. This handy visual aid allows two people to determine common ancestry. The chart connects rows and columns between the ancestor the two people share. Simply trace a horizontal line from one relationship on the chart to a vertical line with the other relationship to find out how two people are related.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Am I related to my cousin's cousin?

    A:

    One is only genetically related to one's cousin's cousin if there is a common ancestor shared. However, given the complexity of human relationships, it is not impossible that there might be a distant genetic relationship.

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  • Q:

    What do you call your mother's cousin?

    A:

    The first cousin of one's mother is referred to as one's first cousin, once removed. This phrase is also used to denote one's relationship with a first cousin's child. The phrase "once removed" specifies that there is one generation difference between the two relatives, while "twice removed" signifies members of a family that are two generations apart.

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  • Q:

    What is a "double cousin"?

    A:

    When two siblings marry another set of siblings, the children of the two couples are called double cousins because both maternal and paternal grandparents are shared by the cousins. Regular first cousins only share one set of grandparents.

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  • Q:

    What would I call my mother's cousin?

    A:

    A parent's first cousin is the child's first cousin once removed. "Once removed" symbolizes the difference in genealogical generation. There is more genealogical difference between a first cousin once removed than a first cousin because of the introduction of another ancestral line from the person that married into the family.

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