How Well Do you Know Your Family Tree: Test Your Knowledge


Most of us know what to formally call our mother's sister's daughter. She would be our cousin. But, what do you call your Great Uncle's Cousin?

Now that's where things get tricky.

Like many people in America, you're probably pretty good at naming the members of your immediate family back several generations.

Most of us can easily name the people who are our grandparents and our first cousins, but we get mixed up when we try to branch out further.

If you're curious, turn the page to see if you know the difference between your second cousin and your first cousin twice removed....

Understanding kinship shouldn't be difficult, but for many people it can cause quite the headache.

In English-speaking societies, we classify relatives based on gender, generation and consanguinity (blood relations). We also classify immediate affinal (in-law) relationships.

Four generations of the British Royal FamilyRedbook
The Kardashian Jenner FamilyKhloewithak

Most of us know direct lines of family relationships like sister, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Things get tricky when we start adding "degrees" and "removals" of cousins.

Here are a few simple rules that you can follow to remember who is who in your family:

1. The degree of cousins born in the same generation depends on how many 'Great' grandparents connect you.

  • Your first cousin is related to you by your Grandparents.
  • Your second cousin is related to you by your Great Grandparents.
  • Your third cousin is related to you by your Great-Great Grandparents.

2. Cousins born in another generation are "removed" depending on the number of generations that separate you.

  • Your parent's cousins are your FIRST cousins, Once removed. (one generation's difference)
  • Your grandparent's cousins are your FIRST cousins, Twice removed. (two generations' difference)
  • Your First Cousin's child is your First Cousin Once removed (one generation's difference)
  • Your Third Cousin's grandchild is your Third Cousin Twice removed (two generations' difference)

If you're still confused, check out this handy diagram from Find My Past :

And if you really want to have fun with confusing family relations have a listen to this crazy song... who knows, maybe you're your own grandpa!

[h/t Find My Past ]