By JD Lasica
“Just how are we related again?” It’s a common question, especially when you get to the second-cousin once removed stage.
The chart below offers an at-a-glance look at family relationships.
4 X Great Grandparents / \ 3 X Great 4 X Great Grandparents Uncle-Aunt / \ \ 2 X Great 3 X Great 1st Cousin Grandparents Uncle-Aunt 4 X Removed / \ \ \ Great 2 X Great 1st Cousin 2nd Cousin Grandparents Uncle-Aunt 3 X Removed 3 X Removed / \ \ \ \ Grand Great 1st Cousin 2nd Cousin 3rd Cousin Parents Uncle-Aunt 2 X Removed 2 X Removed 2 X Removed / \ \ \ \ \ Father Uncle 1st Cousin 2nd Cousin 3rd Cousin 4th Cousin Mother Aunt Once Removed Once Removed Once Removed Once Removed / \ \ \ \ \ \ ME Brother 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Sister Cousin Cousin Cousin Cousin Cousin \ \ \ \ \ \ Son Nephew 1st Cousin 2nd Cousin 3rd Cousin 4th Cousin Daughter Niece Once Removed Once Removed Once Removed Once Removed \ \ \ \ \ Grand Great 1st Cousin 2nd Cousin 3rd Cousin Child Nephew-Niece 2 X Removed 2 X Removed 2 X Removed \ \ \ \ Great 2 X Great 1st Cousin 2nd Cousin Grandchild Nephew-Niece 3 X Removed 3 X Removed \ \ \ 2 X Great 3 X Great 1st Cousin Grandchild Nephew-Niece 4 X Removed \ \ 3 X Great 4 X Great Grandchild Nephew-Niece \ 4 X Great Grandchild
Common usage allows the Great Aunt-Uncle and Great Nephew-Niece to be referred to as Grand Aunt-Uncle or Grand Nephew-Niece. Although an allowable usage, it is not the preferred usage.
Another way to go about it
Here’s another way to figure out how you and a relative are related.
How to calculate how two people are related
- Select two people in your family and figure out the most recent direct ancestor they have in common. For example, if you chose yourself and a first cousin, you would have a grandparent in common.
- Look at the top row of the chart (in blue) and find the first person’s relationship to the common ancestor.
- Look at the far left column of the chart (in blue) and find the second person’s relationship to the common ancestor.
- Move across the columns and down the rows to determine where the row and column containing these two relationships (from #2 & #3) meet. This box is the relationship between the two individuals.