Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Determining Relationships

When two people have one or more ancestors in common, they are related. The number of generations separating them determines their relationship. The children of two siblings have the same grandparents. They are also first cousins (1c). A cousin is the child of an aunt or uncle. In earlier times a cousin could be a kinsman, close relative, or friend. A kinsman could be either a male relative, or a man sharing the same racial, cultural, or national background as another. A grandparent is the parent of one's mother or father; a grandmother or grandfather.

The children of first cousins are second cousins (2c). The relationships start getting tricky at this point. A first cousin is a first cousin once removed (1c1r) to the child of their first cousin. Removed is the number of generation(s) separating two people. If they are separated by 3 generations, they are 1c3r. A second cousin is separated by 3 generations from a younger relative. That makes them 2c3r. I find this all very confusing, so here is a link to an interactive relationship chart.

As an example we'll examine the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Princess Diana is 12 generations from James I, King of England (James VI, King of Scotland). Prince Charles and King James are 13 generations apart. The first generation after James is a brother-sister relationship. Princess Diana is 11 generations removed while Prince Charles is 12 generations removed. This makes Diana an 11th cousin once removed (11c1r) of her husband.

Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Gerald R. Ford are related to Edward III. This is a chart of their relationship:

Prince Charles and Tomas Jefferson are 13c8r
Prince Charles and James Madison are 17c4r
Prince Charles and Gerald R. Ford are 19c2r
Princess Diana and Thomas Jefferson are 13c7r
Princess Diana and James Madison are 17c3r
Princess Diana and Gerald R. Ford are 19c1r

Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Gerald R Ford are also cousins through their relationship to Edward I, Edward II, and Edward III. This a chart of their relationship:

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison are 13c4r
Thomas Jefferson and Gerald R. Ford are 13c6r
James Madison and Gerald R. Ford are 14c2

The direct line of ancestors begin with an individual's parents and extend to many greatgrandparents (12g gp, 20g gp, and beyond). The descendants of siblings (uncles and aunts) are always related as nephews and nieces whether they are 2 or even 32 generations removed. This shows the direct relationship between Edward I and 5 of his famous descendants:

Prince Charles 22nd great-grandson (22 ggson)
Princess Diana 21st great-granddaughter (21 ggdau)
Thomas Jefferson 14th great-grandson (14 ggson)
James Madison 19th great-grandson (19 ggson)
Gerald R. Ford 20th great-grandson (20 ggson)

This is a chart of how 5 generations descended from brothers are related:

1. George brothers 1. Ben
2. Henry 1c 2. Arthur
3. Thomas 2c 3. Caleb
4. Adam 3c 4. Ralph
5. Wesley 4c 5. David

This chart shows how the generations are related:

2g grandfather George <> Wesley 2g grandson
1c1r Henry <> Caleb 1c1r
2c2r Caleb <> Wesley 2c2r
2g uncle George <> David 2g nephew
1c3r Arthur <> Wesley 1c3r

More free charts and forms are found at Dale's Geneaology List. The link is in the sidebar.

Dale L. Edwards

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