Date: Sun, 5 Mar 1995 14:00:49 CST


Subject: Re: second cousins

This discussion makes the THIRD set of definitions I have seen for

cousin terms.

1) This seems the best known, where second cousins are the children

of your first cousins AND IT IS RECIPROCAL (That is, you are their

second cousin).

2) The one mentioned so far on the net, where nth cousins are

n-times from the common ancestor (children of first cousins

are second cousins, children of second cousins are third cousins,

etc.) and removal comes into play when the number of generations

from the common ancestor is not eaqual for the two parties involved

(so your parents first cousins and your first cousins children are

your first cousins once removed). THIS IS ALSO RECIPROCAL.

3) The one I use, WHICH IS NOT RECIPROCAL. In (2) the determining

factor for the value of n is the generation number of the shorter

line of descent (in such a system, it is possible to have a second

cousin once removed who is of an older generation than the ego,

the person who the relationship is being decribed for). In the system

I am familiar with, the value of n is based on the generation

number of ego, and the value of y in y times removed is based on the

number of generations up or down. I once referred to my second

cousins once removed and was asked in which direction. For me, there

is only one direction: the children of my second cousins. The other

direction would result in my aunts and uncles. My parents second

cousins are my third cousins once removed. HOWEVER, I am their second

cousin once removed

[I am sorry, in the above discussion, I meant to say FIRST cousin,

I have only one sort of first cousin once removed: Kyle, Logan and

Bill. the sons of the my first cousins and a girl child (whose name

I have forgotten), the daughter of a first cousin.]

Barbara Need

University of Chicago--Linguistics