How To Tell The Difference Between Second Cousins And Cousins Once Removed (Chart)

source: Odyssey

If you have a large family, you’ve probably lost track of which titles individual family members have. For example, do you know the difference between second cousins and cousins once removed? Do you know where you stand in relation to each and every one of your family members? If the answer is “not exactly,” this chart is an excellent tool for breaking it down.

source: Wikipedia

If you’ve ever wondered what the “removed” part of once (or twice, etc.) removed means, it basically means one generation removed. So even though you may have cousins, second cousins, and third cousins all in the same generation, the “removed” family members help clarify that they are in a different generational group than you.

This chart was designed by Alice J. Ramsay back in 1987. Although it was created some years ago, it’s still completely accurate when it comes to tracking family lineage. Ramsay explained, “The relationship in each box is what that person’s relationship would be to you, where you are “Self.” As you can see, you, your siblings, your first cousins, your second cousins, etc. are all in the same generation. Thus, ‘once removed’ means ‘one generation removed.”

Photo by: Alice J. Ramsay

So, if you have a family reunion coming up, or you’re looking to settle the family ties debate with a family member, print out this chart and get to work! Although it may seem daunting initially, the chart is actually quite easy to follow if you just start at “Self” and work your way through the boxes.

At the end of the day, family is family. But it’s still kind of fun to break it down and see everyone’s specific relationship with one another!