Defining the Genealogical Term, 'Removed'

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In genealogy, the term 'removed' is often used to describe how two people are related. One example when the term 'removed' would be used is for 'first cousin once removed'. Unsurprisingly, many people are confused by this term. Hopefully, we can help you understand what a 'removed' relative is when you are finished reading this page. Before we define 'removed' relationships lets first lay the groundwork and define the term 'cousin'.

Determine the degree of the cousin relationship

A Cousin is someone with whom you share a common ancestor at least two generations away from you (grandparent or above). To determine the degree of the cousin relationship, find the closest ancestor you share in common, then count the number of generations between you and your cousin and that common ancestor. The lower of the two numbers is the degree of the cousin.

Some examples of cousins are as follows:

First Cousin

Share a common grandparent and they are the children of your aunt or uncle.

Second Cousin

Share a common great-grandparent and they are the children of your parent's cousin.

Third Cousin

Share a common great-great-grandparent and they are the children of your parent's second cousin.

Notice that the higher the degree of the cousin the more generations back the common ancestor must be on the Tree.

One easy way to determine the degree of the cousin is to count the G's. If the common ancestor is your GGGrandfather then they would be your 3rd cousin because there are 3 G's.

Now that we have defined what a cousin is let's move forward and define what 'removed' means.

The genealogical term 'removed' means to move up or down generations.

ONCE Removed means move up or down ===ONE=== generation

===TWICE=== Removed means to move up or down ===TWO=== generations

Some examples are as follows:

First Cousin Once Removed

Your first cousin's parent or child.

Second Cousin Once Removed

Your second cousin's parent or child.

First Cousin Twice Removed

Your first cousin's grandparent or grandchild.

Notice that the term 'removed' is just another way to state the number of generations moved either up or down, from the cousin.

Further Clarification

Fortunately, Dick Eastman, an avid genealogist, has created a visual representation and tool on his Blog to find the correct relationship for two cousins. You can refer to the visual representation by clicking here.

Another way to see how you are related to someone is by logging into Geni and then navigating to the other person's node in the Tree and clicking on it. This will direct you to their Profile. At the top of their Profile you will notice the relationship link which will tell you how you are related to that person.

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