I think anyone who has ever done any cousin fishing has asked or been asked the question about degree of relationship.
Are you my first cousin once removed, no maybe you are my second cousin. The waters get muddied pretty quickly. Here is a short video that will help you become confident with explaining cousin relationships.
When it comes to ancestors things have a way of accelerating quickly from one generation one the next. What starts as one person with two parents, becomes four grandparents, eight great grandparents, 16 great- great grandparents, and so on and so forth. At ten generations, a person has 2,046 ancestors. Each generation is twice the number of the generation that came before.
We have four basic types of blood relations: ancestors, siblings, aunts/uncles, and cousins.
Most of a person’s blood relatives are cousins. At any given time, most people will have thousands if not millions of cousins of varying degrees. First cousins, those who share the same set of grandparents will be the closest and share 12.5% of DNA. The more distant the connection, less shared DNA. Third cousins, who share a set of great-great grandparents, can expect to share less than 1% of DNA.
One thing I constantly struggle with when it comes to genealogy is determining how people are related. Even after decades of genealogy, I still use a cousin calculator for most extended relationships. The article below has a great explanation of how to calculate distant relationships.
How, exactly, are you related to the child of your great-great-grandmother’s sister’s son? We’ll explain the steps to calculating cousinhood.