Genealogy How Tos

The child of my cousin is my…what?

Have you ever sat down with your first cousins and their children and spent the night trying to work out the relationships? Me too! Here’s a simple graphic showing first cousins, second cousins, and the dreaded “once removed.”

You need to know that “remove” means a generational divide. You should also remember that relationships are counted up/down your family line first, before moving over. In this case, you are Family A. 

A simple cousinship map showing 1st and 2nd cousins, plus 1 remove

This is easier if you start with the youngest generation and work upwards.

Second cousins

The children of your first cousins and your children are second cousins to each other. They are second cousins because they have the same great-grandparents. If you’re following along on the chart, you are Parent 3, your first cousin is Parent 4, and the child of your first cousin is Child 2.

Your first cousin’s children and your children are second cousins to one another. Photo credit: Pixabay.

First cousins

One generation up is you. You and your first cousins have the same grandparents in common. Another way to look at it is: you and your first cousin each have a parent who are siblings to one another. On the chart, you are Parent 3 and your first cousin is Parent 4.

First cousin, once removed

The child of your first cousin is not your second cousin, but rather the same relationship that you have with your first cousin, plus one generational divide, so your first cousin, once removed. That’s not very intuitive, right? Feels downright wrong in fact, to be calling someone way younger your first cousin, once removed, especially when you’ve been calling your actual first cousin something much less formal, like Hey cuz. 

On the chart, you are Parent 3, your first cousin is Parent 4, and the child of your first cousin is Child 2.

Imagine calling the little ones “cousin.” Feels wrong, doesn’t it? Credit: Shutterstock.

Test yourself

So, if you think you’ve got it down, who would be your second cousin, once removed? Comment below!

23 thoughts on “The child of my cousin is my…what?

    1. Do you mean: kids of my daughter (my grandchild)’s relationship to my first cousin’s kid’s kids ( grandchildren)? Final answer? 🙂

    1. Your dad’s first cousin’s child is… going up a generation from you to your dad, then across in the same generation (dad and his first cousin), then down a generation to the same generation as you. Sounds to me like a second cousinship.

  1. My Mum is Victoria, her first cousin is Shirley, their Fathers are brothers. Shirley’s daughter Anais is my second cousin, her 5 children are my second cousins once removed.

      1. Hi Mario. The children of your second cousin are your second cousins once removed. The parent of your second cousin is your first cousin once removed (because they are the first cousin of one of your parents).

    1. Exactly right, Mrs. B. You and your 2nd cousin Anais share a great-grandparent relationship, and her children are one generation down (a remove).

      1. So the children of my first cousin once removed ( my first cousin’s daughter) are my what?

      2. Hi Robert,

        Here’s an example: Your first cousin is the child of your parent’s sibling. Let’s call her Victoria. Victoria’s daughter Daisy is your first cousin once removed. Daisy connects to you through Victoria (1st cousin) but one generation down (once removed). Daisy’s child Corey is your first cousin twice removed. Corey still relates to you through Victoria (1st cousin) but is the grandchild (2 generations down, or 2nd removed).

        So the child of your first cousin once removed, your first cousin’s daughter, is your first cousin twice removed.

        Did this help a bit?

    1. Hi Rita. Technically you are not related.

      If you opt to adopt the relationship that your husband has, it goes like this: the children of your husband’s first cousin are his first cousins once removed.

      That having been said, the children of my first cousin don’t like calling me cousin because they feel it’s too weird to be calling someone so much older “Cousin.” They like “auntie”!

  2. I think k the easiest way to look at it is to say my 2nd cousin, once removed, is the grandchild of one of my parent’s 1st cousins.

    1. Norma, you have a better mental handle on this than I do. I had to work this out on a piece of paper. 🙂
      Personally my mental path goes like this: first cousins: parents are siblings; second cousins: grandparents are siblings; 2C1R: child of 2C.

  3. My parent’s, first cousins’, grandchildren would be my 2nd cousin’s once removed.
    Logic: My Parent’s 1st cousins’ children are my 2nd cousins, therefore the next step is to look at generational movement and you get 2nd cousins once removed

  4. So how would my granddaughter and my nephew (my brothers son) be related?
    And my granddaughter and my cousin?

    1. Hi Lee! First cousin once removed for the granddaughter / nephew relationship. Here’s how it goes. Your kids and your brother’s kids are first cousins to one another. The next generation (your granddaughter) is related to your nephew through her parent who is first cousin to your nephew.

      For the second case, granddaughter / [first] cousin: first cousin twice removed. Cousinship is through the closest relationship. Your first cousin’s relationship to your grandchild is through you, then down two generations.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.