At one point, several of the cousins attempted to work out the various relationships. You might think I would have been Johnny-on-the-Spot to help them with it—Pro Gen and all.
But not because I didn’t want to.
As a matter of fact, halfway to the way to the event, I thought, “Dang it! I should have, brought my chart.”
But I didn’t.
You see, I can really explain consanguinity, but not effectively without my chart! I checked my phone for the chart, hoping I had a screenshot of it.
But I didn’t.
So I did the best I could in the circumstance.
I retreated to the safety of the kid’s table and remained uninvolved.
Honestly, I had been in another room during the deliberation and they pretty much had it completely figured out when, during my run for seconds, happened to overhear the end of the lively conversation. They didn’t need my help.
So what’s my hang up about the chart?
Consanguinity, or how descendants of a common ancestor are related is known as “kinship” because it deals with blood relationships. It can be confusing. The chart is the easiest, quickest way to explain how Michael is related to Lauren. Or how Sharon is kin to Lauren. Especially when you begin removing cousins.
I type that from experience.
Repeating—verbatim—how X is related to Y while pointing to their respective spots on the chart always rewards me with light-bulb expressions and a chorus of, “Oh! I get it!”
A picture is worth a thousand words.
At this point, you’re probably saying, “What kind of professional genealogist is she? Why didn’t she just Google a chart and use it? Sheesh!”
Well, I’ll tell you why.
Because there are about a blue million different charts of consanguinity out there.
Some use boxes, some use circles, some have ellipses. Some are only concerned with a few generations. Some don’t address cousin removal. Some you read from the inside out, others, outside in.
I learned on “my” chart. I’ve tried other charts. I like the chart I learned on.
It’s the fork I know.
Regarding cousins, understand first that a cousin and a first cousin are the same thing. First cousins share grandparents. Second cousins share great grandparents and third cousins share, you guessed it, great-great grandparents.
The removal occurs when the number of generations between the two individuals and the common ancestor is not the same.
My first cousin once removed would be the child of my first cousin. My mother’s first cousin would also be my first cousin once removed.
My first cousin twice removed would be the grandchild of my first cousin. Another cousin twice removed would be my grandfather’s first cousin.
That’s why I only explain it with my chart in hand.