Sometimes nothing seems more confusing than familial relationships. And I don't mean getting along with each other. It's the jargon of kinship - how am I related to you?
For me, the simplest to remember are:
Then there are the "half" and "step" sibling relationships:
What about those "grand" and "great" relationships?
In my mind, these relationships are the most confusing, primarily because many of us use the "wrong" terms, according to the genealogical linguists. We say "great", when we should say "grand".
Now what is a "removed" relationship?
Although families, today and historically, may disregard these kinship terms when referring to family members (for example, all cousins are "cousins", no matter whether first, second, third or "removed"), understanding the actual relationships is very important when doing genealogical research, in order to put together an accurate family tree. Fortunately, most genealogical software programs calculate the correct kinship relationships when information is entered.
And so, if your mother is my great-grandaunt, what am I to you? I'm your first cousin 2x removed. You are the sister of my 2x great-grandmother, cousin of my great-grandmother, and I am two generations below. We share a common ancestor - my 3x great-grandmother is your grandmother. Got it?
I love genealogy and family stories. Check back periodically to see what I'm thinking about. And, please feel free to leave comments and suggestions.