This chart will clarify the difference between second cousins and cousins once removed

Ksenia Novikova
May 13, 2018
02:21 A.M.

If you've ever been confused as to how exactly are you related to your cousins, this chart shall come in handy.


Simple Most wrote about a simple chart designed by Alice J. Ramsey in 1987 that will help you easily determine the relationship you share with the "cousins" in the family.

Determining whether a person is a just second cousin or "cousin once removed" often gets tricky during family reunions. But this simple chart can come in handy to understand the difference

To use the chart, one must start from the "Self" box and then continue tracing your way to the relationship that you are trying to determine.

For example, trying to figure out what your mother's cousin's children are in relation to you can be a struggle. But if you follow the simple chart, it can be easily traced that they become one's "second cousins."

Source: Freepik

Source: Freepik

What if it gets even trickier? Say, what are the kids of your second cousins in relation to you? This chart will help determine even that.


Following the chart, one can easily see that the children of second cousins become "second cousins once removed." And the children of them subsequently become "second cousins twice removed."

The chart is useful in determining what "once removed" truly means. It visually depicts that all of the cousins - even second and third cousins - are of the same generation. So we don't call them "once removed."

It's when you get into different generations, like the children of your mother's cousins, that you use the term "once removed" or even "twice removed."

So, what "once removed" actually means is that the cousin that you are referring to is one generation younger to you. Similarly, "twice removed" means the cousin is two generations younger to you.

This means that your mother's first cousin becomes your first cousin once removed because your mother's first cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents.

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