What is a first cousin? What does ‘removed’ mean?

Cousin: Your first cousins are the people in your family who have two of the same grandparents as you.

Second Cousin: Your second cousins are the people in your family who have the same great-grandparents as you but not the same grandparents.

Third, Fourth and Fifth Cousins: Your third cousins have the same great-great-grandparents, fourth cousins have the same great-great-great-grandparents, etc.

Removed: When the word “removed” is used to describe a relationship it indicates that the two people are from different generations.  You and your first cousins are in the same generation (two generations younger than your grandparents) so the word “removed” is NOT used to describe your relationship.

The words “once removed” mean that there is a difference of one generation.  For example, your mother’s first cousin is your first cousin, once removed.  This is because your mother’s first cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents.  This one-generation difference equals “once-removed.”

Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference.  You are two generations younger than a first cousin of your grandmother, so you and your grandmother’s first cousin are first cousins, twice removed.

Your Polish Genealogy Connection in Western New York