How Are We Related
Rhonda's Tips, December 16, 1999
How Are We Related?
Q: I met a relative on the Internet. My great-great grandfather is her great-great-great-great grandfather. Are we cousins or what? -- Ken
A: Sometimes figuring out your relationship to another genealogist can seem like an undaunting task. Very often the connection is four or more generations back. In some cases, such as yours, there are more generations from the common ancestor to the one person than to the other.
Below is a chart that will show you your relationship to the individual on the Internet. You can create a similar chart any time you wish to figure out your relationship to another individual. There are also charts you can purchase very inexpensively from a number of vendors, especially at conferences (both local and national level) though I find this to be the easiest method.
Basically this method relies on a modified direct drop chart. Instead of having just one line dropping from the primary individual, it is actually showing the two lines of descent from that primary individual.
|Common Individual (Your 2G Grandfather and their 4G Grandfather)|
|Your Great Grandmother||Siblings||Their 3rd Great Grandparent|
|Your Grandparent||1st Cousins||Their 2nd Great Grandparent|
|Your Parent||2nd Cousins||Their 1st Great Grandparent|
|You||3rd Cousins||Their Grandparent|
|1 Time Removed||Their Parent|
|2 Times Removed||Them|
Rhonda R. McClure is a professional genealogist specializing in celebrity trees and computerized genealogy. She has been involved in online genealogy for fifteen years. She is an award-winning author of several genealogy how-to books, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Genealogy, The Genealogist's Computer Companion, and Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestors. She may be contacted at email@example.com.
See more advice from Rhonda in her columns Expert Tips, Tigs and Trees, and Overheard in the Message Boards.