Are you my first cousin once removed or my second cousin?

The family reunion’s first full day went very well.  We had about fifty people in town and started with a reception in the afternoon at the church, a chance for everyone to visit.  It is kind of funny that when I’m at these events with extended family, I’m sometimes confused with my brother-in-law, who also has a goatee.  If I’m standing near my sister and nieces, people will come up and say, “Hi, Kevin!” 

Usually, I just play along.  The next day, one of my great-uncles came back up and complimented me on being such a gentleman and not correcting him.  I guess someone else corrected him.

After the reception, we gathered in the church sanctuary for photos.  This is always a fun process.  Several family members also had their cameras so I was able to quickly capture images without having to take any on my own.  How convenient is that?


My grandparents with all of my cousins, minus two who weren’t there.  I’m the oldest of the bunch.


One side of the cousins – Bradley, Kelly, Kari, and Silvia.  Brad and Silvia live in New York City and we visited them there in March.


The great-grandchildren, Tommy, Emily, and Ava.


The entire extended family.  I won’t give you the names and relationships of everyone because you probably don’t want quite that much information.  But, to tell you the truth, I wasn’t always clear on those details.  This led to a conversation with some of my cousins, trying to understand the difference between first, second, and third cousins, and relatives “once removed”, “twice removed”, etc.

So we googled it.  And it turns out Wikipedia has a very useful article and a great graphic.


So you if you were confused, now you know the difference between them.  More later…


0 thoughts on “Are you my first cousin once removed or my second cousin?

  1. Quote – I won’t give you the names and relationships of everyone because you probably don’t want quite that much information. Hehehe You think or you hope ? I guess being mistaken for your ‘younger’ brother-in-law is a bit of a compliment, better than being mistaken for someone much older ! Great photo’s !

  2. With so many mixed marriages in my family, identifying my relatives can be sometimes tricky. Some of them don’t look Chinese at all. As for the once removed… this is beyond my comprehension. As a kid, I thought it meant they were removed from the family.

  3. Nice photos! You’ve a cute family… and from what I’ve seen of many western families, I think it’s truly fantastic that your extended family is still around.

  4. You have wonderful closely-knitted family!  Your grandparents must be very happy seeing you all together. Wonder if they remember the names.  By the way, by guessing from your chart, the grandparents are from your mother’s side? 

  5. Interesting….I’ve always referred to the siblings of my grandparents as ‘Great Aunt So & So’ or ‘Great Uncle So & So’.  I don’t think I can switch now and call them ‘Grands’.  Especially given the fact that every single one of them have passed!!

  6. Glad you are having so much fun Chris. Your nieces look adorable. I looked at the geneology tree that wikipedia has… still clueless. Pfffttt!

  7. @stevew918 – Actually, the chart is just the generic graphic in the Wikipedia article, not one of my own creation.  However, coincidentally, these are my maternal grandparents.  I’m seeing you Tuesday for dinner, right?@deedee8370 – Well, they were probably great aunts and uncles, right?  So the adjective fits…  =D@Dezinerdreams – Thank you.  I do wish we were physically closer to each other.  This reunion required a lot of people to travel a long way.  I’m glad we do, though.@ElusiveWords – Yeah, we’re so mixed that many of us don’t look Chinese, either.  LOL@Chatamanda – Sadly, my brother-in-law is only about a year younger than me…@Passionflwr86 – Thank you, very nice to say.@murisopsis – Yeah, it turned out really nice.@Roadlesstaken – Even if they’re not all sane…  =D

  8. I know that Chinese have extended family. I didn’t know that Americans also have extended family. I must be wrong. But I think that American extended family is not as close-knit as Chinese extended family. Just my guess.

  9. BTW I always wonder if I should correct people?! It may seem not polite to do so but then if no one tells them then you’re just… not you?!

  10. Great chart from Wikipedia. I’ll add it to my genealogy information to help keep things straight. It is useful to add names, I think…less confusing that way. I, too, called my grandparent’s siblings “great”, not a problem now, but interesting to realize that they were “grand” people as well as great.To Choysinglin, many Americans have very close-knit extended families. To compare between cultures is difficut. I rather imagine that many Chinese families are not as closely knit over several generations for many of the same reasons that families of other cultures are distant from each other. In my mind, closeness is a choice and our family has made the choice to be close, plus we simply like, love, and respect each other. These qualities are necessary for any family to be close, regardless of culture.

  11. I definitely see a family resemblance! Last summer, we had a family reunion for my Ukrainian side of the family (my grandfather’s family). It was so much fun. I got to meet a lot of new cousins.I was always very confused on the correct names for familial relations! That chart is great šŸ™‚

  12. @yang1815 – Removed = generational steps.  My first cousin’s child is my first cousin once removed.@TheCheshireGrins – Ukrainian side!  That sounds like a lot of potential good times…@choyshinglin – Of course Americans have extended families.  It is just that we sometimes move greater distances away from our families and so it is a bit harder to get back together as frequently.@foggysunnymorning – And it was pretty much just my grandfather’s side…  Could have been bigger.

  13. If you are interested in hiring a genealogist to research your family history then look no further.  I am available right now to begin researching your family history.  I am a former Expert Connect researcher and have several years experience researching genealogy and family history.  I have research Birth records, marriage records, death records, divorce records, naturalization records, military records, Wills and Probates, as well as researching newspapers for vital records information.  I am experienced, thorough, concise and believe in providing 100% accurate research to my clients.  So if you are ready to hire me right now, please email me at  or see my website at  You can also visit my blog at: 

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