What is the First Second Cousin?

Are you unable to remember who are your first and second cousins? Or are you always discussing with your friends what is your first cousin once removed? Well, you are not alone. However, there is a simple pattern to understand these relations. Use today’s information to settle all your confusion once for all.

What Is a Cousin?

Relations that share an ancestor, who is away for 2 generations are called cousins. For instance, if two individuals have the same grandparent, then they are cousins for each other. Simple to understand, right? However, what do we mean by first or second cousin?

What Is a Second Cousin?

A cousin becomes first or second depending upon the number of generations he or she is away from your common forefather. For instance, you and your first cousin have the same grandparent. Similarly, the second cousin share great-grandparent and the third one shares a great-great-grandparent.

Tip: Most of the time it’s easy to decide what is the right number for your cousin. You simply need to count the number of greats present in your common grandparent’s title and add 1 to it. For example, two individuals who share the same grandfather are cousins to each other because their title lacks any “greats”. So, 0 + 1 = 1, where 0 is the number of greats and then we added 1 as per the formula.

You must have noticed that sometimes you and your cousin calls an ancestor with different relations. For instance, your great-grandparent might be a great-great grandparent for one of your cousins. How? Well, it’s where “once removed” comes into the picture.

What do we mean by cousin once removed?

Once remove means you and your cousin are one generation away from each other. Similar twice removed is a synonym that you two are separated by two generations. The number before removed defines the number of a generation gap between two cousins.

Tip: If your parents have a first or second cousin, then they are your first and second cousin as well, but only after taking out one generation that’s once removed. Similarly, your grandparent’s first and second cousins are your first and second cousin, but only after minimizing the two generations, which is twice removed.


We hope now you know who are your distant cousins and how. Understanding your previous generations and family tree is important, but sometimes it’s confusing. You might not believe it, but the first cousins are further divided into two categories – parallel and cross. Former stands for cousins from the sex and latter for siblings with the opposite gender. Do not feel surprised, it has been confusing since inception. So, know it before your family tree grows bigger than you can understand.

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