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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tech Tuesday :: Kinship Chart


This post is all because of Joan . . . who posted the following comment on my photo blog . . . Doggonit, Vickie, even your charts are works of art. I am wishing that you were my muse. . . . then it dawned on me that there is no reason to have a plain black and white kinship chart hanging there, when I can have a vintage looking chart that is actually pleasing to the eye . . . so I put one together this a.m. . . . and here's a copy for any of y'all who want to use it . . . and if you would also like to have a plain black and white PDF version, just send me an email asking for the PDF relationship chart, and I'll send one to you . . . benotforgot @ gmail.com (be sure to remove the spaces before and after the @) . . . FYI . . . the accompanying text is freshened up a bit from a post that I originally shared more than ten years ago on my password-protected sites at myfamily.com . . .




Click on the above chart to open an enlarged view in a separate window.


  • Your first cousins are those people in your family who have two of the same grandparents as you, i.e., they are the children of your aunts and uncles.
  • Your second cousins are the people in your family who have the same great-grandparents as you, but not the same grandparents.
  • Your third cousins have the same great-great-grandparents, and so on.

When the word removed is used to describe a relationship, it means that the two related people are from different generations.
  • You and your first cousins are in the same generation (both two generations younger than your grandparents).
  • Your mother's first cousin is only one generation younger than those same grandparents, so your mother's first cousin is your first cousin, once removed.

To identify the exact degree of kinship between any two related people . . .
  1. Identify the common ancestor of the two people, i.e., find the direct ancestor of individual #1 who is also a direct ancestor of individual #2. The box in the upper left corner of the chart is that common ancestor.
  2. Across the top row of the chart, find the relationship of individual #1 to the common ancestor.
  3. Down the left edge of the chart, find the relationship of individual #2 to the common ancestor.
  4. Read down the column of the individual #1 and across the chart on the row of individual #2. Where the two rows intersect is the box which identifies their relationship.

For example . . . for the Common Ancestor, I am using Christopher Clark who was born in 1681. By the middle of the 19th century . . .
  • Christopher's daughter, Agnes, has a great-great-grandson by the name of Samuel (1835-1910) . . .
  • Agnes' sister, Elizabeth, has a great-great-granddaughter by the name of Josephine (1842-1899) . . . this Josephine is my 2nd great-grandma, who had lived in Milam Co. TX (where I was born & raised) for more than two decades by the time of her death in 1899 . . .

Since Christopher was the g-g-g-grandpa of both Josephine and Samuel, this puts them both in Column #5 (as his 3rd great-grandchildren) . . . which makes them 4th cousins to each other . . .
As the 2nd great-granddaughter (me) of the 2nd great-granddaughter (Josephine) of Christopher's daughter, Elizabeth, I am the 7th-great-granddaughter of Christopher . . . this puts me in column #9 . . .


If you follow Samuel's Column #5 down until it intersects with my Column #9, you will find that I am the 4th cousin four times removed to this Samuel . . . who was sometimes known to use the AKA of Mark Twain . . .


I assume most of y'all use some type of family tree program that computes your relationships for you . . . I know I do . . . but I still like to keep this chart handy . . . for doing simple computations . . . or for verifying that I am remembering a relationship correctly . . . FYI . . . the following explanation of Grand and Great was found somewhere on the WWW . . . more than 10 years ago . . . I like the way it explains the greats and the grands . . .


  • GRAND . . . Grand is a prefix added to represent one generation of separation . . . the father of your father, for instance, is still a father to you . . . however, there is one generation between the two of you . . . so he is a grandfather to you . . . and you are a grandchild to him . . . this term is most commonly applied to fathers and mothers . . . but it can also be used to define other relationships . . . such as a Grand Uncle or Grand Aunt . . . i.e., a brother or sister of your grandparent . . .
  • GREAT . . . Great is a prefix that is added to represent two generations of separation . . . if Grand is one generation of separation, then Great-grand (i.e. great-grandmother) is two generations of separation . . .
    For every generation of separation above one (Grand), there is a Great added to represent each additional generation of separation . . . your father's grandfather is 3 generations separated from you . . . so he would be your Great-Great-Grandfather . . . the Grand and two Greats represent the 3 generations of separation . . .

    This prefix can also be used to define other two-plus generational relationships, like Great Aunt, or Great Uncle . . . as noted, the Grand is more commonly left out (Great Aunt instead of Great Grand Aunt) when referring to relationships other than father and mother . . .

    It is common, once you go beyond a Great-Great-Grandparent, to refer to the Greats by number . . . for instance, your Great-Great-Great-Grandfather would be called your 3rd Great-Grandfather . . . and written as G3-Grandfather, GGG-Grandfather or something similar . . .









2 comments:

Gini said...

Thank you, Vickie...already printed and I now have it hung up near my computer. I am with you on having things around me visually pleasant to look at...otherwise it sits in a binder or drawer or put away somewhere! I didn't put my relationship chart up just for that reason...now, you have made it very pleasant to look at...and here's thanking Joan for prompting your idea and this great gift! She is correct, "even your charts are a work of art!"

I do have a pedigree chart framed and hanging above my desk for reference or a "working" chart. Makes it easy and convenient while pleasing to look at.

Elizabeth O'Neal said...

No matter what I do, I cannot get those greats and twice-removeds straight in my head. I would love to have a copy of your chart, and hopefully it will help my tired brain cells figure this out once and for all!

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