Both Sides Now
19.1 Kinship, and thus genealogy, is a matter of perspective. From your point of view, you belong to an extended family…but extended families overlap…which is to say, some of the people in your extended family are related to everyone you are, others are not….their extended family is not the same as yours. As I mentioned in 18.16 and 18.17, you are related to everyone your Father is related to…ditto your Uncle and Grandfather’s relations…not so with your Cousins. And of course here we’re talking about blood relatives.
19.2 I bring this up now because much of the analysis we’ve done so far has been along a single line of descent, your Father’s or your Mother’s. But everyone has 2 lines of descent…and Chart 59 is actually 2 family trees in one…yours and your First Cousin’s, the Son of your Father’s Brother.
19.3 Here, individuals in the yellow area are relatives of yours, but not your Cousin’s. Those in green are your Cousin’s but not yours. The unshaded white middle are the relatives you share, the overlap. If one of your parents has siblings but the other does not, this might not be something you instinctively appreciate…that You are in the middle of your own family tree, but off to the side of someone else’s. How far off to the side?
19.4 What we did with 1st Cousins in Chart 59, we do with 2nd Cousins in Chart 60.
19.5 And again with 3rd Cousins in Chart 61. This demonstrates dramatically how you and your 3rd Cousin, blood relatives to be sure, are really affiliated with 2 different groups of people. In Chart 61 for example, you have 14 Great Great Grandparents, the descendants, siblings, and cousins of which have nothing to do with your 3rd Cousin…he in turn has 14 2G Grandparents whose descendants, siblings, and cousins aren’t related to you. There is only one pair you are both related to. So while your 3rd Cousin is in your family, his Christmas card list and yours are very different indeed. And this is why he is a “distant” Cousin, even if he lives in the next block.
19.6 Of course the caveat is, all those slots may not be filled by distinct individuals. Chart 61 also included 60 3G Grandparents, of which you and your 3rd Cousin share just 4. Very likely today all 60 are different people, but that wasn’t always the case, depending on when and where they lived.
19.7 We now continue to raid someone else’s mailbag. These are questions posed on a “cousin” page at wiseGeek, here !#$% . I decided answering each and every one would provide useful real world examples of the connections and relationships people wonder about. You might also notice that my post there does not direct those readers here…I tried, but wiseGeek, in its, um, wisdom, does not allow the mention of specific links. We just have to hope these folks can find DFHC on their own. And if any of you did, drop me a line, why dontcha?
19.8 Well now, this ties right in with what we’ve been talking about, doesn’t it? Fancy that. And the answer is a definite maybe. Assuming, as we always will with these examples, that the relationships stated are the only ones that exist, the Cousin of your Cousin could be your Cousin if on the same side of the family, as in Chart 62…
…or not if on the other side, as in Chart 63.
And altho I’ve never heard of it happening, in Chart 63 a Son of a and b could legally marry a Daughter of e and f, since they are not related. Then husband and wife would share a 1st Cousin, nez pah? Cool…and completely non-inbred. Next, here’s a trickier one…
19.9 In this Tale of Four, the answer is again: it depends. The first step is to get a clear idea of who your Half Sister’s Half Sister is. Now the wording of your questions suggests that Chart 64a isn’t in fact what’s going on, but it is a real possibility nonetheless…your Full Sister is obviously a Half Sister to anyone you’re a Half Sister to, and your Full Sister’s Cousin is your Cousin. More likely your case is represented by one of the next 2 charts.
19.10 In Chart 64b, you will notice that c is the Mother of 3 girls, each by a different Father, a, b, and d. So in this case, you are a Half Sister to your Half Sister’s Half Sister.
19.11 And in Chart 64c, the opposite is true…you are of no relation to your Half Sister’s Half Sister. So how do you stand relative to your best friend, who is your Half Sister’s Half Sister’s Cousin?
19.12 In the unlikely 64a, as we have seen, you are your best friend’s Cousin. In the more likely 64b, if your best friend is a Cousin thru a Sibling of c, you are again Cousins…if thru a sibling of d, then nothing, unless d and a (your Father) are Siblings. And in 64c, the likely answer is again no relation, unless there is a relation between your Father a and either c or d. But check out Chart 65.
19.13 Here your best friend is the green circle filled with pink and labeled “cousin”…she is a Cousin to your Half Sister’s Half Sister since d and e are Siblings, but she is also your Cousin, since her Mother f is the Sister of your Father a…and this is despite the fact that you are not related in any way to her Cousin on the other side, your Half Sister’s Half Sister. And if you saw that coming, in light of today’s general theme, I’m very proud of YOU. Gold Star, my friend. Next week, more answers the wiseGeek crew can’t see but you can…ciao for nao…
Chart 66 presents a puzzle. Now this type of tag-team deal is clearly very unusual, but I think it would be unwise to suggest it’s never happened. In this foursome, each girl has 2 Half Sisters, one thru her Mother and one thru her Father…and for each, there is one girl who is of no relation at all. So if you take any 2, and ask Are X and Y Half Sisters?, the answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no. But if you take any 3 of them, what happens? For any threesome, there will be an X with 2 Half Sisters, and a Y and a Z with one each. But would it be true to say that collectively, X, Y, and Z are Half Sisters? The answer surely is No…but you have to think about it…it seems like they just miss, doesn’t it?
Copyright © 2011 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved
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