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Thursday, October 05, 2006

The progeny of Bob & Elsie...

After this afternoon, there had to be a cousins post. Had to be.

Patty and Toni started it all, wanting to know who came where age-wise. Now, there are 32 of us - I had to look things up. Fortunately I have a copy of the "The Samual Adams Family of Lawrence County Illinois" (published 1980 by Barbara P. Quealy - all our parents got one) and we're all in there, so it was easy to list everyone. A few errors in dates, but pretty accurate.

Then I challenged them to list the cousin's children and grands. Long story short, we got a pretty comprehensive list made of the descendents of Bob and Elsie: 7 kids, 32 grandkids, 36 greats, and 15 great-greats (those are the ones we know of). (There are some steps in there that we'll add when we get that information.)

So, after playing with this all afternoon, and spending hours on the phone chatting with Debbie and Barbie, and emailing back and forth with Patty, I'm compelled to search out the definitions of cousins. You know, first cousin, second cousin, removed, etc. Here's how to figure it out (from Wikipedia):

The name of the cousinship is not determined by oneself, but rather is always determined by the generational level of the individual most closely related to the ancestor in common. Cousinship is actually a description of three individual's relationships with each other. Oneself, the cousin, and the ancestor in common. The following assumes there are no double cousins:

Step 1: To work out if two people are first, second, or third cousins, count back the generations to their common ancestor. For example, if the common ancestor is one's grandmother, that is two generations. If it is one's great-grandmother, that is three generations.

Step 2: Take the closest descendant of the common ancestor. For example, if one of the cousins is a great-great-grandchild (four generations) and the other is a grandchild, just consider the grandchild for now.

Step 3: If the closest descendant of the common ancestor is a grandchild (two generations), the cousins are first cousins; if three generations, second cousins, and so on.

Step 4: If the cousins are both separated from the common ancestor by the same number of generations, there is no "removed". If the number of generations from the common ancestor is different, that difference is the number of "removed"s.

For example, if one is a grandchild of (2 generations from) the common ancestor, and one's cousin is a great-great-grandchild of (4 generations from) the common ancestor, then one and one's cousin are first cousins twice removed.

Still with me? Shake your head, rub your eyes, and don't worry about it. We're FAMILY. That's all that matters.

1 comment:

Barb M said...

Yes maam I am confused. So being the eldest "cousin" I choose to ignore the figuring out part and just consider us all cousins. You know as you get older the brain can only take so much or as a friend once told me "it's not that you can't remember its that you know so much and that's alot of stuff to put in one's head". she was trying to expalin selective memory to me, I'd lost my car in the Walmart parking lot...again. Yes I found the car but I think left a small part of my brain behind. You're right what difference does it make, we're FAMILY!