After my great-grandmother died my great-grandfather remarried. He married a widow with children. Therefore the step-daughter married her step-brother. They had a daughter.
The fathers of the bride and groom were half-brothers which would make the couple first cousins. The couple had a grandfather in common. They are buried in a cemetery with her parents on one side and his parents on the other side. By the way the last name was Smith and they would have married in the early s. Mostly this was a matter of straight translation with help from a native speaker from English, but when it came to the relationship calculator, all bets were off.
In other societies, the conventions are often quite different and I learned a lot using some rather complex charts before I got it mostly working right. Such as, in some places, cousins are just specified as 1st, 2nd, etc. A number of other differences as well, and of course in German some really long words! My 3x gr grandfather married two sisters, the second after the death of the first. So their children are first cousins, right? My great grandfather was one of those kids and he married his first cousin, my gr grandmother, from the other line… My grandfather actually escaped genetic disaster and was a quite bright individual!
Feeling like an Egyptian dynasty here! Actually they would be sisters and brothers. Yes they would also be first cousins. Then their kids would be second cousins as well as brothers and sisters. Seeing the above comment of Lois Rekowski reminded me of a similar story.
He is buried in the cemetery between his two wives. They had three daughters. He had children by both wives. Try and figure out those relationships. It actually implicitly acknowledges it. As far as I am aware, relationships such as: The context and the underlying concepts are what matter.
The article by Elizabeth Shown Mills that you referenced in this particular blog, is interesting and useful in making sense of kinship terminologies. Elizabeth Shown Mills wrote about the seven perspectives pursued within the genealogical field: Terms that are okay in one perspective may not be so in another perspective. More poignantly, she cited Kathleen W. Not that one should go about using all of these terminologies in addressing relatives especially. However, understanding the whole range of kinship terminologies could help one understand why for example, two people who are seemingly related in the same way to another person, may actually share significantly different amounts of DNA, with that person.
These last two comments are lucid and relevant. I have read all the comments and agree with most of them. It has been a fascinating education. However, I see nothing in the comments that disagrees with my original premise: Legally speaking, there is no such thing as a half-cousin. However, the term is used frequently for very good reasons in genetics and possibly other disciplines, as described in the quote from Elizabeth Shown Mills. Perhaps the best summation was written by Ade Omole in an earlier comment: That usage also sometimes appears in genealogical scholarship. I do admit in this situation however, that the general consensus throughout the world is that half cousins are actually first cousins.
All half first cousins are first cousins. All first cousins are not half first cousins. There are lots of folks in both camps who are stubborn and narrow minded. To me, the reasonable position is this: So my great grandfather and his first wife had kids and their kids had kids. When my great grandfather had grandchildren, he divorced his first wife and later on had kids with his second wife my great grandmother after a couple years. So does that make me half cousins with the great grandchildren of the first wife?
Genetic Genealogists recognize this term to define a distinct difference in shared DNA of a half-cousin vs a full first cousin, and the difference in shared DNA Centimorgans far outweighs the presence of a term in any dictionary. Using a dictionary to decide the relevance or need to label the distinction of a genetic familial relationship is, in my opinion, pretty silly.
Why not ask a geneticist? The legal definitions that have been in place forever are all that matter. Most people do not like the truth. A first-cousin is a first-cousin, as long as there is one grandparent in common. These are important kinship rules that have existed for over five-hundred years for a reason. Hi my name is Bernadette. How am I related to him cousin. Half relationships are created when two solids separate and one half produces another, full to them, but half to the other production s.
Therefor, creating a HALF. And notice how they use the word HALF themselves. Other countries may have different definitions. If you have to get involved in a contested will, probate court actions, or something similar, the legal definitions will be far more important than the genetics. This forum is for genealogy — not a law forum. Those of us educated in genetic genealogy would appreciate CORRECT information in regard to genealogy being placed on a genealogy related forum. Those that cling to what they thought was the truth just for the sake of being right stand in the way of progress.
There may be no difference in the law with regard to half cousins, but it is an important concept in genealogy, especially where DNA research is concerned, and that is the issue here. It also is helpful [to me anyway] to use this terminology to sort out the relationships between siblings in a large, mixed family such as the one I described very early in this thread.
This is like arguing about how many angels can stand on the head of a pin. I get that, and accept it. What does that make them to me? If their mother and your mother are half-sisters, then these cousins are your half first cousins. It seems odd that you do a genealogy newsletter but suddenly put on your legal hat when it comes to the issue of half cousins. There clearly are half cousins since they share only about half the DNA of full cousins.
So there is a difference between half and full cousins. If anyone knows of a legally binding reference, please let me know. I also know that the definition of cousins are different in other countries and other languages. In the case of terms describing various family relationships, it is highly probable they are the end result of litigation related to the meaning of contested wills, in proceedings where one set of relatives sought to take advantage of some provision that could be made to seem ambiguous due to a context that may or may not have been completely understood or obvious at the time the will was drafted, or changes in circumstances that occurred after it was signed, in order to have another set of relatives excluded, so that their own share of the estate would be enlarged.
This would explain why there is no legal definition of such commonly used genealogical terms as half-cousins. In fact, other cultures have even more complex terms than we have for various familial relationships example: We may not recognize any difference in legal standing between an older and a younger sibling, or between a maternal cousin and a paternal one but that does not mean that the difference is not a real one. You seem to be interpreting cousin and half cousin to be contrasting entities.
But I interpret half cousins to be a subset of cousins. How should we account for that if there is no such thing? Obviously, people who are not concerned with legal documents and are simply engaged in conversation with others are free to use the term or not, as they please, without being concerned with any dictionary definitions. For example, some courts have ruled that in intestate cases while a first cousin of the whole blood takes precedence over a second cousin of the whole blood, the latter takes precedence over a first cousin of the half blood.
It does recognize it… just calls it by a more lawyerly term. I tend to agree, especially with your last paragraph and the summary that saying that there is no such THING as half cousin could be misleading. The answer perhaps is very simple: A cousin german and a cousin of the half blood will be at the same distance degree of consanguinity to their common grandparent. For example two full first cousins sharing two grandparents in common from their parents, the children of the two common grandparents as against two half first cousins where their parents are half-siblings.
Of course it is possible to be double half first cousins, but that is the type of relationships that genetic genealogy explore in depth. The point here is, that the objectives of the two fields: Wisconsin Supreme Court Decisions … https: You may track the half relationship for a variety of reasons — to keep yourself organized, for genetic genealogy, etc. I do the same. First cousin, though, encompasses half and full relationships.
You are first cousins if you share one grandparent. You are first cousins if you share two grandparents. Terms like aunt, uncle, first cousin, nephew, niece are umbrella words under which are a lot of different possible relationships. And think of it this way: DNA has forced us to pay more attention to how half relationships affect genetic relationships, so whenever we talk about DNA, we use half and full regularly.
What is so hard. On is a legal term and the other is a scientific factual term. When seeing relationships in DNA we seek the facts not the law. For instance if a child is born to a married woman and it is not her husbands, the law considers the child her husband. If there is an earlier child, their true relationship is half siblings but legally siblings. Mu 2nd cousin was my second cousin legally but after DNA showed him as less than a fourth cousin guess what.
He was my second cousin from another great grandfather and his grandfather was illegitimate or perhaps his and mine were both illegitimate even if mine were the older as that was who my great grandmother was. I have half first cousins on my opposite side but that was due to different legally married grandmothers after a divorce.
Legally I guess they are my cousins but genetically my half cousins. That was a lot of comments to wade through! Maybe they descend from only ONE of them. If someone else brought up that point, then I must have missed it, and I apologize. But arguing legal vs.
While both instruments measure temperature, the calibration is different, so each is useless for the other purpose. So if only six states prohibit first cousins once removed from marrying does that apply to half cousins to? I'd imagine it will apply to half Cousin's but I might be wrong.
Hopefully someone else knows, I'm sure they will though! You will first want to look at the link nessa76 posted. The verbiage is cursory for the most part, but, if you have specific questions about specific States, I can get the statute for you.
Go ahead, marry your cousin—it's not that bad for your future kids
On the linked page, don't worry about the green States. If you were legally married in whichever State you were married in, I wouldn't overly stress over most of the others either. They may have wording to the effect of "whether of the whole or half blood" in their marriage statutes, BUT, if such verbiage isn't in the criminal incest statute, you can legitimately tell them to take a hike. Possibly Oregon, I don't recall. In this Country, you have the right to remain silent, and the right to not incriminate yourself.
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