”My good friend and I have just discovered we are distant relatives. I'm wondering if you could help explain exactly what this relationship is. My grandfathers aunt married my friends great grandfather. My great great aunt is my dad's father's aunt. And my friends great grandfather is his dad's mothers father. (If that makes any sense!) Does that make us second or third cousins??”
You and your friend are 3rd cousins assuming all of the relationships listed are direct line links and not spouses of direct line links. This one was making my head spin so I just started a new Legacy file and inputted everyone. I just put their names as, Anon, Anon’s Father, Anon’s Father’s Father etc. and then I “married” the two end people. I was then able to see the relationship. Your common ancestor is your 2nd great grandfather (and his wife), let’s call him the “Patriarch.” You descend from the patriarch’s daughter and your friend descends from the patriarch’s son.
Here is the screen shot.
Created Using Legacy Family Tree
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis