Saturday, June 8, 2013

Two More Relationship Questions

Joshua asks:
”What is the proper relationship for a 1st cousin (not removed) of the wife of my fifth great granduncle to me?  To generalize, is there a simple rule of thumb for dealing with extended in-laws?”

You guys are killing me with relationship questions! I think y’all are trying to come up with the weirdest combo to see if you can trip me up :)  Actually, yours is pretty easy. Whenever you are describing the relationship of someone that is not blood related to you, you always describe it in terms of how the person relates to one of your actual blood relations. Your 5th great-granduncle is the blood relation so you would say “the first cousin of my 5th great-granduncle’s wife.”  You could also say, “my great-granduncle’s wife’s first cousin.” 

J. D. asks a related question:
”How do you describe someone that you are related to more than one way?”

This is a common dilemma for those of us that do research in the deep south.  You refer to them using the closest relationship.  In some cases I will violate the rule I gave Joshua (blood relationships come first) for simplicity’s sake.  My stepmother happens to be my 5th cousin once removed.  I prefer to just call her my stepmother.  Stepmother is the closest even though it isn’t a blood relationship.  My two stepsisters would die laughing if I called them my 5th cousins twice removed!  There are always exceptions to every rule. 

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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