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# In terms of relations, how far does cousinship extend - i.e. where is the line drawn between cousin and outsider?

Question #113120. Asked by Baloo55th. (Feb 27 10 3:16 PM)

looney_tunes

In principle, if you can trace it back far enough, if there is any common ancestor there is a degree of cousinship which can be expressed either verbally (my 6th cousin and I share a great-great-great-great-great grandparent) or using a mathematical shorthand (7,0). Either of these systems could be extended indefinitely. The drawing of a line between relatives and outsiders is cultural rather than definitional.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin

 Feb 27 10, 3:59 PM
Zbeckabee

In kinship terminology, a cousin is a relative with whom one shares a common ancestor. In modern usage, the term is rarely used when referring to a relative in one's own line of descent, or where there is a more specific term to describe the relationship: e.g., brother, sister, aunt, uncle. The term blood relative can be used synonymously, and underlines the existence of a genetic link. A system of degrees and removes is used to describe the relationship between the two cousins and the ancestor they have in common.

The degree (first, second, third cousin, etc.) indicates one less than the minimum number of generations between both cousins and the nearest common ancestor. For example, a person with whom one shares a grandparent (but not a parent) is a first cousin; someone with whom one shares a great-grandparent (but not a grandparent) is a second cousin; and someone with whom one shares a great-great-grandparent (but not a great-grandparent) is a third cousin; and so on.

The remove (once removed, twice removed, etc.) indicates the number of generations, if any, separating the two cousins from each other. The child of one's first cousin is one's first cousin once removed because the one generation separation represents one remove. Oneself and the child are still considered first cousins, as one's grandparent (this child's great-grandparent), as the most recent common ancestor, represents one degree. Equally one's great-aunt or uncle (one's parent's cousin) is one's first cousin once removed because their grandparent (one's own great-grandparent) is the most recent common ancestor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin

Chart:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Canon_law_relationship_chart.svg

 Feb 27 10, 6:35 PM
Baloo55th

These are great definitions of cousinship - but IS there a line that can be drawn or is it just up to whoever is looking at it? (I'm not much interested in Canon Law as I am not subject to it, except where it coincides with the laws of the land - and then the law of the land is the important one (until they re-establish the Inquisition).) There's no answer in the Cousin article.

 Feb 28 10, 9:29 AM
looney_tunes

As I read the definitions, there is no end to what COULD be considered a cousin relationship; the practical point beyond which it isn't worth the effort to establish the relationship is a subjective cultural judgment.

 Mar 01 10, 4:41 AM
Baloo55th

That's what I thought. Hi, cousin!

 Mar 01 10, 1:19 PM

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