Monday, July 30, 2007

Confusing Relationships

This past Friday, Charlene, a new-found "Shuder" cousin and her son came down from central Michigan for a visit with me and one of my first cousins. We got acquainted, shared some information, had a good time, and got a bit confused.

Our common ancestors, Nancy Jane Lavering and Isaac Shuder, were related to each other before they got married. As I attempted to explain their relationship and determine our relationship it just got more and more confusing. We finally did get it figured out though, I think. Nancy and Isaac were 1st cousins once removed, and Charlene and I are second cousins once removed, as shown in the image below, which can be read by clicking on it to make it bigger:

The problem I have with the standard relationship charts, is that you have to know your relationship to your common ancestor as well as the relationship of the person you are trying to determine your relationship to. Now, if I'd had the basic information for those ancestors and their children entered into the genealogy software that I use, which is Legacy, it wouldn't have been a problem, but I didn't and still don't. Actually, I did have it entered a couple of years ago, but that's another story. Anyway, Legacy has a neat feature that allows you to display and/or print a fancy chart mapping out these things. It's really a nice chart, but I couldn't use it. . .

Examples of the Standard Relationship chart can be found at:
A rather nice, slightly different chart with a pdf file available for download is at:

** Update July 31, 2007 **

What is a First Cousin, Twice Removed? is an article in the Learning Center that provides some helpful information on relationships. The Learning Center is a very good resource whether you are just starting your family search or even if you are a more advanced researcher.

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