What happens when you share a common ancestor but are not in the same generation? Henry and Charlotte share a common ancestor, Eleanor. Now that we see it visually, we can quickly determine the relationship between Henry and Charlotte.
This is the number of generations one cousin is removed from the other cousin. This means that Henry and Charlotte are third cousins four times removed.
Consider this list: Charles Darwin married his first cousin. In fact, they were also “double cousins.” Lowenthal also happened to be Einstein’s second cousin on his father’s side.
Elsa Lowenthal, Einstein’s second wife, was his first cousin on his mother’s side.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt were fifth cousins, once removed (a chart showing their relationship is available at
When I was 16, I got my first summer job working in a cafeteria at Brigham Young University.
The next summer, I went back to same job but found that everyone was constantly confusing me with one of the new employees, claiming we looked alike.
After eyeing each other carefully at first, we quickly become good friends.
As we got to know each other, we soon discovered that in addition to looking alike, we were actually related.
My third great grandfather was her fourth great grandfather.
But we were confused, how should we describe our relationship?
You may have heard some people use phrases like “she’s my fifth cousins, twice removed,” or “he’s my second cousin, nine times removed.” What does this mean and how could I figure out my relationship to my friend using these terms?