What is my Cousin's Cousin to Me?

When you are researching your family tree, you might want to know what your relationship is to your cousin's cousin and whether they are considered family. In this article, we'll help you understand what a cousin's cousin is, whether they are considered family, and what DNA results might say.

If you happen to be close to any of your cousins you probably fully understand how you are related. They may well be the child of your aunt or uncle or perhaps another grandchild of your great grandparents who is not your sibling.

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What we often forget is that our cousins have cousins we do not know. The question is, are those cousins related to us?

What is my Cousin's Cousin to Me? Are They Family?
Multiple generations of family

Is Your Cousin's Cousin Related to You?

The answer to this question is yes, in some way there is a relationship term that applies to your connection to this person. They may not be a blood relative to you but they are connected to you via the bonds of marriage.

If your cousin's cousin shares a common ancestor with you then they are definitely related to you by blood in some way. Things become different if your cousin's cousin comes from a different side of his family.

Your cousin's father might be your cousin as well but his mother only married into the family. Any cousins that your cousin has in this case on his mother's side would not be related to you by blood. They could, however, be termed as cousins-in-law, or cousins by marriage.

Are My Cousin’s Cousins My Family?

Those who are related to your common ancestors are definitely members of your family. Cousins by marriage are not genetically part of your family but this does not mean they are not family members.

It all depends on how you view family. If you only deem blood relatives and immediate spouses of close family as part of your familial group then that is your choice. There is of course more to family than just blood.

When it comes to the unrelated cousins of your cousin it really is up to you if you consider them a part of your family. In terms of genealogy, they are considered in-laws or sometimes distant cousins.

Final Thoughts

The answer to the question “Is my cousin's cousin related to me?” is not a simple one. It depends on how they are related to your cousin.

When they share a common ancestor with you and your cousin then you are connected by blood. If they are connected by blood to your cousin but only by marriage to you then they are considered to be in-laws.

Ultimately though, whether you take the theistic approach or the evolutionary path in your belief, we are all cousins even if we can’t trace the paper trail or share measurable DNA.

Neil Edwards

Neil Edwards

Genealogist and family-tree research specialist

Neil was born in Shropshire, England surrounded by centuries of living history. His interest in the past has been a lifelong passion leading to undergraduate degrees in both Economic History & Geography and History & Politics.

This interest in history quickly translated to family history when he moved to the U.S. in 2010. It was here that he began working on his own family tree as well as that of his American wife. That research allowed him to gain a wealth of experience working with both U.S. and European genealogical documents and studying their best uses in researching family history.

Following 9 years of honing his genealogical research skills, Neil was proud to have earned a certificate in Genealogical Research from Boston University in late 2019. Neil also took part in the research process for a Duke University study into the families of 19th Century UK Members of Parliament.

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