Little sister

Travel day. Trekking from Lake Placid to Albany.

I need to wish my baby sister Marcia a happy birthday. How long do I get to call her my “baby sister”? FOREVER! She could be 90, but she’ll still be my “baby sister”.
I’m the eldest of three children. I have two sisters younger than I. If I had two siblings of different genders, I’d have a “younger brother” and “younger sister”. But with two sisters, describing the middle child, Leslie, is more difficult. “The elder of my two younger sisters” is about as terse as I can get. But “baby sister” is deliciously precise.

Speaking of relations, Marcia, Leslie, and I have NO first cousins. That’s because both of my parents are only children. We’d hold our grandparents responsible except that none of them are still alive.


Which got me thinking, what’s this “removed” thing when it comes to cousins? This chart may help.
I know my sisters’ daughters, and Carol’s brothers’ daughters are my daughter’s first cousins.
But most genealogical types suggest using the grandparent as the marker. So, all of the people who are the grandchildren of my mother and Carol’s parents are Lydia’s first cousins. (The same people, but a different way of looking at this.)

“Removed” means that two people are from different generations. “Once removed” signifies that there is a difference of one generation. So, my mother’s first cousins are my first cousins, once removed. “Twice removed” means that there is a two-generation difference. Thus, my grandmother’s first cousins are first cousins, twice removed.
And my mother’s first cousins’ kids are my second cousins, because we share a common GREAT-grandparent, and are of the SAME generation. Got that? NO? Then go here and then explain it to ME!

This “same generation” concept is particularly tricky in my family’s case. Leslie’s daughter Becky is 26 (and recently married – congrats to you and Rico), Marcia’s daughter Alex is 14, and my daughter Lydia is 1. But Becky, Alex, and Lydia are of the “same generation”.

Yet another curve in having a child at 50.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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