[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] Figuring Relationships

Gary Warner gary at warnerengineering.com
Wed Oct 1 20:52:38 PDT 2008


If you believe that Adam and Eve were real people, then it is apparent 
that our pedigree cannot keep increasing in the number of unrelated 
grandparents indefinitely as your count generations back in time.    In 
order to get back to Adam and Eve, and also in order to reflect the fact 
that fewer and fewer people were alive every century that a clock is 
turned back, some of our ancestors NEED to be the same people- that is, 
our pedigree chart has to start collapsing by virtue of multiple lines 
becoming the repetetive.

In order to answer your question about how your parents are related, 
there are two ways to do that:  1.) you either need to manually start at 
a common ancestor in each line and figure out how each generation is 
related; or 2.)  it is easier if a computer program like Legacy figures 
it out for you, but then you need to enter the data into the program to 
do that (you really need to do that anyway if you are going to preserve 
the information you found).   If there are multiple people that you have 
in common in the lines (not that uncommon), then you have multiple 
relationships to figure out.   Your parents could easily be 5th or 6th 
or 7th cousins, or possibly all three.

1st generation- a single person is himself or herself
2nd generation- relationship is siblings
3rd generation- relationship is 1st cousins
4th generation- relationship is 2nd cousins

If one of the generational lines gets out of step with another one in 
time, as happens when one line has children at age 20, and the other one 
has children at age 40 and then the children of one line marry the 
grandchildren of another line, then the relationship becomes once 
removed.  For instance, my father had me when he was in his mid forties, 
and his siblings had their children when they were in there 20s.  So I 
am 20 or more years younger than my first cousins, and my 1st cousin's 
children are the same age as I am- each of those children are therefore 
my 1st cousin once removed.

Gary Warner

Leo Sonnenberg wrote:
> I recently received a list of ancestors on my father's side back to 1790 
> from a cousin in Germany. I was surprised to see that my grandfather on 
> my mother's side was also on the list.
> My mother is a great granddaughter to the common ancestor and my father 
> is a great great grandson to the common ancestor. I am both a great 
> great grandson through my mother and a great great  great grandson 
> through my father.
> My questions are -  A. what cousins are my parents to each other and B. 
> what am I to my distant grandfather?  How would I classify myself - a 
> two great grandson or a three great grandson? So who am I?
> Also, does this situation occur very often?
> Any definition of my relationship to my distant grandfather is welcome 
> (including any jokes).
> Leo Sonnenberg
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