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A family history chart to identify relationships

First cousin once removed. Second cousin. Ancestral findings. Common ancestors.


Relationship chart

The family history chart illustrated (below right) will sort you out if, like plenty of others, you've ever wondered about second cousin or 'removed' cousins. Working out the relationships between your ancestors is a key part of genealogy, so keep the form handy after you've printed it.



Click image to download this family history chart.



You might also like to use the chart to work through this real-life example of second cousins and 'once removed' cousins. You start the process by finding the common ancestor of two individuals.

Irish family tree

  • The second cousin connection is actually quite simple: the common ancestor is a great grandparent, so, in the family tree to the left, Betty Driscoll and the John Doyle born in 1941 are second cousins because they share the same great grandparents.

  • The first cousin once removed relationship is slightly more complicated: it means that the common ancestor is a grandparent to one person and a great grandfather to the other.

    In the tree, Eamonn Doyle and Betty Driscoll are first cousins once removed. They were born in the same year, but there are two generations between Eamonn and Patrick Doyle, and three generations between Betty Driscoll and Patrick Doyle.


    Let the family history chart do the maths

    The terms 'once removed' and 'twice removed' occur when the generations between two individuals and a common ancestor are unequal in number. Fortunately, you don't have to remember a mathematical formula or learn these family relationships by heart.

    Just click the image above to download and start sorting out your first and second cousins from 'removed' relationships.

    When you've printed it, keep a copy handy so that you can quickly calculate the relationship between two ancestors in your family tree, or between you and one of your Irish ancestors.

    The terms 'once removed' and 'twice removed' occur when the generations between two individuals and a common ancestor are unequal in number.


    Where next?



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