All in the Family

I've always been confused with the genealogical terminology. But this is, what, ninth cousins once removed?

Share this

The children of first

The children of first cousins are second cousins. Their children are third cousins. So on and so on. Now, if Bush and Kerry were just ninth cousins, than their parents were eigth cousins. But that's not the case. Bush is an 11th cousin and Kerry is a ninth. To explain their relationship to each other, you would say that Bush and Kerry are ninth cousins twice removed, because if you were to remove the tenth and eleventh cousins, then Bush would be a ninth cousin to Kerry.

More proof that inbreeding

More proof that inbreeding is a bad thing.

This information is hardly

This information is hardly as shocking as it might seem. Not only are Kerry and Bush likely to be related along several other lines of descent, but I'd bet perhaps 10-20% of all Americans would be able to trace their ancestry back to the same couple with enough information. This is simply a manifestation of the tendency of all geneological trees to rapidly coalesce when viewed looking backwards, for more on which, see here and here.

Jesse is correct -- they are

Jesse is correct -- they are ninth cousins twice removed.