News from the Research Desk

News from the Research Desk Blog

Who Are My Cousins?

The following article was recently noted in Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter. 

A term often found in genealogy is “removed,” specifically when referring to family relationships. Indeed, almost everyone has heard of a “second cousin once removed,” but many people cannot explain that relationship. Of course, a person might be more than once removed, as in third cousin, four times removed.

In short, the definition of cousins is two people who share a common ancestor. Here are a few definitions of cousin relationships:

First Cousin: Your first cousins are the people in your family who have at least one of the same grandparents as you. In other words, they are the children of your aunts and uncles.

Second Cousin: Your second cousins are the people in your family who share the same great-grandparent with you.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Cousins: Your third cousins share at least one great-great-grandparent, fourth cousins share a great-great-great-grandparent, and so on.

Removed: When the word “removed” is used to describe a relationship, it indicates that the two people are from different generations. “Once removed” indicates a difference of one generation, “twice removed” indicates a difference of two generations, and so forth.

For example, the child of your first cousin is your first cousin, once removed. That is, your cousin’s child would be “almost” your first cousin, except that he or she is one generation removed from that relationship. Likewise, the grandchild of your first cousin is your first cousin, twice removed (two generations removed from being a first cousin).

Many people confuse the term “first cousin, once removed” with “second cousin.” The two are not the same.

Keep in mind that you and a relative only need to share one grandparent to be first cousins, or share one great-grandparent to be second cousins, etc. If the ancestor in question had more than one spouse and the two of you are descended from different spouses, you are full cousins. There is no such thing as a “half cousin” although you will hear people use that term occasionally.

The following consanguinity chart may help to explain the relationships:

Cousins Table: A cousin is someone who shares a common ancestor with you. Use this chart to determine your relationship. 

 

Find your     ancestor here →


   Find your cousin’s ancestor here ↓

Grand-
    parents
G-
    Grand-
    parents
GG-
    Grand-
    parents
GGG-
    Grand-
    parents
GGGG-
    Grand-
    parents
Grand-
    parents
1st cousins 1st cousins
    1x removed
1st cousins
    2x removed
1st cousins
    3x removed
1st cousins
    4x removed
G-
    Grand-
    parents
1st cousins
    1x removed
2nd cousins 2nd cousins
    1x removed
2nd cousins
    2x removed
2nd cousins
    3x removed
GG-
    Grand-
    parents
1st cousins
    2x removed
2nd cousins
    1x removed
3rd cousins 3rd cousins
    1x removed
3rd cousins
    2x removed
GGG-
    Grand-
    parents
1st cousins
    3x removed
2nd cousins
    2x removed
3rd cousins
    1x removed
4th cousins 4th cousins
    1x removed
GGGG-
    Grand-
    parents
1st cousins
    4x removed
2nd cousins
    3x removed
3rd cousins
    2x removed
4th cousins
    1x removed
5th cousins

In the above chart, go across the top to find your ancestor: great-grandfather.
Next, go down the left column to find your cousin’s relationship to the same person: great-great-grandfather.

Now notice where the two intersect in the above chart: you and your new cousin are actually second cousins, once removed.

You may prefer to use an automated online tool to determine relationships. Ancestor Search has one that we found simple to use. Take a look at http://www.searchforancestors.com/utility/cousincalculator.html

Here are a few other terms you may encounter when determining relationships:

HALF – Means you share only one parent. Example: half-brothers may have the same father but different mothers, etc.

STEP – Not blood kin, but a close legal relationship due to re-marriage of a parent, such as step-mother, step-brother, step-son, etc.

DOUBLE FIRST COUSINS – Are first cousins twice, once on your father’s side and once on your mother’s side, since your father’s sibling married your mother’s sibling.

IN-LAW – They are not really blood kin but are treated as such because they married blood kin.

Example: Your mother-in-law is not really your mother but is treated as such because you married her daughter/son. In law, you and your spouse are considered “one”. Also your brother-in-law is your brother because your parents are also his parents, in “law” (mother-in-law, father-in-law, etc.).

KITH and KIN – “Kith” are friends and acquaintances whereas “Kin” are blood relatives or someone treated as such, in law.

By the way, it is estimated that everyone has approximately 4 trillion 20th cousins! In other words, everyone is related to nearly everyone else.

Green Cards, Citizenships, Visas

A permanent resident card is also referred to as a green card.  Information and applications  for application, renewing and replacing are available at the Department of Homeland Security: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration site or by calling 800-375-5283.

The application for citizenship is the N-400 Application for Naturalization and details for fees and completing this form are also available on a section of the U.S. Citzenship and Immigration site.

Information regarding various types of visas needed for foreign citizens to travel to the U.S. are available on the Department of State: travel.state.gov site.

Passports

We often receive questions from travelers preparing to apply for a passport or needing to renew.  While you may complete an application and have the required photo taken at the Mount Prospect Post Office, information is also available at the U.S. Department of State (travel.state.gov) site.  Details regarding renewals, lost or stolen passports, and updating an existing passport are provided.

In need of a passport in a hurry?  The closest Chicago Passport Agency is located in Chicago:

Chicago Passport Agency
101 Ida B. Wells Drive (formerly 101 W. Congress Parkway)
9th Floor
Chicago, IL 60605-1074
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm Thursday
Automated Appointment Number: 1-877-487-2778
Online Passport Appointment System

(updated 12/21/18)

Mango Languages

Did you know we have a fun, fast and easy language learning program called Mango Languages?  The best part it is free for Mount Prospect patrons and you can access it anywhere there is Internet with you library card. Mango is the easiest and most effective way to learn to speak a foreign language.  Mango is available in two versions:

Mango Basic:

Perfect for a foreign language beginner, Mango Basic teaches everyday greetings, gratitudes, goodbyes and helpful phrases in a short period of time.  The courses, which require only two to five hours of time to complete, are currently available in 22 foreign languages and 14 English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.

Mango Complete:

Mango Complete offers a 100-lesson course that digs much deeper and is designed to provide a more complete understanding of the entire language and culture. It is available in nine foreign language and three ESL courses. Foreign language courses include Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.  ESL courses include Polish, Spanish and Portuguese.

Assistance to Apply for U.S. Citizenship

Township High School District 214 – Community Education invites you to apply for U.S. Citizenship.  By appointment only, schedule by calling Ewa at 847-718-7730.

Please bring the following:

   "Green Card" (Permanent Residence Card)

   Social  Security Number

   State ID or Driver’s License

   $675 Money Order made out to USCIS for application and fingerprints (Applicants age 75 or older pay $595).

   $70.00 (cash or check) for service fees

   2 passport photos

   Height (feet/inches) and weight (pounds)

   Home addresses for the past 5 years (with dates). Employee names and addresses for the past 5 years (with dates). If in the past 5 years you were a student: name of school(s) and dates attended.

   Dates when you left the United states and returned (day, month, year) since becoming a Permanent Resident.

   Information about your husband or wife 9birth date, marriage date, Social Security Number, Permanent Resident number (on “Green card”) or if spouse became a U.S. citizen, bring the Certificate of Naturalization.

   If you have been a Permanent Resident for 3 years and have been married to a U.S. Citizen for three years bring your marriage certificate.  If your spouse is a naturalized citizen, bring your spouse’s marriage, the date the marriage ended, and his/her immigration status.

   Information about your children: full names, birth date, country of birth, Permanent Resident number (“green card”) and current address.

   For men who have lived in the U.S. between ages 18 & 26: Selective Service number & date of registration. If you have not registered, you must do so before applying for citizenship. Call Selective Service at 847-688-6888.

   Police records and/or court dispositions of any arrests or court appearances.