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Second Cousin, Once Removed

Ever since Mom died (well, even before that), I've been interested in establishing connections with my extended family. One way I've been doing that has been by sending photos of the kids to some of my far-flung relatives, so they get to see the newest members of the family.

One of these relatives is my first cousin once removed Sandor, with whom I share an interest in Lewis Carroll. I sent him some photos to coincide with the kids' birthday, and in an email back he casually mentioned that his granddaughter Anna was living and working in the Boston area.

That was like offhandedly mentioning that there's a gold ingot in my desk drawer.

Nomi and I got in touch with Anna, and we had the pleasure of her company and her boyfriend's company on Tuesday night. It was probably a little weird for them, as we had never met before and our relation is distant, but they took to having dinner with us just fine.

In particular, Muffin and Squeaker were quite taken with their third cousin. Recently, they've been wary of strangers, but the moment she came in, they were interested, and they even let her hold them a few times.

Anna and Her Third Cousins Muffin and Squeaker Anna and Her Third Cousins Muffin and Squeaker
Photo copyright ©2010 Michael A. Burstein. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce is explicitly denied.

Being third cousins, I think they share one-eighth of their DNA with Anna. Or one-sixteenth. Or something like that. Maybe less? Anyone know? Maybe Muffin and Squeaker realized that this guest was their third cousin, by using their superpowers to sense the similarities in their DNA.

Anna is a recent college graduate doing medical research in the Boston area, and she's applying to medical school. Her boyfriend is also working in the area, and I was delighted to hear that they were managing despite the economy. Nomi and I are hoping to see them again soon, and to continue strengthening family ties.



Gold ingot indeed. ;-)

Re: Babysitter!

Yeah, um, no. I mean, she might be interested, I suppose, but she does seem to have her own life right now, and it keeps her busy.
If she's your second cousin, once removed, then she is second cousin twice removed to your children. Her children and your children will be third cousins. I don't think there's a removal there. I'd need to know a bit more about how you are related to her parents to figure out all the removals.

Either way, it's a lovely picture.

Edited at 2010-07-30 02:58 pm (UTC)
"Once removed" doesn't say which direction the removal goes. I took mabfan to mean that Sandor was his first cousin once removed "upwards" (his parent's first cousin), so Sandor's granddaughter Anna is his second cousin once removed "downwards" (Anna's parent is his second cousin) and M&S are Anna's third cousins.
My grandfather and Anna's great-grandfather were brothers. Hence we are second cousins once removed, and she is third cousin to my daughters.
My grandfather and Anna's great-grandfather were brothers. Hence we are second cousins once removed, and she is third cousin to my daughters.

cousin blood

Siblings could have any amount of DNA shared, from 0 to 1, but there's a definite bell curve around 1/2. A similar process affects each generation going forward, so you can't say anything for sure. But going by the mean, M&S each share about 1/16 of their DNA with Anna.

(Well, except that they actually share most of their DNA with her as fellow humans. And even setting the common species sequences aside, there's a lot of commonality among Americans in general...)

Re: cousin blood

The proper term, I think, is not “amount of DNA shared” but “coefficient of relationship”.

Re: cousin blood

Hmm - according to that page cousins are 1/8, not 1/4. So second cousins are 1/32 and third cousins are 1/128?

Re: cousin blood

I followed the link to this Dawkins chapter, which explains how to do the math. The 1/8 figure for first cousins is based on the fact that first cousins (at least by Dawkins’ definition) may only share two grandparents, not four.

December 2016

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