What is second cousin once removed mean?

If you have ever been curious about what your family tree looks like, chances are you have encountered the term “second cousin once removed” at some point. But what exactly does it mean? Let’s explore this concept further.

A second cousin once removed is the child of your second cousin or the parent of your third cousin. The phrase “once removed” refers to being separated by 1 or more generations.

What is a Second Cousin?

Before we get into the specifics of second cousins once removed, let’s review what a second cousin is. A second cousin is someone who shares great-grandparents with you. For example, if your grandmother and mother were siblings, then their children (your mother’s first cousins) would be your second cousins. This means that any of your grandmother’s siblings would be your great-grandparents, which makes their children (your mother’s first cousins) your second cousins.

What Does “Once Removed” Mean?

The phrase “once removed” simply indicates how many generations separate two people in a family tree. In the case of a second cousin once removed, there is one generation between you and them—so you are separated by one generation or “once removed.” That being said, if someone was referred to as a third cousin twice removed, they would be two generations away from you—or twice removed.

What About Different Types of Cousins?

There are plenty of other types of cousins out there! The most common types include first cousins (children of siblings), double cousins (children of two sets of siblings), third cousins (children of first cousins), fourth cousins (children of second cousins), fifth and sixth cousins (children of third and fourth cousins respectively).

Additionally, there can also be distant relatives such as grandnieces/nephews or great-grandnieces/nephews. These relationships can become even more complicated when you factor in step-relationships and adopted relations as well!


Cousins are an important part of any family tree—and understanding exactly how these different relationships work can help to make sense out of it all! While the terms may seem confusing at first, understanding the meaning behind phrases like “second cousin once removed” can help to make tracking down relatives much easier. With this new knowledge under your belt, go forth and explore your family tree with confidence!


Q: What is a second cousin once removed?

A: A second cousin once removed is the child of your second cousin or the parent of your third cousin. This means that they are separated by one generation, and there is typically one degree of separation between you.

Q: How do I figure out if someone is my second cousin once removed?

A: There are several ways to determine if someone is your second cousin once removed. One option is to use a family tree chart or online tool, which can help you easily visualize the relationship between yourself and other family members. Another option is to do some research into your own family history, looking for clues about your ancestors and the relationships between them. With a little bit of knowledge and investigation, you should be able to figure out if someone is your second cousin once removed or another type of cousin.