Cousin Chart

June 16, 2016




I have a big 75th anniversary family reunion coming up in a few weeks, so I’ve been interested in family trees and genealogy again. I have a lovely cousin here in Fairhope that I never get to see enough, but I’ve been going back and forth as to whether we are “first cousins once removed” or “second cousins.” According to this chart, we’d be 2nd.


Katherine Hepburn - Leslie Anne Tarabella - blog

You may remember from a previous story (HERE) that I discoverd I’m a cousin to Katherine Hepburn and I felt slighted I didn’t inherit her beautiful house. I’ll use this chart to plug in the info, but I think she and I would be at least 4th cousins — 3x removed . . . maybe more. Oh the pillow fights we could have had at Granny’s house if we’d only known!

9866241Here’s another chart that organizes it in a different way that may be easier to follow. It looks like something my high schooler would find on the ACT.

My father has 62 first cousins, so we’ve always had a big extended family around. By contrast, my husband’s parents are both only children so he has no first cousins and no aunts and uncles. His first year at our family reunion was like a scene from the Southern version of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”



Do you have family reunions with lots and lots of cousins?



    On my Mother’s side of my family I am 10th generation of the Vaillancourt-Gregoire family who imigrated from Normandy France to Quebec Canada in 1640. They were dairy farmers and ten generations later still are. In 1975 the Vaillancourt family had a family reunion on Orleans Island of the coast of Quebec City in the St Laurance River. We invited every Vaillancourt family north of Mexico. 4300 Vaillancourts showed up, bringing their family histories which were combined into a 200 page book. One of my cousins researched the Vaillancourt genealogy into a 100 page book from 1640 thru 1975. Anyone wishing a free CD copy of Vaillancourt or Gregoire genealogies can contact me at ><

  • I think I will print a copy of the chart and take it to my reunion so I can get help filling it out. I have never been able to figure out the correct titles of my extended family. Thanks!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Have fun with all of your cousin’s cousin’s cousins.

  • These charts are really going to be confusing in a few years with today’s blended families.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I didn’t think about that, but you’re right. I had someone today tell me their family tree was more like kudzu!!! I told her I loved that so much, I may have to borrow it!

  • Leslie Anne, that cousin thing has always been confusing. I have 22 first cousins and we have two family reunions each year. Lots of fun and good memories!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      22 is a pretty large number for this day and age. Not many large families around. My Mother’s side of the family has a very small reunion — more of a “get-together” in the fall. One large, one small, = just right.

  • My family is full of cousins and we have regular family reunions where this is ALWAYS the topic of conversation and confusion. I pretty much just go with cousin, and leave it at that, but I am pinning this for future reference! Have fun and can’t wait to hear stories 🙂

    • Leslie Anne says:

      Our reunion is so far out in the sticks, I’m not sure I can get cell phone reception out there, so maybe I’ll just print it out, fold it up and carry it in my pocketbook!

  • Thanks for another interesting article, Leslie Anne-it’s certainly hard to keep things straight without several charts.

    I’m an amateur genealogist and can’t wait to see the latest Genealogy Roadshow, Who Do You Think You Are and Finding Your Roots.

    I’m amazed at the know- how of these professionals!

    Enjoy your reunion and hopefully you’ll find new branches!

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I’ve seen that show a few times and think it’s fascinating. I need to go ahead and record it so I don’t miss an episode. Thanks for the reminder.

  • I published a piece like this on my very first blog years ago! Fun to see that crazy chart again. I still can’t keep it straight without the chart. I think I am going to pin yours so I can find it, as I had misplaced my hard copy. I am usually looking at the genealogy for English rulers, not my own, though.

    All of my cousins on Daddy’s side were as old as my mother, and most of them did not procreate. You must have a blast at your family reunion with all those cousins and descendants of your father! Of the cousins on Mama’s side, a lot of us only had one child, and then they haven’t had any at all. I guess that means our bloodline is dying out, which feels kind of weird, when you consider everything that it took to get to this point.

    • Leslie Anne says:

      I think everyone, but Southerners in particular are interested in who our people were. So not surprising you and I are on the same page (literally) on this chart! It’s sad how some really good families are dying out because of not having children.

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