The Difference Between First and Second Cousins

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As children grow, a common question at a large family gathering may be, "What's a second cousin," or "How are we related." Parents may stumble with their explanations as they try to determine who is a first or second cousin and their children's relationship to these relatives.

First Cousins

First cousins are the children of your aunts and uncles, your parents sisters and brothers. These cousins share a set of the same grandparents.

Second Cousins

Second cousins are the children of a family's first cousins. An easy way to define second cousins is to point out or show pictures of the first cousins in your family, then tell the person inquiring that the children of these cousins are second cousins. Second cousins share the same great-grandparents, but not the same grandparents.