Third cousin four times removed, and a fourth cousin three times removed.

Anne Frank

Senior Member
Russian
Hello dear friends! <...> I'm reading the book A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning, and I need your help again:

“But our parents never mentioned Count Olaf to us. Just how is he related to us, exactly?”

Mr. Poe sighed and looked down at Sunny, who was biting a fork and listening closely. “He is either a third cousin four times removed, or a fourth cousin three times removed.”

<-----Excess quote and off-topic comment removed by moderator (Florentia52)----->

Tell me please, how could it be:
Third cousin four times removed, and a fourth cousin three times removed.

It seems to be like: a third distant relative:)confused:) in the fourth generation, or a forth distant relative:)confused:) in the third generation.

Thanks in advance for helping me out.
 
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  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    The table Paul posted explains what "first", "second" and "third" cousins, and the phrases "once removed", "twice removed" etc. mean.

    A first cousin is someone with whom you have common grandparents (other than your siblings).
    A second cousin is someone with whom you have common great-grandparents,
    and so on.

    Both your parent's first cousin and your first cousin's son are your first cousins once removed.
    Both your grandparent's first cousin and your first cousin's grandson are your first cousins twice removed.

    The same applies to second and third cousins.

    He is either a third cousin four times removed, or a fourth
    cousin three times removed. He is not your closest relative on the family tree,
    The speaker means he isn't really sure of the exact relationship. He just knows that Count Olaf is a distant cousin.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Maybe it would help to think of it this way:
    Siblings have a common parent.
    First cousins have a common grandparent.
    Second cousins have a common great-grandparent.
    Third cousins have a common great-great-grandparent.
    Fourth cousins have a common great-great-great grandparent.

    A1 and B1 have a common great-great-grandparent, so that makes them third cousins.
    B1 has a child named B2. A1 and B2 are third cousins, once removed.
    B2 has a child named B3. A 1 and B3 are third cousins, twice removed.
    B3 has a child named B4. A1 and B4 are third cousins, three times removed.
    B4 has a child named B5. A 1 and B5 are third cousins, four times removed.

    A1 has a child named A2. A2 and B1 are third cousins, once removed. A2 and B2 are fourth cousins. A2 and B3 are fourth cousins, once removed. A2 and B4 are fourth cousins, twice removed. A2 and B5 are fourth cousins, three times removed.

    If you want a real-life example, Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Queen Sofia of Spain are both great-great granddaughters of Queen Victoria (Elizabeth's great-grandfather King Edward VII was the brother of the German Empress Victoria, who was Sofia's great-grandmother), which makes them third cousins. Elizabeth's son Prince Charles is thus Sofia's third cousin, once removed, and also the fourth cousin of Sofia's son, King Felipe of Spain. Charles's son Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is the third cousin twice removed of Sofia, and the fourth cousin once removed of King Felipe. William's little son Prince George of Cambridge is the third cousin, three times removed of Queen Sofia, and the fourth cousin twice removed of King Felipe. When George grows up and has a child, that child will be the third cousin, four times removed, of Queen Sofia, and the fourth cousin, three times removed of King Felipe of Spain.
     
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