Introduction to Genealogy

About the Course

This is a self-paced course designed to take out the hardships when learning to do genealogical research. You can take the course all at once from beginning to end or maybe you just need a refresher on some of the subjects. Either way, I hope that you will enjoy this course and learn some additional skills.

The Instructor

Bryan Gidley Instructor

Bryan Gidley is the owner operator of SearchMyTree. Bryan has about 30 years experience in helping others to search their roots. He lives with his wife in rural Nova Scotia along the picturesque Eastern Shore. Bryan is a volunteer at the local genealogical society, Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte Nova Scotia Canada. (http://www.heritagevillage.ca)

Course outline


Basics


The word genealogy is derived from the Greek, and means the study of family history. Genealogies are commonly reffered to as family histories and sometimes as pedigrees or lineages. are also often referred to as family trees or sometimes as lineages or pedigrees. Records of the following will form the basic building blocks of your family's histories:

These facts will be built upon to extend the story of your family and create a family history.

Who are your ancestors and Descendants?
Your ancestors are those people that have contributed to your existence such as your parents, and grandparents and further back. They do not include aunts, uncles and cousins. If an individual from the past has contributed their DNA, they are an ancestor.
Similarily, your descendants are those children, grandchildren and so on whose DNA you were partially responsible for contributing. Consider an hourglass shape, with yourself in the middle. Your parents are next to you on the upper side of the middle, your children are below you. Everyone on the upper side of the hourglass is an ancestor and everyone below you is a descendant.

Ancestors on this side (Ancestral tree)
Great Gand Parents
Grand parents
Parents
You
Children
Grand children
Great grand children
Descendants on this side (Descendants tree)

What about colateral relatives?
Cousins are often described as once, twice or 3 times remove and so on. Consider the following relationships:

First cousin (a.k.a "cousin")
Your first cousins are the people in your family who have two of the same grandparents as you. In other words, they are the children of your aunts and uncles.

Second Cousin
Your second cousins are the people in your family who have the same great-grandparents as you, but not the same grandparents.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Cousins
Your third cousins have the same great-great-grandparents, fourth cousins have the same great-great-great-grandparents, and so on.

Removed
When the word "removed" is used to describe a relationship, it indicates that the two people are from different generations. You and your first cousins are in the same generation (two generations younger than your grandparents), so the word "removed" is not used to describe your relationship.

The words "once removed" mean that there is a difference of one generation. For example, your mother's first cousin is your first cousin, once removed. This is because your mother's first cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents. This one-generation difference equals "once removed."

Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference. You are two generations younger than a first cousin of your grandmother, so you and your grandmother's first cousin are first cousins, twice removed.

Most if not all family tree programs allow you to test relationships and determine how people are related.

Below is a relationship chart which should make the task of determing relatedness easier:

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 Common Ancestor Son or Daughter Grandchild Great Grandchild 2nd Great Grandchild 3rd Great Grandchild 4th Great Grandchild 5th Great Grandchild 6th Great Grandchild 7th Great Grandchild
2 Son or Daughter Brother or Sister

Niece or
Nephew

Grand Niece
or Nephew  

Great Grand  Niece or Nephew

2nd Great Grand Niece or Nephew

3rd Great Grand Niece or Nephew

4th Great Grand Niece or Nephew

5th Great Grand Niece or Nephew

6th Great Grand Niece or Nephew

3 Grandchild

Niece or Nephew

First Cousin First Cousin Once Removed First Cousin Twice Removed First Cousin Three Times Removed First Cousin Four Times Removed First Cousin Five Times Removed First Cousin Six Times Removed First Cousin Seven Times Removed
4 Great Grandchild

Grand Niece or Nephew

First Cousin Once Removed Second Cousin Second Cousin Once Removed Second Cousin Twice Removed Second Cousin Three Times Removed Second Cousin Four Times Removed Second Cousin Five Times Removed Second Cousin Six Times Removed
5 2nd Great Grandchild

Great Grand Niece or Nephew

First Cousin Twice Removed Second Cousin Once Removed Third Cousin Third Cousin Once Removed Third Cousin Twice Removed Third Cousin Three Times Removed Third Cousin Four Times Removed Second Cousin Five Times Removed
6 3rd Great Grandchild

2nd Great Grand Niece or Nephew

First Cousin Three Times Removed Second Cousin Twice Removed Third Cousin Once Removed Fourth Cousin Fourth Cousin Once Removed Fourth Cousin Twice Removed Fourth Cousin Three Times Removed Fourth Cousin Four Times Removed
7 4th Great Grandchild

3rd Great Grand Niece or Nephew

First Cousin Four Times Removed Second Cousin Three Times Removed Third Cousin Twice Removed Fourth Cousin Once Removed Fifth Cousin Fifth Cousin Once Removed Fifth Cousin Twice Removed Fifth Cousin Three Times Removed
8 5th Great Grandchild

4th Great Grand Niece or Nephew

First Cousin Five Times Removed Second Cousin Four Times Removed Third Cousin Three Times Removed Fourth Cousin Twice Removed Fifth Cousin Once Removed Sixth Cousin Sixth Cousin Once Removed Sixth Cousin Twice Removed
9 6th Great Grandchild

5th Great Grand Niece or Nephew

First Cousin Six Times Removed Second Cousin Five Times Removed Third Cousin Four Times Removed Fourth Cousin Three Times Removed Fifth Cousin Twice Removed Sixth Cousin Once Removed Seventh Cousin Seventh Cousin Once Removed
10 7th Great Grandchild

6th Great Grand Niece or Nephew

First Cousin Seven Times Removed Second Cousin Six Times Removed Third Cousin Five Times Removed Fourth Cousin Four Times Removed Fifth Cousin Three Times Removed Sixth Cousin Twice Removed Seventh Cousin Once Removed Eighth Cousin

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