Relations to distant cousins

(Inspired by the latest GQ thread about n[sup]th[/sup] cousins and removed cousins.) What is the most distant cousin you have a family relationship with? By “family relationship,” I mean the reason you know them is through ordinary family life rather than meeting up through a genealogy site or discovering that your co-worker / neighbour / spouse is actually related to you only after you’ve met. In other words, they (or their parents / grandparents) had to be on your radar as “family” from childhood.

I’ve always been close to a second cousin once removed (I’m the removed one); he’s more like an uncle. I’m also friends with his niece, so my third cousin, and I know other third cousins on that side (descendants of my father’s mother’s father’s parents). I know the names of some of their kids, but since we haven’t met I won’t count the third-cousins-once-removed.

For me it would some third cousins (i.e. we have two of the same great-great-grandparents). Our grandparents were first cousins and we just always remained in contact. It’s not a close relationship, but we do know each other and talk when we see each other and that sort of thing. My siblings invited them to their weddings, and when my brother moved to a part of the state very close to where one of them lives it buttressed the continued relationship. (Big age difference- we’re in our 40s/early 50s and they’re in their 70s/80s.)

This family is the exception rather than the rule of course; 99.9% of my third cousins I wouldn’t recognize if they were naked on my front lawn eating bananas.

If I remember the exact relationship correctly, 4th cousins. We were friends growing up, but haven’t seen each other for a while now.

I have one of my second cousins friended on Facebook. Does that count?

My mom’s family is enormous, spread out, and my own nuclear family lives far from any of them, so I didn’t really get to know most of them (this includes my first cousins) all that well. At family reunions, there would be so many people I mostly couldn’t keep them straight.

Everyone in my dad’s family hates each other so I’ve never met any of my extended family on that side. I have an eleven-year-old (?) first cousin whom I’ve only met once, when he was a tiny baby. Forget more distant relatives.

All of my dad’s cousins, and a few of their cousins.

A few second cousins once removed. Third cousins to my own kids. I have always been in contact with their grandmother, my mom’s first cousin, who I have seen sporadically and been in closer email-type contact over the last 25 years. I have been in more distant contact with their dad, my second cousin, but have seen him at a couple of family functions in the last few years and we have gotten into closer contact. When one of the kids moved to this area–well, 2.5 hours away–my second cousin said, You know, you really ought to get in touch with Ulf. He did, and he’s great, and so is his sister, who we’ve now met as well, and he and my son have become quite well connected. --What’s funny is that this young cousin looks enough like my son that people who know Son reasonably well have actually mistaken Cousin for Son. Funky!

I have spoken to a couple of even more distant cousins, but that’s got to do with genealogical research. Usually theirs.

I’m friends with one of my second cousins.

I’ve never knowingly even met any of my third cousins.

Let’s see. I grew up with two of my fourth cousins down the street and one of them is now a FB friend. I have a pretty close relationship with two second cousins once removed and two second cousins twice removed (the children of one of the former). I’ve played music over the years with second cousins in bar bands and have a number of other second cousins whose company I enjoy.

When I was in college in New Hampshire I met two elderly ladies who came back east to visit from California for the first time in 50 or 60 years. I’d have to look it up to remind myself of the exact relationship, but I think they were second cousins twice removed. I think they’re both deceased now. Among living relatives, I have a second cousin I see once every few years.

I’m not sure of the exact relationship, but I’ve hung out with my Dad’s cousins (one of which has a son about my son’s age so the family get together things they stick with each other as usually the youngest in the crowd). There’s also my Grandma’s cousin who would come over to play cards (haven’t seen her in awhile now that I moved away but a very nice lady). Mom’s side I mostly know vaguely from remembered family visits but if I walked past them on the street today I wouldn’t know them since it’s been years (we’d go to their farm and play around the fields… Mom’s cousin’s children…).

Pretty sure I have one of my Dad’s cousin’s wife on Facebook as a friend.

Mobility of one’s society will make a big difference.

In the villages of rural Thailand, barely known or unknown cousin relationships are common. This is exacerbated by a sort of “village pairing”: My wife’s parents come from villages 20 miles distant from each other, and many other marriages involved the same two villages even though there are dozens of other villages in between.

We had an “unrelated” acquaintance, but when she and my father-in-law attended the same funeral I asked questions. It turned out she was my wife’s 3rd cousin. (When I pointed this out I did not get a “Isn’t genealogy fun!” reaction, but rather a smirked “We call that ‘unrelated’” :smiley: )

The furthest ones are the grandchildren of second-cousins of my paternal grandmother. I’m not sure what’s that called in English. I happened to have one of the previous generation’s “uncles” as a classmate, but we knew each other previously through family shindings.

I once shared a cab with a woman who turned out to be a cousin of my maternal grandmother’s (that great-grandfather stopped talking with his family shortly after his marriage, as they didn’t approve of his behavior).

I’m close to several of my second cousins, and have been to family events (weddings, etc.) with some of their children, which would be second cousins once removed.

Hmm, my sister’s daughter has been to those events as well, and they are even closer to my second cousin’s kids, because they’re around the same age. So if this question was asked of her, she could answer that she’s close to some of her third cousins!

I did not have relations with any of my cousins.

I know lots of my second cousins well, and have at least met most of their kids.There was one second cousin once removed or third cousin ( I’m not sure which) who I knew when I was a kid , but I think they moved and we lost touch.

Interesting replies! For me, in my generation, as an adult I am in regular contact with one sibling-set of first (step-)cousins. Three other sets of biologically related first cousins I have no contact with, and the last I am in vague facebook touch, that’s all.

For second cousins, the numbers explode—my parents have over 70 first cousins between them, and most of them bred. But I’m not in regular contact with any of them.

For third cousins, I’m in contact with two sets—one set of families in Australia that I’m close to, and one in Italy that are more sporadically in touch.

Fourth cousins would be impossible to trace through regular family channels. Basically, except for the Italians, none of my ancestors maintained contact after moving long distances, and for the last four generations everybody has moved hundreds or thousands of miles.

My first cousins would be the extent of it. The only times I’ve met anyone beyond that were at funerals.

I might recognize my father’s half-sister’s children if they were eating bananas on my lawn, more easily if they were doing so as a group. I have not met any of my other paternal cousins.
On the maternal side, I met many of mom’s cousins as a child, but would not know them even if they were eating bananas on my lawn whilst wearing name-tags.
I feel bad about this sometimes, but don’t have the energy or inclination to change the situation.

I should point out, perhaps, that the reason I am so close to one particular set of second cousins is that their father and my father, who are cousins, have been extremely close all their lives. Their relationship has been more like one of brothers than cousins. In many periods of their lives, including their childhoods, they lived close to each other and saw each other frequently.

So as a result, we, their children relate to their children as if they were first cousins rather than as the second cousins they really are.

My mom’s cousin owns a restaurant, where my cousin started working (without revealing his relationship) and soon after, me and my other cousins started working there part time when we were teens.

So, my cousins and I are quite close with our moms’ cousins, and in turn their moms who are I guess our great aunts.

I can’t say I know anyone else with any familiarity.