I'm not sure is this is the right SE to ask but I'll ask non the less.

I'm trying to define a family relationship. I think the person is my step step first cousin once removed.

My my Grand-Father is his Step-Great-Grand-Father. My Mother and his Step-Grand-Father are Step-Brother/Sister.

This is also by marriage, not by blood line so is there another term for that?

[] = Male

() = Female

[F] = My Step-Uncle

[H] = His Step-Father

[H] + (I) = Currently married

[J] + (I) = J, divorced or passed away

       |         |
[D]-+-(E)       [F]-+-(G)
    |               |
  [ME]             [H]-+-(I)-+-[J]
  • This is probably off-topic here, but Genealogy SE isn't into beta yet (although you could ask there): area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/2553/genealogy
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 7:13
  • I agree that he is your step step first cousin. Since his father is your step cousin although I don't know if you can use step two times so maybe he is your step first cousin.
    – speedyGonzales
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 7:54
  • 4
    In the UK, more than one "step" would be considered at least odd and probably overly pedantic; and indeed it's not generally used outside immediate family (you might get to step-grandmother). Adding "once removed" is also an unusual level of precision. I would say that [Him] is the first cousin once removed of [I] and add a single "step" if necessary. But for a canonical response you would do better to ask a genealogist -- and maybe one in Hawaii (or your current location), since usage could be regional.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jun 18, 2012 at 8:50

3 Answers 3


I like things simple.

He ("[Him]") is your cousin's step son.

Perhaps equally understandable and a bit more precise, "He ("[Him]") is your first cousin's step son."

P.S. On the plus side, others will actually understand this/these explanation(s).

  • 2
    A beautiful answer. Why introduce unnecessary complexity.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 10:21

This is really genealogy, not English, but since family terms are specific to languages I think it's ok here.

There is no accepted term that would be readily accepted throughout the English-speaking world or by genealogists for this relationship, alas. Yours is not a consanguine, or "blood" relationship. If you were blood related with the equivalent relations, you'd be "first cousins once removed." Since there are two marriages involved twice, I can see why you're tempted to use "step step" but that's a bit ambiguous and could be confusing,

I'd recommend "first cousins once removed, by marriage" and then be prepared to explain.

In everyday use, just "cousin" would be fine and not incorrect, at least in the US.

(In genealogy we'd use standard numbering schemes so as to be clear.)


As described in https://genealogy.stackexchange.com/a/219/70, in order to share a "cousin" relationship, two people must have a common ancestor.

The chart you provided shows that this is not the case for {Me, Him}, so in genealogical terms there is no relationship by descent.

In matters of inheritance a court might need to rule on a legal relationship equivalent to a blood relationship. In which case "first cousins once removed" would be the probable decision.

For most purposes of everyday conversation, you could confidently say "cousins by marriage" using the ordinary, non-technical sense of the term.

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