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Since You Asked

I'm a 16-year-old girl who has a question. If your cousin has a baby, will that baby be considered your cousin also or a niece or nephew or something else?

— Kayla G., Medford

The little bundle of joy that your cousin is welcoming to the family actually will be your first cousin, once removed, according to the familial relationship experts at genealogy.com, an online resource for people exploring family histories.

Tacking the words "once removed" onto the basic relationship of cousin indicates that the new baby is one generation younger than you.

The Web site actually has a handy chart, called a "relation-ship chart," to track all these extended family connections based on two people's relation to a common ancestor. Using it, you could learn that your grandma's favorite cousin is your first cousin, twice removed, because you are separated from that person by two generations. Your children will be second cousins to your cousin's kids because they will be the same generation, but an additional generation removed from their common connection — your grandparents.

Even genealogists note that this all seems much too confusing at holidays and family reunions, so in common practice, all these people will probably just call one another cousins. That is, if they are still speaking to one another after the really complicated parts of family relationships — holidays and family reunions.