How Many Cousins Do You Have?

Next weekend, my cousin Jessica is getting married in Nashville. Two years ago, my cousin Jen got married in Rhode Island. Next year, another cousin (don’t know if it’s OK to announce which) is getting married in San Diego. Last Friday, we went to my cousin’s birthday party in Vacaville. All of this lead me to ask myself, “How many cousins do I have?”

My mom is one of six. There are 3+3+2+2+2+4=16 grandchildren. Yes, sixteen grandchildren. I have 14 first cousins on my mom’s side. All of the cousins who are older than I am, plus myself and my sister, are married. When I talk about my cousins’ spouses, I generally just say “my cousin” – so, instead of “my cousin Kristen’s husband Adam” I’ll say “my cousin Adam.” So, that’s five more first cousins, as far as I’m concerned. We might as well add the two fiance(e)s, to make seven. That’s 21. All of my married cousins, plus myself and my sister, have children. There are 2+1+2+1+2+3+2+2=15 great-grandchildren (Cassie being the youngest).* I have 11 second cousins. This is all just on my mom’s side.

My dad is one of six, but his older brother died in a car accident at age four. Of the remaining five children, there are 4+1+2+2**=9 grandchildren. (My Uncle Steve never married, so presumably has no children.) I have seven first cousins. All of the cousins are married. That adds seven more cousins. Here’s where it gets confusing, though. One of my aunts is schizophrenic. She’s in and out of family life. Her two sons are married, and I know one of them has at least two kids. There are 1+2+3+3+3+2+2+2(?)+? = 18? great-grandchildren. That means I have 16? second cousins. So far, none of them are married, though I have my suspicions about a couple of them. My sister and I are the youngest of the cousins, by more than a decade, so we’re very much in between.

I have 21 first cousins, 14 first cousins’ spouses, and at least 27 second cousins.

I’m very fortunate that my mom’s side of the family is very close. Some of my dad’s family is close. All of this figuring has made me want to get back into genealogy again. When I got my Mac, there weren’t a lot of options for family tree software. Consequently, I haven’t touched the family tree since my nephew Cyrus was born in 2008. He was the last one added.

I need to add that Max’s cousin Marie is getting married this weekend in Maryland. I wish we could have attended. I would really, really like to be closer to Max’s family. Marie in particular seems to be a great person, and I’d like to get to know her better. I hope she has a fabulous wedding!


* This doesn’t include my two cousins’ step-children. For reasons unclear to me, my grandmother doesn’t count them, so I don’t. I don’t even know how many there are.

** My dad’s schizophrenic sister apparently had a child whom she placed for adoption in the 1970s.

2 thoughts on “How Many Cousins Do You Have?

  1. This is an interesting post to me….. I don’t know how many cousins I have. In my adoptive family I have 8. In my biological family- ha. I have at least 30 if not more. My biological mother comes from a mother who had 13 children and relinquished nine of them. My biological father comes from a family of ten. I have been in the process this year of meeting my biological family- aunts uncles and cousins and just met a new cousin last night. While he was not adopted and was raised by his father( who was adopted on my maternal biological side) he was so excited to find out about me and is hopeful at building a relationship! He sent me some pictures and I think my son looks a little like him- he is going to look for pictures of himself as a child.
    Cousins- 🙂 I have many!

    • Oh wow! That’s a lot of family too! Congratulations!

      We know my son has cousins on his birthmother’s side (3 so far), but we don’t know about his birthfather’s side. I don’t know that much about my daughter’s extended bio family – yet. I hope we learn more.

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