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It’s All Relative

It’s All Relative

July 20, 2022

It seems there is a “national day” for almost anything you can think of. Pancake Day? March 1. National Curly Hair Day? May 2. National Left Handers Day? August 13. National Genealogy Day? March 12, or the first Saturday of the first full week of March. Moro Blood Orange Day? Yep. Wait, no! Apparently, there’s not a national day for everything yet. There is a National Cousins Day, however, which falls on July 24 every year.  

If you’re like me, the terms we use for kinship are a bit loose. For example, I lovingly referred to two people as my aunt and uncle for roughly eight years before I realized neither one of them actually were my aunt or uncle (by blood or marriage). Though they were not technically blood relatives, I aspire to be half as good of an aunt to my nieces and nephews as they were to me. Family is often what we create it to be, but as researchers trying to find our roots, we have to stick with some sort of uniformity in familial titles. I’ve got a good grasp on what aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters are. When we get around to anything other than first cousins, however, I definitely need a chart or some kind of guide to follow.

Don’t be afraid; there is help out there for you and me! MGC has a free Extended Family Chart that you can download and print off, or you can pick one up in our building. We also have some books available to help you figure out how to list relatives: Family First: Tracing Relationships in the Past by Ruth A. Symes or Kinship Book: It’s All relative by Jackie Smith Arnold are just a couple examples.   

Oh, and in case you were wondering about other national “relative” days, here’s my short list:

  • Sister’s Day is the first Sunday in August
  • Brother’s Day: May 24
  • Siblings Day: April 10
  • Twin Day: December 18
  • Grandparents’ Day: the Sunday following Labor Day
  • Mother’s Day: the second Sunday in May
  • Father’s Day: the third Sunday in June
  • Youngest Siblings Day (pending)
  • Shari’s Day (pending)

Just remember that when your head starts spinning as you’re trying to decipher if an ancestor was your fourth cousin thrice removed or your third cousin twice removed, you don’t have to go it alone. MGC has the tools and charts to help keep you moving forward with your research.

Shari G.
Midwest Genealogy Center

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