Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

C: Consanguinity, Your Word for the Day

vocabOkay, boys and girls, here is your vocab word for the day:


Kinship characterized by the sharing of common ancestors

I learned this fancy word in law school.  It is important in estate law to determine inheritances. You need to know how folks are related and who is “closest” to  a dearly-departed.  For example, it is critical when you have to ferret among the clamoring long-lost relatives who want to claim pots of gold left by childless, eccentric old aunts who died among dozens of cats and such.

Yes, yes, I learned all this esoterica in law school…haven’t used it since. 

I had occasion to reacquaint with a cousin yesterday.  K is the child of my father's cousin, which made her What??? to me?  Consanguineous, to be sure, but how else to describe our familial relationship?

Being the smarty-pants lawyer that I am, I knew about and, therefore, consulted the "Tables of Consanguinity."  There is one below for your viewing pleasure (feel free to whip it out at Thanksgiving for figuring out who’s who in your own family):


After furrowing my brow over this table for a while and, not being an estate lawyer, nimble in the ways of kinship, I gave up and googled the question:  "What is my father's cousin to me???" 

And there discovered that my father's cousin is my first cousin once removed. Therefore, my father's cousin'confuseds child (K!) would be my second cousin. (Oh, lawzy!  I won’t even get into the “removed cousin” thing…).

K is "long, lost"  in the sense that we have not seen each other in, literally, years.  This is unfortunate and amazing since I like K so very much.  Our fathers were close, important to each other; and it seems we could make a better effort at being the same.  We are, by google-map, only 16 miles apart.

Why do we lose contact?  I don't know.  Chalk it up to time, as in never enough.   But it felt good to reconnect for the hour or so we were together. K brought up a shared childhood memory that I had often thought about and questioned whether my young mind had fabricated…but, no, K was there, too, and had found the experience as significant as I did.  I had not remembered that she was there, but I am grateful for the independent witness this provided to my memory.

dnaI discovered that there must be some strong strains in the old DNA.  K, like me, is “crafter,” although I suspect she probably actually finishes projects, unlike yours truly.  And, like me, she loves words.  She is a blogger, too.  Go visit her at thepolkadotskirt.net. 

So, there is, truly, a kinship.

Being with K felt like going home in some way.  Hopefully we can keep it up.  C.

PS – probably something K and I WON’T be sharing is some pot o’ gold from a long-lost relative…the luck factor has never been that strong in our family lines!


Vee said...

Presuming that you are the child of your father and she is the child of hers and that those fathers are first cousins then you are second cousins. Her father is a first cousin once removed to you and your father is a first cousin once removed to her. Further, your child and her child are third cousins to each other. Her child is a second cousin once removed to you and so forth. I like your new word and did not know it before. I also like your second cousin's blog. She's a good writer like you or vice versa as the case may be. Hope you find ways to connect more often! (So cool to find you here again! )

mama .bonnie said...

Hum, your post made me think about a friend of mine that swears we are related because her adopted mom is an aunt to my brother's wife. I keep trying to tell her that she's only related to the brother by marriage but not me. She still swears that we are. When I ask her to come up with a family term that describes it, she can't. I just snicker and think that this is the south where everyone thinks they are related to everyone else some way or another ;o)

Laurie Ritchey said...

I work in the legal field, but I was not familiar with that word. Very interesting. How great that you reconnected with a relative. My family was so small, there is nobody left to reconnect with. laurie

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