I recently came into contact with a couple of Tony's 'cousins' through Ancestry.com. I say 'cousins' because they are not his plain-old first cousins as I was discussing above. I learned early on in my family tree research that figuring out the difference between first cousins, second cousins, removed cousins, etc. is tough! So, one 'cousin' with whom I exchanged emails is actually first cousins with Tony's DAD, so that means he is Tony's first cousin once removed, because one generation separates them. The other cousin is actually a first cousin of Tony's GRANDMOTHER, so she is Tony's first cousin twice removed because two generations separate them. Confused yet? Yeah, I thought so.
What about second cousins? Second cousins share the same great-grandparents, but not the same grandparents. So, for example, my mom has a first cousin named Ginger. Ginger is my first cousin once removed. Ginger's children, Tom and Steven, are my second cousins. Adele and Louis Licciardi were their great-grandparents AND my great-grandparents. Similarly, third cousins have common great-great-grandparents, and so on.
Because I am a very visual person, I found this chart helpful to understanding these relationships. (From Genealogy.com)
©2012, copyright Emily Kowalski Schroeder