D is for Double Cousins

Continuing the Family History Through the Alphabet series…D is for Double Cousins! The term “double cousin” applies when cousins share ancestry through more than one line. For example, if siblings from one family marry siblings in another family, the couples’ children are first cousins through both their father’s side and their mother’s side; hence: double cousins! Double first cousins share both sets of grandparents whereas “regular” first cousins share one set.

Elizabeth and Stanley Zawodny

So far I’ve only found one instance of double cousins in my own family. My grandmother, Mae Zawodny Pater, had a brother and a sister that married siblings in the Tiernan family. Helen Zawodny (1905-1977) was the daughter of Joseph and Laura Zawodny.  Helen married John Tiernan (1901-1960), the son of Thomas and Sarah Tiernan, in 1923.

In 1930, Helen’s younger brother, Stanley (1909-1980), was living with Helen and John. In 1934, Stanley married John’s younger sister, Elizabeth (1911-1999). Therefore, the children of Helen & John and Stanley & Elizabeth are double cousins. Stanley and Elizabeth had three children (after the surname changed from Zawodny to Zowney) – all are still living today so I won’t name them for privacy reasons. Helen and John only had one child, Thomas, but unfortunately he died as a young child. Therefore the double cousin relationship in my family only existed briefly.

How many double cousins are in your family tree?

 [Written for the weekly Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge] 

7 thoughts on “D is for Double Cousins

  1. Very clever use of the “D”! I have one set of double cousins going back to my great grandfather and grandmother. G-grandpa Mathias Meier married Elizabeth Hauser. Elizabeth’s brother Anton married Mathias’ sister Mary.

  2. Pingback: Family History Through the Alphabet – D is for … | Genealogy & History News

  3. Good Post. I like the lateral thinking for your “D” topic. I have three sets of “double” cousins and now have a way of describing them. Thank you.

  4. Very good post! My husband is a “Double Cousin” to his cousin – both of them the result of two sisters who married two brothers from another family who happened to move near to where my husband’s mother lived. I thought it was such a neat happening –

  5. I have a couple of sets of those too. One where two brothers married two sisters and the other where a brother and sister married a sister and brother. I also have a slightly complex relationship to define where my Mam’s cousin married my Dad’s cousin’s daughter.

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