The Legal Genealogist is swooning.
Head over heels over a male of the species.
And he’s not even tall, dark and handsome.
He’s short, sandy blond and adorable.
He’ll be a year old tomorrow, and he’s my brother’s first grandchild.
His name is Jack.
And I am not taking time from meeting Jack to write a blog post.
There, I had described the late George Thomas Cherryhomes of Young County, Texas, as a shirt-tail cousin of mine, and Joe hadn’t come across that reference before.
Now don’t go reaching for Black’s Law Dictionary here, okay? This isn’t a legal term, but a plain ordinary term you’ll find in plain ordinary dictionaries.
And I love the way Rhonda McClure explained it in What Makes a Cousin? in 2001:
Often I have received questions asking how a person is related to the sister of their husband’s brother-in-law and other obscure relationships. The answer is there is no relationship. When a marriage is the only connection between two individuals, then there is no cousinship in the true sense of the word. The most you can claim with this person is a shirt tail cousin. The cousinship is riding on the shirt tails of someone.4
Shirt-tail relatives. A term that definitely does NOT include my great nephew Jack. To whom I am returning. Immediately.
- Judy G. Russell, “Reprise: duty came first,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 21 Feb 2015 (http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 23 Feb 2015). ↩
- Collins Online Dictionary (http://www.collinsdictionary.com : accessed 23 Feb 2015), “shirt-tail cousin.” ↩
- Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (http://www.m-w.com : accessed 23 Feb 2015), “shirttail.” ↩
- Rhonda McClure, “Twigs & Trees with Rhonda: What Makes a Cousin?,” Genealogy.com, posted 25 Oct 2001 (http://www.genealogy.com/ : accessed 23 Feb 2015). ↩