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Question: What is the difference between a "descendant" and a "direct descendant"!?
Would both or either be synonymous with "distant cousin!?"Www@QuestionHome@Com

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:
Descendant is a generalized term used to refer to any descending generation or relationship like child, grandchild, niece, nephew, and possibly adoptive or step could be included!. A direct descendant assumes there is a direct parental blood connection to the descendant such as child or child of a child!.

Technically it is not synonymous with distant cousin!. Cousin implies there is a common grandparent at some level somewhere in the line!. A distant cousin would be a (2nd, 3rd, 4th!.!.!.!.) or a "removed"!. In terms of common vernacular however, a person might use distant cousin when they really mean there's some form of family relationship that they aren't quite clear on (it could turn out to be an aunt/uncle relationship)!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

I don't think there is a distiction!. We use "Drrect ancestors" to mean mother, father, grandparents, great grandparents, etc!. - the people who would appear on a pedigree chart!. "Ancestors" usually means aunts and uncles, great aunts and uncles, etc, as in "12 of my ancestors fought for the North, and 16 for the South"!. Depending on who is talking and what about, "Ancestors" can include great aunts and uncles by marriage, too!.

Going the other way, descendants usually means children, grandchildren, and so on!. Your aunts and uncles (great, great-great) are siblings of your parents, and no direct relation to you!. Someone's children's siblings, grandchildren's siblings, etc!. ARE direct descendants of him/her, however, so the distinction is meaningless!.

"Distant Cousin" can be 2nd, 3rd, 4th; again it depends on who is talking and about what!. It usually means a cousin whose exact relation you don't know, or anyone past "Nth", where "N" is the degree you do know!.

So, if you knew all of your second cousins, 3rd and greater would be distant!. If you only knew your first cousins, 2nd and greater would be distant!. "Distant Cousins" isn't exactly synonymous with "descendants"!.

You have 16 3rd great grandfathers!. You may not know who they all are, and there may be only 14 because someone married a cousin, but let us assume 16, and pick one of them, Don Brakes!. He has a couple of hundred descendants!. One of them is you!. Three more are your brothers and sisters!. Another dozen are your first cousins!. Another 20 - 120 or so are your second cousins, and so on!.

People with a common 3rd great grandparent (and no closer relation) are 4th cousins!. Unless you live in a small town or do genealogy, chances are you don't know many of your 4th cousins!. They would be distant cousins to you!. Your brothers and sisters, we hope, are close friends; when you were in high school you borrowed their sweaters and went on double dates!. Still, both those 4th cousins who live in another state and your siblings are both descendants of good old GGG GF Don!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

Direct Descendants indicate you are a descendant of your grandparents, your great grandparents, your great great grandparents!.

However, you are a linear descendant of your many times great uncles!.Www@QuestionHome@Com

descendant and direct descendant are the same thing the only diffrence is the added word--some people use 'direct descendant' when they want to sound important!.Www@QuestionHome@Com