What’s a Step Cousin?

If a person’s aunt or uncle marries someone who already has children from a previous relationship, those children are their step cousins. Even though the term “step cousin” is not a legal relationship, it is a convenient way to talk about this kind of cousin.

Some people find the term “step cousin” too far away or confusing, which is why, in some families, extended relatives who are not siblings or first cousins are often called “cousins.” Also, when doing genealogy research, some people call close friends of the family aunts, uncles, and cousins, even though they don’t have any blood ties.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.

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