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MyCousins helps you find and collaborate with your living relatives.

This is new. See our announcement in G2G. -- Chris Whitten 15:32, 21 October 2021 (UTC)


Why Use My Cousins?

MyCousins is designed to help you connect with relatives, especially those who might be interested in collaborating with you on genealogy.

Genetic genealogists who want to confirm their family tree with DNA may find it helpful as a way to identify living descendants of an ancestor, including those who have taken DNA tests.

Sorting Cousins

By default, your closest cousins appear at the top. This is the Distance column. See the "Who Is Included?" section below for what these numbers mean.

Sorting only works for cousins with common ancestors. Cousins through marriage cannot be resorted.

WikiTree Activity column

You can sort by level of WikiTree Activity: the number of WikiTree contributions your cousin has made. Click the "WikiTree Activity" column header.

If you see "add email" in this column it means that your cousin is not active on WikiTree but you are on their Trusted List and therefore you can add an email address to their edit page. You'll be able to add personal comments to the invitation they receive, but you might also want to email them separately. Sometimes our invitations will get caught in spam filters.

If the cousin doesn't want a WikiTree account they can still see public profiles. For example, you could email them a link to your common ancestor's profile by hovering over the WikiTree ID in the Common Ancestor column and then clicking the "URL" link that appears in the Profile Preview.

If you see "reinvite" in this column it means that their profile has an email address but they have not created a password. It's possible that our invitation was caught in a spam filter. You may wish to email them directly and ask if they want to register so they can see private family profiles and photos. If so, "reinvite" will send them a new invitation.

If you see "contact manager" it means you are not on their Trusted List. If you know the cousin's email address, you might want to email both the cousin and the profile manager, since only the profile manager can add the cousin's email address to their profile. If the cousin joins WikiTree directly they will create a duplicate, unconnected profile.

If you see "0 edits" in the activity column it means that the cousin has an email address and password but has never been active. If they joined a long time ago, you might want to suggest that they create a new temporary password with the link they will see on If they joined with an old email address and no longer have access to that account, you will need to change their email address on their profile or ask the WikiTree Team to do it (

Common Ancestor column

You can also sort by Common Ancestor by clicking the header of the third column.

This is the first shared grandparent we found. That grandparent's spouse may also be your common ancestor.

Genetic genealogists call this the "MRCA" (Most Recent Common Ancestor or ancestral couple).

Who is Included?

MyCousins only includes living people (or people that our system "thinks" are living; see the "Non-Living Cousins Who Appear" section below if you see cousins who have passed away).

See your exact relationship

In the Distance column before your cousin's name you will see a Relationship Finder icon. Clicking this icon relationship.gif will name your relationship and show you how you are related.

Lower limits

It skips your closest relatives — parents, grandparents, spouses, children, grandchildren, siblings, aunts and uncles, mothers-in-law and fathers-in-law, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law — because you probably know whether or not they are living and active on WikiTree. (If you prefer a more comprehensive family view, click to MyConnections or FamilyList.)

It starts with what we call fourth degree connections or four degrees of separation.

First cousins are four degrees away from you in this sense:

  1. one generation up from you to your parents,
  2. a second generation up from your parents to your grandparents,
  3. a third generation down from your grandparents to your aunt or uncle,
  4. a fourth generation down from your aunt or uncle to your first cousin.

If you have living great aunts or uncles, or grand nieces or nephews, they will appear on your report because they are the same number of degrees away from you as first cousins.

Your report may also include cousins through marriage. These relatives do not share close common ancestors. Your connections to them go through one or more marriages.

Technically, these connections are counted differently. We count steps horizontally instead of just vertically through parents and children. Not only do we count steps through marriage, we count steps across to a sibling as one step. Therefore, four degrees of separation might look like this:

  1. one step across from you to your spouse,
  2. a second step up from your spouse to your mother-in-law or father-in-law,
  3. a third step across from your mother-in-law or father-in-law to your spouse's aunt or uncle,
  4. a fourth step down from your spouse's aunt or uncle to your spouse's first cousin.

Upper limits

You may see some very distant cousins on your page. There is no set distance at which we stop displaying cousins who are active members of WikiTree.

Technically, we start by gathering up to 1,000 of your closest living connections through common ancestors and up to an additional 200 who are connected through marriage. But we then limit the display of more distant connections on these lists by privacy.

Privacy limits

We are able to include any cousin who either:

  1. has you on their profile's Trusted List, or
  2. has a public family tree.

We also include Private ("red") or Unlisted ("black") close cousins even if you are not on their Trusted List. These cousins have private family trees so in most contexts our privacy controls prohibit us from showing their relationships. However, since they are four or more degrees away from you, you will not be able to see your exact relationship. The Relationship Finder will not work for them and their parents will not be revealed.

We include them because you may be able to infer their identity through personal knowledge or offline family communication.

We only include private cousins if they are especially close to you:

  1. Six degrees through common ancestors (approximately second cousins).
  2. Four degrees through marriage (approximately first cousins through marriage).

Living Cousins Who Don't Appear

Are living cousins missing from your list? There could be two explanations:

  1. Nobody has created a profile for them. Add them as a child of your aunt or uncle, etc.
  2. They have a profile but it's Private or Unlisted and you're not on their Trusted List. These may appear as "Private [Surname]" items on your list. If you suspect this is a cousin you know, you will need to reach out to them using other means and ask to be added to their Trusted List.

Non-Living Cousins Who Appear

If a cousin has passed away but is appearing on your list, it is because our system "thinks" they are living.

If the cousin was not an active member with a password of their own and you are on their profile's Trusted List you can correct this by adding a death date or location to their profile. If you are not on their profile's Trusted List, you will need to contact their profile manager and ask them to do this.

If the cousin was a WikiTree member, the WikiTree Team will need to close their account. Please see Help:Death of a Member.

This page was last modified 09:56, 2 February 2022. This page has been accessed 3,018 times.