Kinsearching June 24, 2012




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     As genealogists research the various branches of their family tree, they begin to realize there are degrees of relationships. For example, you may discover that you have a granduncle, a great-grandaunt, cousins “once removed,” and double first cousins. These words signify their connection to you. But what do the terms mean? Clear and practical explanations can be found in the expanded second edition of KINSHIP: IT’S ALL RELATIVE by Jackie Smith Arnold.

     Covering the gamut of the various types of kinship, Arnold discusses such topics as marriage (ceremonial, common-law, and proxy, for example), live-ins, types of families (patriarchal, matriarchal, step, extended, nuclear, orientation, procreation, and affinity, for instance), ascents and descents (lineal and collateral), children (illegitimate, adopted, foundling, orphan, foster, and individuals conceived through in vitro fertilization or surrogacy), names (legal changes and surnames of women and children), wills and inheritance rights, health and genetic inheritance, and family history. She also mentions the development and growth of horizontal (also called parallel) genealogy where studies of overlapping lineages show ties between famous people as well as connection of all people to the family of man in general.

     Keeping up with the times, a unique new chapter in this edition focuses on the role of same-sex marriage and its impact on family history and genealogy. Demonstrating how the culture and concept of the modern family are changing, the author places same-sex marriage in the context of history, law, and religion. In addition, she provides a state-by-state breakdown of the laws currently pertaining to the subject. She points out, however, that laws are constantly evolving and may be different in the near future.

     Written in an easy-to-read manner, Arnold’s book is packed with interesting information. Scattered throughout the text are charts that help to illustrate various familial connections. Genealogists who read KINSHIP: IT’S ALL RELATIVE will have a better understanding of the tangled web that family ties often create. The publication will be a handy reference in any genealogical library.

     The 144-page publication has soft covers, an introduction, a glossary, charts, a bibliography and reference list, and an index. To the book's price of $14.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order 178) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Most genealogists were naturally excited about the release for public use of the 1940 federal census on 1 April 2012. Since it was taken during the Great Depression, the population schedule furnishes valuable data on the economy impact on families. An interesting article, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? The 1940 Census Employment and Income” by Diane Petro, appears on pages 54-61 of the Spring 2012 (Vol. 44, No. 1) issue of Prologue, the quarterly publication of the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC. The author describes in detail the circumstances concerning columns 21-33 of the schedule. She also explains the sampling technique for supplemental questions pertaining to columns 45-47.

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