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Don't ignore the Grands, please.

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Don't ignore the Grands, please.

Postby WIlma Fred » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:10 pm

During many episodes I've heard what should be Grandaunts or Uncles referred to as "Greataunt" or Uncle by the show's staff. We've got folks calling the siblings of their Grandparents "Great" and they're even including it on charts. Doesn't the show feel a responsibility to represent relationships correctly? Even at Ancestry.com, my grand aunts are identified as a "Greataunt" in my tree. That's all kinds of wrong.
How can your sibling's grandchild be a "Grandniece or Nephew", yet your own grandparent's sibling a "Greataunt or Uncle"? It's the exact same relationship in the other direction. :D The proper term is Great GRANDaunt or uncle. While folks do shorten it to "Greataunt", that doesn't mean we should ignore the Grands.
Hopefully if/when anyone looks at my research, they will know that when I claim someone as a Greataunt or uncle, they will also know that I mean someone of my Great grandparents generation. It's a rather specific system and works well when used properly.
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Re: Don't ignore the Grands, please.

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:33 pm

Sorry - I can't agree. Whether the sibling of my grandmother is a grand aunt or a great aunt seems to be down to personal preference. I'd never heard of "grand aunt" until I did genealogy into my Scottish relatives but I've since found it used in many places.

Now certainly it would be much more logical if siblings carried the same number of greats and grands but if our families don't use those terms, then we shouldn't either. Genealogists don't get to dictate the English language, which is why, for instance, I have no sympathy with blogger Dick Eastman's campaign that there is no such thing as a half cousin. It's in the Oxford English Dictionary, in common speech, and quoting American legal dictionaries won't help.

What we need to do is be clear each time we use the the terms, what they mean. I guess that I'd refer to X as Y's Grand aunt if it used that term in the source and explain what it meant. This is especially important when we use terms in non standard ways - in all her life, I never referred to my Great Aunt as that - it was always Aunty Betty because that was the name that my mother used and it made sense to minimise terms. But I would need to explain this in any writing.

Couple of points - your sibling's grandchild is a great niece or nephew in my terms so it does reverse.

And the idea that great grandaunt is ever shortened to great aunt is (we would agree, I think) nonsensical. I've never seen that used but I have once seen someone claim that it was the case, so I'd be interested to know if anyone really does use it thus.

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Re: Don't ignore the Grands, please.

Postby ksouthall » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:42 pm

We called my grandparents' siblings great-aunts and great-uncles long before WDYTYA? ever appeared on television. As far as I know, that is the way many people refer to them in England.
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Re: Don't ignore the Grands, please.

Postby ksouthall » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:21 am

jaykayare wrote:I had never come across the term 'grand...' being used instead of 'great....' until using Ancestry and have always assumed it to be an Americanism, Ancestry being a Utah, USA based genealogy company. Will be continuing to call my ancestors 'great'.


I also assumed it was an Americanism so won't be using it, either. In fact, I'd imagine they'll be making their grand-aunts and uncles great again over there soon...
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