La Genealogía
de 
Puerto Rico

(The Genealogy of Puerto Rico)

Organization and Degree
of Familial Relationships
in Hispanic Cultures
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by
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Matt M Pérez
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Degrees of Separation
En Español
 
Introduction
“Parentesco” refers to the links or relationships between members of a family. Understanding how these are organized and measured is important in genealogical research.

These links are organized as lines (líneas) and measured in degrees (grados). There are three types of line,

 
Blood lines (consanguidad

The links that exist between descendants of a a common ancestor (e.g., grand parents, parents, children, grand children, great grand children, nephews, cousins, etc.). 
 
Affinity (afinidad)

The links that, through marriage, each spouse has with the other's blood relations (i.e., mother-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, etc.). In general, the blood relations of one spouse does not acquire a legal relation with the blood relations of the other spouse (e.g., consuegros and concuños are not legally related to each other).
 
Adoption 
The links between the adoptee and the adoptive parents and their blood relatives. This varies from country to country.
 

Lines

From the point of view of a person, named the root (tronco), these lines are labeled as follows (e.g., for purposes of inheritance):
Straight (Recta).
A straight line of ancestors and descendant. 
Descendant line (línea descendiente).
Children, grand children, great grand children, etc.


Ancestor line (línea ascendiente).
 

Parents, grand parents, great grand parents, etc.
Collateral (Colateral o Transversa). 
Relationships between blood relatives not related by direct descendance or ascendance.
Prefered (Preferentes). 
Siiblings and nieces and nephews (i.e., two and three degrees apart, respectively).
Ordinary (Ordinarios). 
Uncles, cousins, etc. (i.e., four to six degrees apart).
 

Degrees

Parentesco” is measured in degrees (grados), where each generation counts as one degree. Along the straight lines the “distance” between two members of a family is simply counted as the number of generations between them. For example, a father and his child are one degree apart, and a grand father and his grand child are two degrees apart).

In the collateral lines, the distance between two relatives is counted as the sum of the generations that separates each from their common ancestor. For example, a brother and a sister are two degrees apart, one from the brother to their parents and another degree from the parents to the sister. Between an uncle and his nephew there are three degrees of separation: one degree up between the uncle and his parents and two more degrees between them and his nephew.

This scheme is used, among other things, to determine heirs and the distribution of inheritance. This makes wills and related documents very valuable in genealogical research. In this article, Mariano Nájeraurriola, Esq., explains how this is used in the determination of contested wills and non-assigned inheritance[i].

This systems comes from antiquity[ii] and it has been instituted in law in Puerto Rico[i], Mexico[iii], Argentina[iv], Chile[v] and many other Latin American countries.

Below you'll find two tables that should help to illustrate this system.

 
Table 1
 
 
Degrees of Separation between Descendents along Blood Lines
*
Common ancestor * Hijo * Nieto * Bisnieto * Tataranieto * Chozno
1G 2G 3G 4G 5G
* *
Hijo * hermano * tío /
sobrino
* tío abuelo /
sobrino nieto
* tío bisabuelo /
sobrino bisnieto
* tío tatarabuelo /
sobrino tataranieto
1G 2G 3G 4G 5G 6G
* * *
Nieto tío /
sobrino
* primo hermano * tío segundo / sobrino segundo * tío bisabuelo segundo / sobrino bisnieto segundo * tío tatarabuelo segundo /
sobrino tataranieto segundo
2G 3G 4G 5G  6G 7G
* * * *
Bisnieto tío abuelo /
sobrino nieto
tío segundo / sobrino segundo * primo segundo * tío bisabuelo tercero / sobrino bisnieto tercero * tío tatarabuelo tercero /
sobrino tataranieto tercero
3G 4G 5G 6G 7G 8G
* * * * *
Tataranieto tío bisabuelo /
sobrino bisnieto
tío bisabuelo segundo / sobrino bisnieto segundo tío bisabuelo tercero / sobrino bisnieto tercero * primo tercero * tío tatarabuelo cuarto /
sobrino tataranieto cuarto
4G 5G 6G 7G 8G 9G
* * * * * *
Chozno tío tatarabuelo /
sobrino tataranieto
tío tatarabuelo segundo /
sobrino tataranieto segundo
tío tatarabuelo tercero /
sobrino tataranieto tercero
tío tatarabuelo cuarto /
sobrino tataranieto cuarto
* primo
cuarto
5G 6G 7G 8G 9G 10G
*
Table 2
 
Degrees of Separation between Ascendants/Descendents
*
Tronco * Padre * Abuelo * Bisabuelo * Tatarabuelo
1G 2G 3G 4G
* *
Hijo * abuelo / nieto * bisabuelo /
bisnieto
* tatarabuelo /
tataranieto
* trastatarabuelo /
chozno
1G 2G 3G 4G 5G
* * *
Nieto bisabuelo /
bisnieto
* tatarabuelo /
tataranieto
* trastatarabuelo /
chozno
*  
2G 3G 4G 5G  6G
* * * *
Bisnieto tatarabuelo /
tataranieto
trastatarabuelo /
chozno
*   *  
3G 4G 5G 6G 7G
* * * * **
Tataranieto   trastatarabuelo /
chozno
        *  
4G   5G   6G   7G   8G
*
 
Table 3
 
Degrees of Separation by Marriage
*
  * Cónyuge * Padres * Hermanos * Sobrinos
* *
Cónyuge * cónyuges o esposos * suegros /
yernos y nueras
* cuñados * tíos políticos /
sobrinos políticos
  1G 2G 3G
* * *
Padres suegros /
yernos y nueras
* consuegros *   *  
1G      
* * * *
Hermanos cuñados   * concuños *  
2G      
* * * * *
Sobrinos tíos políticos /
sobrinos políticos
    *  
3G      
*
*
 
References
  1. Read how to use the familial relationship system and its measure in the case of a contested wills and non-assigned inheritanceExternal Page Policy (click to see policy and instructions) as explained by Licensiado Mariano Nájeraurriola, Esq., a partner in El Bufete Emmanuelli,External Page Policy (click to see policy and instructions) Ponce, Puerto Rico 
  2. Read “Compendio Moral SalmaticenseExternal Page Policy (click to see policy and instructions) translated from Latín (to Spanish) by Marcos de Santa TeresaExternal Page Policy (click to see policy and instructions) and published in Pamplona, Spain, in 1805 
  3. ARTICULO 292.- GradosExternal Page Policy (click to see policy and instructions) of the “Poder Judicial del Estado de TabascoExternal Page Policy (click to see policy and instructions), Mexico 
  4. Read “TÍTULO VIII. Del parentescoExternal Page Policy (click to see policy and instructions) from the “the Civil Code Project of 1998External Page Policy (click to see policy and instructions) (Argentina) 

  5. Read “Vínculos de ParentezcoExternal Page Policy (click to see policy and instructions) of the The Library of Congress of ChileExternal Page Policy (click to see policy and instructions)
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La Genealogia de Puerto Rico would like to expresses it thanks to Matt M. Perez for granting permission to present his article here.
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