Re: Were "nephews" sometimes really cousins? #general


Nicole Heymans
 

Hi Erika,

My maternal grandparents were German Jews, my grandfather's family were from Westphalia and Lower Saxony, my grandmother's from Posen Province, Prussia; later Breslau (Wrocław, lower Silesia) and Berlin. I've seen the term "Vetter" (strictly speaking, cousin) applied quite loosely to more distant relatives. Also parents' cousins (even second cousins and inlaws) called "uncle" and "aunt"; I remember meeting my mother's "tante Reine" who after some digging turned out to be my mother's aunt's husband's sister-in-law's sister. Take a deep breath and read that again slowly. There was also a couple who were probably only business relations, but also friends, of my grandfather's generation, who my mother and uncle called "aunt" and "uncle".

So my grain of salt is: if anyone was calling someone "aunt" or "uncle" they would sign "nephew" or "niece".

 

Nicole Heymans, near Brussels, Belgium

 

 

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