1) Geoff Trowbridge noted: "Via the ever-resourceful E. Randol Schoenberg, it turns out that both you and A.J. are descended from King David, at least according to tradition.
"See here: http://geni.com/JvNkh
And here: http://geni.com/JxgHD
"So there is a common bloodline, albeit not one that is easily verifiable. ;-)"
"I'm not disagreeing with you at all that the crazy-long paths to in-laws of in-laws are a poor use of the word "cousin." But:
"1) I think his real point is to show connections, not cousinship, in which case he's correct;
"2) I'm starting to get really fed up with many bloggers -- certainly not you, Randy -- who almost seem to be shaming Jacobs for not being born a good Englishman like them; and,
"3) instead of blog after blog making this same post over and over, why doesn't someone take a constructive approach and propose a better way Jacobs can communicate his idea about connection in a way that doesn't irritate genealogists so much? He's still writing the book. He has an e-mail address. He replies. Make a difference if you want. Now is the time. Maybe I'll even co-sign whatever thoughtful correspondence you post here. But this argument without advisement is becoming white noise. You're a smart guy, Randy. Solve the problem."
"I know we're using the word 'cousin' in a pretty broad sense of the word. But if you Google the word 'cousin,' the second definition, right after 'a child of one's uncle or aunt' is this: 'A person belonging to the same extended family.' In that sense, I think it's fair to say that these folks are all cousins, even the ones who don't share a bloodline that we can identify yet. As Ashley says, we want to show connections.
"I suppose I like the expansive definition of family -- that it should include marriages as well as DNA. I consider my brother-in-law family (and he'd be quite annoyed if I didn't).
"Plus, as we all know, we DO share the same bloodline if you go back far enough -- to mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam.
"Part of my hope with the Global Family Reunion (along with raising money for Alzheimer's and getting more people hooked on genealogy) is to make people realize that we are, in the broadest sense, part of the Human Family. That we share 99.9 percent of our DNA. So that's my long-winded answer as to why we use the term 'cousin' broadly.
Your cousin (?) A.J."
"I think of your project as worldwide mishpocha. Maybe that concept is lost on people used to insular genealogy, where research is conducted through specific surname societies and reunions involve an admission fee.
"My Old New England WASP family reunions involve handshakes, Robert's Rules, and the rigid, clinical definition of 'cousin.' My mixed-race West Indian family reunions involve hugging, all fun and no business, and everyone addressing each other as 'cuz' regardless of relationship. I think the genealogy community needs to remember that a majority of Americans fall into that second category when it comes to thinking about family. Applying the Anglocentric concept to everyone is a losing battle. Time to accept a shift in definition and thinking."