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Abbott -- What would the relationship title be for a woman's…

Hi Dr. Abbott -- What...
Hi Dr. Abbott -- What would the relationship title be for a woman's second husband who she married after her blood-related niece was born during her first marriage? Would that second husband be the niece's UNCLE, or STEP-UNCLE? And if STEP-UNCLE, would that niece be his STEP-NIECE or just NIECE?
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11/26/2017
Rev Dr August Abbott
Rev Dr August Abbott, Adult Etiquette Pro
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Experience: 40 yrs: Etiquette teacher,Formal event officiate, announcement author, minister
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How nice to hear from you again! Please allow a few moments for me to compose your answer. I hope this finds you well and that you've had a lovely Thanksgiving

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These 'step' relative questions are like math problems. Complicated puzzles that are so satisfying to resolve.

The root here is the blood-related female to the next generation female (aunt to niece). It doesn't matter whether auntie was married to Joe or John or whether the niece was born or not. This is the husband's "step niece", although qualifying the relationship with "step" isn't necessary.

Joe and John might also refer to the child as "my wife's niece" which is simply put and addresses the relationship in 3 words.

Again, thanks for coming back by and it will always be my pleasure to work with you

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
You have illuminated something new I was not aware of in terms of relationship titles but let me ask this follow-on question for clarification. Technically speaking, would my mother's brother's first wife be my "step-aunt" because there is not a blood relationship between us? But from a practical point, individuals such as her would be referred to most commonly as "my aunt" vs. "my step-aunt". Is that correct? If that is the case, then any aunt or uncle who is not connected to a niece or nephew by a blood relationship is never technically an aunt or uncle --- they are STEP aunts or STEP uncles -- Is that correct?
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
By way of background, I organize and record the family trees in my clan with extended relatives so getting the correct technical titles of each individual relationship is important for clarity and posterity's sake.]
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
to further clarify, there is no such thing as an "Aunt-in-law" or a "Niece-in-law", correct? But to designate that it is a legal and not a blood relationship between these second generation parties, the convention of the word "step" is used instead of "in-law", i.e. a "Step-Aunt" or "Step-Niece" versus the latter -- correct?

Thank you for the follow up and the opportunity for me to hang my head in shame while correcting my mistake. You are right about aunt (or uncle) by blood being 'aunt' and 'uncle' - something never in question. I was wrong in referring to any spouse, unrelated by blood, being a 'step'. Although technically correct - it is widely accepted that the spouse of the blood relative is entitled to the unqualified title of aunt or uncle.

The technicality becomes clear when referring to parents: Jane gives to birth while married to John to Mark and Markie. It doesn't matter if these are John's biological offspring, by rite of marriage at the time of birth those children are John's. This is also a generally accepted legality save for any complications with regard to birth certificates or court orders for support, etc.

So on the one hand, the children are really John's "step-children", but more often than not referred to as his "children" without regard to biology.

That is the same formula for aunts and uncles by marriage. Spouses in place at the time of birth of the niece or nephew are 'aunt' and 'uncle'. Spouses who enter the family after their birth would be 'step'.

You are also correct in no accepted titles of 'aunt/uncle/niece/nephew in-law' although with the layers of blended families, unmarried parents and the like that exist these days new titles are sure to pop up and perhaps eventually become acceptable.

I have also been entrusted with the sprawling family tree for both sides of my family and anticipating the complications future generations might face in keeping those branches somewhat straight, I just spelled it out (like I suspect you are) with "Jane's 2nd spouse, Tom, Markies step-uncle"

Once again, my apologies for my lapse and gratitude for the opportunity to correct it with your help and input

Rev Dr August Abbott
Rev Dr August Abbott, Adult Etiquette Pro
Category: Etiquette
Satisfied Customers: 7,854
Experience: 40 yrs: Etiquette teacher,Formal event officiate, announcement author, minister
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you for the clarification and detailed response. That was very helpful as well as illuminating. Future generations within my clan thank you for the clarity as well. Excellent response!
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