Saturday, 17 October 2015

Connor family conundrum on Coronation Street

I've been a little confused over the Connor family relationships since Jonny and Kate arrived. On twitter this morning I confessed my confusion and other fans replied to tell me they felt the same.  We had a bit of a debate as to who was related to who, how and why, and I think we all got it wrong. 

ITV then confirmed to us here at the Coronation Street Blog that the Connor family relationship is as follows:
Barry Connor and Jonny Connor (cousins)
Barry Connor (Michelle's dad) and Jonny Connor (Aidan's dad) are first cousins who share the same grandparents. 

Barry moved from Ireland to Manchester so his kids - Michelle, Paul, Liam - grew up on the same estate as Jonny's kids - Aidan and Kate - did.  As the kids grew up together on the same estate they felt like proper cousins rather than distant ones.

Liam Connor, Ryan Connor, Michelle Connor, Paul Connor
Now then, according to genealogy, the children of first cousins are, to each other, second cousins. Their children are third cousins, etc.

This makes Michelle Connor (and her brothers Paul and Liam while they were alive) second cousins to Jonny Connor.  Likewise, it makes Aidan and Kate Connor second cousins to Barry Connor.  With me so far?

Therefore, this means that Michelle is third cousins with Aidan and Kate Connor. But because they are a close Irish family they just call themselves cousins. 

I'm glad that's sorted!
Liam Connor, Paul Connor, Carla Connor
So how does Carla fit into all of this?  Well, Carla Donovan lived on the same Manchester estate that the two Connor families lived on so she knew Michelle and her two brothers Paul and Liam. She also knew Aidan and Kate. Then, Carla Donovan went on to marry Michelle's brother Paul Connor, taking the Connor family name. Paul died in a car crash and Carla went on to a have a fling with Paul's brother, Liam. Carla is sister-in-law to Michelle and Barry Connor's daughter-in-law, but only vaguely related to Kate, Aidan and Jonny via her marriage to Paul. 

There is another member of the Connor clan - Tom Kerrigan. He is Michelle (and Paul/Liam's) cousin.

And as for Maria Connor, well she was wed to Liam Connor before he died. So, Maria is Michelle's sister-in-law and Barry Connor's daughter-in-law. As Liam is dead and Carla's husband Paul is dead, does this mean there is any family connection between Carla and Maria?  If anyone knows the right terminology for this family connection do please leave a comment and let us know.

And as for Michelle's fake son Ryan... don't even get me started on trying to unravel that one!

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Tvor said...

That's one school of thought. By my definition, the children of Jonny would be Barry's first cousins once removed (down one generation), and Michelle and her brothers would be Jonny's first cousins once removed. Michelle and her brothers would be second cousins to Aidan and Kate, both of the same "second" generation". Michelle's son Ryan, would be Jonny's first cousin twice removed, Aidan and Kate's second cousin once removed and would be third cousins to any children Aidan and Kate have. Third generation down the tree. I know it's confusing but My Aunty Fay would argue this point fervently. It's easier to get your head round if you see it on a drawing and can trace the branches down the tree. :)

Tvor said...

Carla and Maria would have no relation at all, not even through marraige unless you count the affair Carla had with Liam. :)

Pootle5 said...

I prefer to think of the period of the Ryan swapped at birth storyline as a bad dream and that it didn't really happen... possibly one of Corrie's worse ever storylines!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Tvor. I was going to write to say that ITV got it wrong. (In their possible defense, the genealogy website shown makes things more complicated and confusing than they need to be.) I'm the "Aunty Fay" in my family. It's not that confusing once you understand that we need to have a term to show a step away (removed)on only one side of the relationship. Where it really gets confusing is when cousins marry (inter-marry) more than once, over several generations (think of small towns and villages a couple of centuries ago), but that hasn't happened in this instance.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for getting that sorted! I initially thought Barry and Johnny were brothers! Lol and it's surely going to get more confusing in December when a certain Mr Donovan starts messing with all of their lives!

I love it when the writers delve into Carla's background though.

Tvor said...

Anonymous "Aunty Fay", in my family, there is a nephew/uncle who are only 6 years apart and they married sisters. Their children are both first cousins on their mothers' side and first once removed to each other on their fathers' side.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Ryunnn..whatever did happen to that boy?

Gracie said...

Goodness me, that gave me a headache reading that!

Anonymous said...

I'm always surprised that neither Michelle or her father show any interest in Maria's son, Liam, who is Michelle's nephew and Barry Connor's grandson, or is that like everything else in Corrie, just conveniently forgotten until the storyline dictates that it must come to the forefront???

Cobblestone said...

I agree about Carla's background. I found Johnny's comment last night fascinating: "You used to be the serious one." Insight into the Queen of Sark.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Maria and Carla are merely former sister-in-law to each other, as you marry only until death do you part.

Rapunzel said...

Thanks Tvor, I was going to jump in too. It is better explained pictorially with a family tree. Basically, all cousins have an older relative in common; if they have the same relationship to that relative (grandchild, great grandchild), they'll be first or second etc cousins (no "removed"). If they don't share the same relationship, they'll be cousins removed by the number of degrees they are apart.

Thus, Barry and Johnny are first cousins because they share a grandfather; Barry and Aiden are first cousins once removed (Barry's grandparent is Aiden's great-grandparent); Johnny is Ryan's first cousin twice removed (Johnny's grandfather is Ryan's great great grandfather. Well, give or take the odd baby-swap-at-birth but apparently we don't mention that storyline anymore.)

Technically, a child of my sibling would be my sister/brother once removed, but we have specific names for that relationship (Auntie, Uncle, niece, nephew).

Flaming Nora said...

It seems there are two ways of describing second and third cousins and so on. The way that ITV have used to describe it (in the way that the genealogy website I linked to) is new to me, I admit. But it makes sense once we get our heads around it.

I've still got a headache from trying to unravel it all!

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