Can You Marry Your Cousin? | Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter
If someone walked up to you and said "Howdy, I'm your third cousin, twice removed," would you have any idea what they meant? Most people have a good . Someone I know is dating his aunt's(dad's sister) grand daughter. What would their relationship be second cousin once removed?. Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Phillip and they are second cousins, once removed. Edgar Allan Poe married his first cousin, when she was.
Then Albert married his own first cousin. Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt were fifth cousins, once removed a chart showing their relationship is available at http: John Adams married his third cousin, Abigail Smith. Fitzgerald, former mayor of Boston and grandfather of John F.
Kennedy, married his second cousin, Mary Josephine Hannon. Morse, inventor of the Morse Code, took his first cousin once removed, Sarah Elizabeth Griswold, as his second wife. Jerry Lee Lewis married his first cousin, who was 13 years old at the time. She was 13 years old at the time. For the next 20 years, they lived in close harmony and had a family of nine children, many of whom eventually married into the European monarchy.
The above is an abbreviated list. A much longer list of notable couples who were cousins may be found at http: Thousands of people marry their first or second cousins every year. One article I read claims that twenty percent of all married couples in the United States are cousins. That reference comes from an article at http: I am not sure I believe it. Once you go further apart than second cousins, the issue becomes more difficult. After all, can you name all your third cousins and fourth cousins and those even further away in the family tree?
Can You Marry Your Cousin?
Very few people can do that. There is always a strong possibility that you unknowingly married a distant cousin. The only way to find out is to research both of your family trees. To be sure, all of us are related to each and every other person somewhere back in history. Therefore, you probably married a distant cousin.
The difficulty lies in proving it. In America, marrying your first cousin is legal in 25 states. Some lists claim that 26 states allow cousin marriage. All first cousin marriages are permitted in the other 24 states. Six states ban marriage between first cousins once removed, i.
No states ban marriages between second cousins. A list of laws in each state may be found at http: However, from a general public health standpoint, having children with one's first cousin is really not that big of a deal. It has a variety of benefits such as safer pregnancies from mothers' immune systems being less likely to reject their fetuses, and so long as there are not a lot of wreathes in the partners' family tree not really that dangerous.
Even then, the ways in which it could be dangerous can now, for the most part, be tested for and have precise odds given so that potential parents can make informed decisions about their fertility.
I think of it as a fun family fact. No genetic problems have been observed. I would be relaxed about cousin marriage unless it's approaching pedigree collapse.
Her mom and her mother-in-law were sisters. This is in the UK, though she went "back home" as she calls it, to marry. There is a slightly higher risk of a few heritable disorders in 1st degree cousin pairings, it's worse if there are multiple generations of intermarried couples, but then, there's also a higher risk of disability to older parents, and it would be pretty unusual to call out a couple in their late 30s for having a baby these days. I just googled a couple interesting articles on the subject: That's how I read it too.
In my midwestern, but city-folk, family, this would be viewed as pretty darn close to incest. I can't even imagine a relationship with a second cousin being viewed as acceptable but that's possibly because they are all much younger than me. If there were a situation where second cousins sharing one great-grandparent hooked up, but didn't know they were related until well into the relationship, I could see it being accepted.
Cousins Chart: Understanding Your Family Relationships
But even then, it would only be accepted if they were relationshippy. If they were just hooking up, the family would find it creepy. But if it's legal where they live, then it's at least somewhat culturally acceptable. A quick and easy guide to the first, second, removed stuff is this: If two people share a parent, they are siblings. If they share a grandparent, they are first cousins. If they share a great-grandparent, they are third cousins.
The removed gets added when there is a generational gap. My second cousin is my parent's first cousin once removed. And my parent's first cousin is my first cousin once removed. Stephanie Coontz, in Marriage: A History, reports that cousin marriage was common among newly wealthy 19th century merchant-class families in order to consolidate wealth and keep it in the family.
Likewise another common custom in parts of the US would horrify us now - that of a man marrying his dead wife's sister.
Can Cousins Date?
This way the children would have a hopefully kinder stepmother and this might be the woman's only chance at marriage if men were scarce. Another reason for cousin and in-law marriage was that most people had a very limited circle of acquaintances to choose partners from unless they lived in a large city. If you lived in a small, isolated town and everyone was related to everyone else, you might wind up marrying a cousin because all the eligible men or women were your cousins.
Plus marrying outside one's ethnicity not race, ethnicityreligion, etc. I think that as the restrictions on other kinds of marriage interfaith, interethnic, interracial, and now same-sex have eased up, the "ick" factor towards marrying a relative has increased perhaps because of the freedom of choice available and the idea that we should marry "for love. It's interesting family trivia and nothing more, and no one has ever judged me about it.
If he was in a position as an "elder" to her, then I'd find it a little weird like, was he babysitting her when she was a child or something? I remember feeling very shocked at the time, and tried very hard to understand what the attraction might be. Eventually I decided that they must have been very deeply in love to be willing to deal with the potential fallout from an action that seems so shocking to so many people here the US. I can't argue with people who are very deeply in love working to be together.
Now I have trouble getting back in touch with the initial shock I felt, but that could just be a residual effect of all the time I've spent on reddit over the years. If there isn't otherwise a large degree of inebreeding, then two cousins are already fairly far apart genetically.
There is another round of dillution on the way to your friend and his cousin, and one more beyond that to his betrothed. If this is an otherwise rare event among the general population, the genetic ickyness of this isn't particularly high. My mother's relatives on her mother's side are from another country where they were memebers of a minority religion which my mother doesn't practice with what is probably a higher than average amount of intermarriage compared to the US, or even the norms of their home country i haven't worked out genetic distances, but I have a number of relatives who are married to people who are, nominally, fairly close relatives.
I also grew up as a non-mormon in Utah and in college, majored in Biology, with a focus on genetics and molecular biology. My perspective on what is normal is probably a bit unusual, but while I raise an eyebrow at this situation, I don't find it unacceptable given the facts as I understand them.
Apart from the genetic angle, the thing that catches my attention is the generational difference and potential power dynamics but the fact that the actual age difference is only 6 years and the fact that both parties are old enough to have completed "good educations" and have good jobs suggests that they are old enough that it isn't likely to be worth concern.
Wait, what was it that you are concerned with here? Alexander suggested that paternity uncertainty may help account for the intermarriage taboo on parallel, but not on cross cousins.
Fathers who are also brothers may overtly or covertly share sexual relations with the wife of one or the other, raising the possibility that apparent parallel-cousins are actually half-siblings, sired by the same father. Likewise, mothers who are also sisters may overtly or covertly share sexual access to the husband of one or the other, raising the possibility that apparent parallel cousins are actually half-siblings, sired by the same father.
Note that there is no possibility of any classificatory cousins sharing the same mother. Because maternal identity is never in question, they would be automatically classified as siblings. Only mistaken paternity leads to such errors. This possibility is much less likely for cross cousins, because in the absence of full-sibling incest, it is unlikely that cross cousins can share a father by overt or covert sexual relationships.
It would only be possible if Ego's mother had a brother, and Ego's father impregnated his wife, thereby allowing apparent cross cousins to be covert half-siblings, sharing the same father.
In my family it would certainly not be. They would probably be shunned. I think the liberals and conservatives would feel similarly, to be honest. Friends liberal would probably think it's weird, but would not end the friendship. The first pair are first cousins who did not meet until they were adults due to a family feud. They met for the first time after the break up of their first marriages.
They tell people about their history, and are actually legally married. The other pair are stumbled into a more interesting situation, lets call them 'luke' and 'leia'. Several months into their successful happy relationship they realised they had both been adopted out thorough the same organisation.