As a personal historian, I make a distinction between what I do and genealogy. While a genealogist’s primary motive is creating an accurate, comprehensive family tree, I’m more interested in putting some fruit on those trees through the stories and memories of family members.
Genealogy and family history are, to me, close cousins of the same family. As I considered the relationships among cousins, it occurred to me that among the more interesting discoveries as one traces its family back through the generations is the not-all-that-unusual occurrence of intermarriage within a family, usually involving cousins of a certain distance.
To one who was raised in a state where marriage between first cousins is prohibited and who was taught that such unions would likely produce a generation of genetic misfits, I was surprised to learn that a minority of states actually prohibit such marriages. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia allow first-cousin marriages without restrictions and six states allow them with some restrictions. Still, only an estimated one in 5,000 American marriages is between first or second cousins.
The term for intermarriage is consanguinity and it’s much more common in other parts of the world. In southern Saudi Arabia, for example, the rate of marriage among blood relatives is as high as 70 percent.
Cousin is such a simple word. But understanding the many types of cousins is complex. Here’s a guide that even explains double cousins, who may not marry in North Carolina where first cousins are allowed to tie the knot.
Check out this informative site to learn more about Cousin Couples.