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Inbreeding in my family!

After studying my family tree I discovered that one set of my Great-Great-Great Grandparents were first cousins. Is that weird, or do you think it was not taboo back then like it is now? They were born in 1821/1823 and were married in 1841. Their son, my Great Great Grandfather was as far as I know normal and healthy and so have been the generations since then. If it wasn't "weird" then when did it become that way? I can't imagine being attracted to any of my cousins!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:14 AM on Dec. 11, 2009 in Just for Fun

Answers (10)
  • First cousins actually have a small medial risk for birth defects and mental defects in their children.

    It was not as taboo in the past... they weren't seen as "close" relatives as they are now.


    Answer by tntmom1027 at 12:16 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Families, especially the wealthy, in the old days use to do it all the time. They liked to keep their blood line "pure".

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:17 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • It was completely acceptable in that time period to marry first cousins. I studied child development in school and was taught that first cousins only have a 3% higher chance of having children with birth defects or any other issues than anyone else. I'm not sure when opinions on that changed but it definately is looked at a lot more different these days!

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:21 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • It was normal back then. My Great Grandfather passed away rather young and his brother married my Great Grandmother. Apparently if the brother wasnt married it was his responsibility to take care of his deceased brothers wife and kids. A lot of people Ive told this too find it completely weird. Also my Grandparents were married for a few years when My Grandpas brother and Grandmas sister married each other... People also think this is weird.. Although I still know ppl who do this today.. and its not like theyre related except through marriage anyway

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:39 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Back in those days it was not uncommon for first cousins to marry and breed. There werent that many people to choose from especially in small towns so it happened. I wouldn't be freaked by it. Of course in 2009 it would be a freakout worthy thing but not in 1890 lol.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:46 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Has anyone ever watched Gone with the Wind? There is a line in there "You know the Wilkes always marry their cousins" lol always makes me laugh because it was common and considered a way to keep the blood line strong and pure.

    Answer by PsychMommie at 12:47 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • Completely normal back then. In families of wealth, it was a requirement. Money stays IN the family...LOL. Makes ya wonder though if people grew up looking at their cousins and thinking "she is hot! i would definitely do her!" EWWWWWWWW

    Answer by VintageWife at 1:12 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • It was very normal back then. In fact, it's where the phrase "kissing cousins" came from. In fact, in some states, and in some countries, it's still not illegal, though it's not very common.

    In addition to what people said about trying to keep pure bloodlines, keeping wealth in the family, etc, it was also common because people just didn't generally travel or move away from where they were born the way they do now. So, if you think about it, small communities, large families, and not a lot of moving around, it's going to end up where people pretty much have no other group to choose from for their spouses other than cousins of some sort.

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 1:38 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • I had "kissin cousins"-never french kissed or got hot and bothered when we kissed-and it only happened once, but would never have thought about marrying them or having sex with them...but I did think " I would think he was hot if he was not my cousin....

    Answer by brownesclan at 3:01 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

  • you've never been to Mississippi have you? you should read the social pages of the newspapers, I've seen people get married that had the same grandmother many a times, and in AL people were getting married left and right in Lawrence County that had the same last names. In MS, they referred to "close breeding"-yes, that's what they called it-as a means of keeping large land plots within the same family. Land ownership was very important there, so by continual marrying of cousins over 100 years, land plots were always literally kept within the same family. There's a reason why the people there look like they do in the rural areas.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 8:19 AM on Dec. 11, 2009

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