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Old 23rd February 2017, 01:32 PM
MoberlyDrake MoberlyDrake is online now
mtDNA: T2b5 | Y-DNA: J-M172
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,377
Americans have been so indoctrinated with this taboo about cousin marriages. But it only started about 150 years ago. States passed laws against laws against first cousin marriages. But I'm not sure England ever passed any laws against it although it became much less common.

In Kentucky, where I live, it's still considered taboo and it's illegal.

It would take some research to find out how cousin marriage customs changed over time in each European country.
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Old 23rd February 2017, 04:26 PM
serowe serowe is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by MoberlyDrake View Post
How do you know they didn't realize they were cousins since cousin marriages were legal, much approved
of and common??? I'd never assume they didn't know it! Cousin marriages were often deliberately arranged in order to keep property in the family. And when not forced, they were often encouraged. Freedom to choose your own spouse is a relatively recent idea, starting about the mid 1700s, though the poorer classes may always have had a little more freedom.
As I said in my post - in the case of new settlements (and I specifically mentioned van Diemens Land in Australia - now called Tasmania), this was only settled in the early 1800's initially by convicts but, starting around the 1820's, free settlers and those given their Ticket of Leave after serving their sentences. These people then started to move all around the state.

And yes, whilst that initial first generation of 'movers' would have known each other, the 2nd and then third generations (especially the children of the females) start to lose contact with their original family members.

As an example, I recently visited a place called Deloraine in Tasmania looking for cemetery information. When we called in at the local information centre there were 4 people on duty there - after a couple of enquiries, it turned out that all four were related to my wife - the closest being a 4rd cousin once removed but, all related. To add insult to injury, my wife only knew one of them and that one was the only one I had in my data and my data is quite extensive when it comes to her relations in Tasmania (all 16 Gt Gt Grandparents came to Tasmania as free settlers in the period 1835-1855). As you can imagine, and most researchers know only too well, we may have the older generations in our data very well covered, but when it comes to the current generations we are, usually, sadly lacking.

Last edited by serowe; 23rd February 2017 at 04:30 PM.
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