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January 27, 2005
First Cousins, Unremoved

While googling and clicking around to try to find out exactly what the blood relationship is between "second cousins" — I never really understood the whole "first cousin twice removed" or "second cousin once removed" thing, or indeed anything more complicated than "cousin" — I ran across Cousin Couples.

For the record: no thank you.

OK, OK, I know that historically and culturally in most places on Earth, there is nothing wrong with first cousins marrying each other. Indeed, in some places in the world, there's no one but cousins to marry. To this day, it is apparently acceptable (or at least legal) in most places in the world, including every country in Europe, in Japan, Mexico, and Canada. Indeed, I have distant Canadian relatives who I believe are first cousins married to each other, though I may be misinformed on the matter.

The cultural taboo against cousin marriage in this country is another thing altogether, perhaps because it is illegal in most (but by no means all) of the States, though maybe the cause and effect are the other way around. Certainly, all the "inbred hillbilly" jokes haven't exactly made the practice much respected in this country.

I have plenty of cousins, and I love them all.

Just not that way.

Posted by Russ at 08:11 AM, January 27, 2005 in Miscellany

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I am Meriwether Lewis' second cousin, six times removed.

Which means, in our case, via our mother's line, we share ancestors who were siblings. And I am six generations removed from Meriwether.

It was confusing for me, too.

Posted by: John of Argghhh! at January 27, 2005 03:04 PM