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Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:53 PM

how distant must a cousin be before one can date them

Not just legally, but non ickilly?

Edited to say a couple of third cousins and the gossip around them got this started and also I am not one of them but a third cousin to them both.

131 replies, 6128 views

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Reply how distant must a cousin be before one can date them (Original post)
arely staircase Nov 2013 OP
RagAss Nov 2013 #1
Cleita Nov 2013 #4
arely staircase Nov 2013 #12
Cleita Nov 2013 #20
arely staircase Nov 2013 #21
Cleita Nov 2013 #22
arely staircase Nov 2013 #24
Cleita Nov 2013 #55
arely staircase Nov 2013 #59
NuclearDem Nov 2013 #9
arcane1 Nov 2013 #11
LadyHawkAZ Nov 2013 #23
baldguy Nov 2013 #30
arely staircase Nov 2013 #35
NuclearDem Nov 2013 #2
tiredtoo Nov 2013 #3
tblue37 Nov 2013 #5
madrchsod Nov 2013 #6
CAG Nov 2013 #7
Iggo Nov 2013 #8
arely staircase Nov 2013 #10
countryjake Nov 2013 #13
arely staircase Nov 2013 #16
jberryhill Nov 2013 #25
arely staircase Nov 2013 #26
jberryhill Nov 2013 #36
arely staircase Nov 2013 #38
jberryhill Nov 2013 #48
Hosnon Dec 2013 #100
jberryhill Dec 2013 #112
countryjake Nov 2013 #40
arely staircase Nov 2013 #49
rug Nov 2013 #14
arely staircase Nov 2013 #17
NuclearDem Nov 2013 #19
arely staircase Nov 2013 #27
leeroysphitz Nov 2013 #15
Freddie Nov 2013 #18
IphengeniaBlumgarten Nov 2013 #47
laundry_queen Dec 2013 #124
Vashta Nerada Nov 2013 #28
arely staircase Nov 2013 #29
CorrectOfCenter Nov 2013 #31
arely staircase Nov 2013 #32
jberryhill Nov 2013 #57
TheDebbieDee Nov 2013 #33
Warpy Nov 2013 #34
arely staircase Nov 2013 #37
MH1 Dec 2013 #119
Kaleva Nov 2013 #46
yawnmaster Nov 2013 #39
FarCenter Nov 2013 #41
struggle4progress Nov 2013 #42
davidpdx Nov 2013 #86
MADem Nov 2013 #43
Renew Deal Nov 2013 #44
arely staircase Nov 2013 #50
MADem Nov 2013 #63
Jenoch Nov 2013 #45
arely staircase Nov 2013 #52
Jenoch Nov 2013 #54
arely staircase Nov 2013 #58
agent46 Nov 2013 #51
llmart Nov 2013 #53
arely staircase Nov 2013 #56
dflprincess Nov 2013 #71
arely staircase Nov 2013 #80
Blanket Statements Nov 2013 #60
arely staircase Nov 2013 #62
Blanket Statements Nov 2013 #65
arely staircase Nov 2013 #67
RebelOne Dec 2013 #130
liberal N proud Nov 2013 #61
geek tragedy Nov 2013 #64
Demo_Chris Nov 2013 #66
LumosMaxima Nov 2013 #68
hunter Nov 2013 #69
LeftyMom Nov 2013 #70
Coyotl Nov 2013 #74
LeftyMom Nov 2013 #76
arely staircase Nov 2013 #79
BlueToTheBone Nov 2013 #72
Zambero Dec 2013 #110
Blue_In_AK Nov 2013 #73
bluestate10 Nov 2013 #75
hopemountain Nov 2013 #78
MFM008 Nov 2013 #77
arely staircase Nov 2013 #81
elleng Nov 2013 #82
Retrograde Nov 2013 #83
dawg Nov 2013 #84
Thirties Child Nov 2013 #85
davidpdx Dec 2013 #87
LuvNewcastle Dec 2013 #88
dipsydoodle Dec 2013 #89
raccoon Dec 2013 #90
Donald Ian Rankin Dec 2013 #91
KentuckyWoman Dec 2013 #92
MineralMan Dec 2013 #93
LisaL Dec 2013 #94
MineralMan Dec 2013 #97
hfojvt Dec 2013 #99
MineralMan Dec 2013 #101
hfojvt Dec 2013 #106
MineralMan Dec 2013 #109
JNelson6563 Dec 2013 #95
cthulu2016 Dec 2013 #116
JNelson6563 Dec 2013 #122
BainsBane Dec 2013 #96
hfojvt Dec 2013 #98
Iggo Dec 2013 #125
DebJ Dec 2013 #102
penultimate Dec 2013 #104
trackfan Dec 2013 #126
penultimate Dec 2013 #103
BainsBane Dec 2013 #105
penultimate Dec 2013 #108
LisaL Dec 2013 #113
penultimate Dec 2013 #114
LisaL Dec 2013 #117
penultimate Dec 2013 #120
treestar Dec 2013 #118
jwirr Dec 2013 #107
MineralMan Dec 2013 #111
treestar Dec 2013 #115
MineralMan Dec 2013 #127
RGinNJ Dec 2013 #121
doc03 Dec 2013 #123
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2013 #128
MineralMan Dec 2013 #129
Rochester Dec 2013 #131

Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:54 PM

1. Three feet.

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Response to RagAss (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:56 PM

4. Depends on the state. Some say first cousin marriages are okay, others

third cousins or even more distant.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:02 PM

12. forgetb what I legal

The case I'm thinking of is beyond the normal 2nd cousin law. And children are out of the question. So we are just talking about general societal gag factor.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:10 PM

20. For myself, I'd say no closer than third cousins.

Otherwise, I would gag but that doesn't mean others would. But I think the reason I feel this way is that none of my cousins are attractive to me. I like them but even the two who turned out to be very handsome and babe magnets do nothing for my libido. I think you need to poll your relatives and acquaintances, whom I suspect you are concerned about, what they think.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #20)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:12 PM

21. you are assuming this is about me and not the

proverbial friend.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #21)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:14 PM

22. Whoever, including the friend. n/t

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Response to Cleita (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:23 PM

24. ok. they are third cousins and though their families aren't real close

it is a small enough community that both sides and third parties would know their great grand parents were brother and sister.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #24)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:35 PM

55. Are the great grand parents alive?

I'm sure it would be creepy to them, but still it seems the parties involved, meaning the distant relatives, need to weigh in and decide whether it's really their business or not. I personally don't think it is and they should get on with their own lives.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #55)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:38 PM

59. parties involved are middle age

So the original brother and sister are long dead.

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Response to RagAss (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:59 PM

9. No, that's what happens with kids with cou--

I'll behave.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:01 PM

11. I see what you did there.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:16 PM

23. ...

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Response to RagAss (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:35 PM

30. Are you bragging?

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Response to baldguy (Reply #30)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:41 PM

35. only that I am kin to the both of them nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:55 PM

2. This'll end well.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:56 PM

3. Depends

if you are a redneck they cannot live in same house.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:57 PM

5. About 30 miles, because more would make dating inconvenient and costly because of gas prices. nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:57 PM

6. at least third for the sake of the kids!

although some states it`s second cousins....

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:57 PM

7. Go ask a teabagger... I think they would

Be experts in these matters

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 05:59 PM

8. Two counties over. (n/t)

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Response to Iggo (Reply #8)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:00 PM

10. lol nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:04 PM

13. Why do you ask?

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Response to countryjake (Reply #13)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:05 PM

16. intelectual curriosity

and the constant search for knowledge.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:29 PM

25. There is no "knowledge" to be gained here

Obviously, there is a wide range of opinion on the subject, as reflected in the laws of various states.

Different people are going to have different opinions about it, so what "knowledge" is at issue?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #25)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:30 PM

26. well indeed

Opinions then, counselor.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #26)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:45 PM

36. Alas, I married a woman unrelated to me

...and haven't the slightest interest with whom others fall in love. I don't know why I should care one way or another, nor why others should.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #36)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:47 PM

38. Big thanskgiving gossip subject among the broader "staircase" clan nt

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #38)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:21 PM

48. Meh

A couple in love is always cause for joy.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:26 AM

100. Yes there is. At some distance, the chance of offspring

being genetically disadvantaged is low enough to not be a risk factor.

Knowledge of that point is very relevant.

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Response to Hosnon (Reply #100)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:07 PM

112. Coupla things....

1. That is information one is unlikely to obtain by asking about dating on a forum, and

2. Dating does not yield offspring. If that were the focus of the question, then it would be appropriate to note that the persons involved are (a) fertile and (b) of the opposite sex.

Again, these types of considerations are reflected in, for example, states which conditionally permit first cousin marriages on a showing of infertility. But I wasn't reading a basket of assumptions into the question. It does give rise, though, to the situation in those conditional states that, should they allow same sex marriages, then gay first cousins will be permitted to marry while fertile opposite sex cousins will not.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:50 PM

40. Well then, for your edification...

since this is a small-town community you're talking about, I will say that since everybody probably knows everybody else's business, they surely also know the connection that your two "friends" have developed. I say to advise the star-crossed lovers to go for it and the village be damned, if others cannot handle the revelation.

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Response to countryjake (Reply #40)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:25 PM

49. trust me

I am of the village be damned wing. Thanks. People lile to talk, especially when they have nothing (good) to say.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:04 PM

14. It must have been an interesting Thanksgiving.

In Texas, one must be no closer than a first cousin, once removed.

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Response to rug (Reply #14)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:06 PM

17. lol nt

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Response to rug (Reply #14)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:10 PM

19. I mean, I don't like arguing with relatives at Thanksgiving

But I think this is a bit of an overcorrection.

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Response to NuclearDem (Reply #19)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:32 PM

27. yeah at some point keeping peace in the family hits the point of diminishing returns nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:04 PM

15. If you have to ask if they're too close they are too close. n/t

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:09 PM

18. Second cousin IMO

That would depend on if you have the same last name (not good) and if people know you are related. If most people don't, who cares.
While doing genealogical research I discovered *lots* of cousin marriages in my family, including first cousins, not that terribly long ago. The British Royal Family is descended from the marriage of Queen Victoria and her first cousin, Prince Albert. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are cousins (third?) also.
At least you'll have a good idea of what his/her family is all about!
In the wise words of the King ("Kissin' Cousins"):

Yes we're all cousins
That's what I believe
'Cause we're all children
Of Adam and Eve

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Response to Freddie (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:17 PM

47. Cousin marriages have often happened

While doing genealogy I have found lots of cousin marriages, mostly more distant than first cousins, but I do have great-great-grandparents that were 1st cousins, think this a little odd, but has not turned out to be any sort of problem, either genetic of social that I know of. As my mother observed, people liked to know what they are getting.

The real problem is: what recessive genes might be in the family -- that is the real ick-factor, not the degree of relationship.

Remember the pharaohs: they favored brother-sister marriages, guess that is the ick-factor for me, but the genetic problems took a while to catch up with them.

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Response to IphengeniaBlumgarten (Reply #47)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 01:16 PM

124. Yeah, used to be more common

I suppose in the 'old days' when there were some people that lived in smaller villages with no modes of transportation, selection for a mate was limited.

One set of great-grandparents on my dad's side were first cousins. My grandmother was bullied incessantly because of her parents, so there were some social issues with it, even 80 years ago.

Aren't Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip 3rd cousins?

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:32 PM

28. Planning on going to a family reunion looking for women?

 

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Response to Vashta Nerada (Reply #28)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:33 PM

29. lol nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:35 PM

31. Not sure.

 

I'd be comfortable with a third cousin.

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Response to CorrectOfCenter (Reply #31)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:36 PM

32. that is actually the case in question

And this isn't about me btw.

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Response to CorrectOfCenter (Reply #31)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:35 PM

57. I'd need a picture of your third cousin first

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:36 PM

33. If you have to ask the question then you are TOO damn close!

ETA: Leroy beat me to the punch in post #15! GMTA!

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:40 PM

34. First cousins are OK in some parts of the country

although I'd suggest genetic counseling if they want to procreate.

Third cousins should be OK to date.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #34)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:45 PM

37. my personal opinion just based on ick factor

1st cousins are as gross as brother and sister. 2nd seems wrong somehow but f the doctors say its ok, follow your heart. My post is about 3rds who have created quite a stir but don't really bother me. Its just been a Thanskgiving gossip fest.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #37)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:21 PM

119. Clearly, it's a fine thing to do then! Because it kept everyone from discussing

politics and religion, right?



Seriously, I think third cousins are probably ok but better off if the "cousin" reference is dropped, since some people's mental capacity can't process the difference between first cousins (what is normally assumed when someone mentions that Joe is Mary's cousin) and third cousins, which are fairly far apart on the genetic tree.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #34)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:09 PM

46. Siblings are okay in other parts

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:47 PM

39. Depends on the context...

but the bottom line is...
if it is icky to you, it's icky.
if it isn't, it isn't.

And the the local society in which you lives helps to shape your feelings.
In general, at least what I've seen, anything other than 1st cousins wouldn't even be noticed, except perhaps in a close family where people actually keep track of that sort of thing.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:51 PM

41. Depends on her age

An aunt of about 55 married her first cousin. No problem.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:52 PM

42. Here's definitive advice

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #42)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 11:53 PM

86. After watching that I feel like I need therapy

Disturbing

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:54 PM

43. Imagine if they decided to get married, and their last names were Duran....

The engagement/wedding announcements in the paper would read ....

Duran-Duran!

Nyuck, nyuck....

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Response to MADem (Reply #43)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:04 PM

44. lol

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Response to MADem (Reply #43)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:28 PM

50. in which case Duran Duran should play the reception for tips. nt

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #50)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:45 PM

63. Now that, as the kids would say, would be EPIC! nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:09 PM

45. Third cousins?

I'm not even aware if I have any 3rd cousins. I know just a few of my 2nd cousins. About 90% of my second cousins could knock on my front door and I would not recognize them. I have met two 2nd cousins who live back in the old country from where my grandparents emigrated. My father's paternal relatives were all killed by Stalin. The others are on his mother's side of the family.

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #45)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:32 PM

52. sorry about the stalinist unpleasantness (no snark)

But that has kinda been my point with the fam. 3rd is distant enough that only in a place like this would we know who the thirds are.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #52)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:34 PM

54. Would you tell us which part of the U.S. it is that your family resides?

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Response to Jenoch (Reply #54)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:37 PM

58. East Texas nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:30 PM

51. Six blocks minimum

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:32 PM

53. Ask Eleanor and Franklin...

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Response to llmart (Reply #53)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:35 PM

56. Second cousins, right?

At least that is what I have been hollaring over rolling in their grave everybody talk at once kitchen discussions.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #56)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 08:39 PM

71. Eleanor and Frankin were 5th cousins once removed.

FDR was a 5th cousin to Eleanor's father Elliot and his brother Theodore.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #71)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 09:48 PM

80. but started with rhe same surname

Which must have caused the aingst

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:40 PM

60. You can marry first cousins in these states

 

Cousin marriage legal

Alabama
Alaska
California
Colorado
Connecticut
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Maryland
Massachusetts
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina*
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Tennessee
Vermont
Virginia

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Response to Blanket Statements (Reply #60)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:43 PM

62. wow

While I am on the leave these third cousins alone divide , my first cousins are like siblings ( that youbkeep up with slightly less) so first cousin mingling seems creepy.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #62)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:47 PM

65. I think it comes down to preference

 

I don't have any hot cousins so it's a dilemma I've not faced

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Response to Blanket Statements (Reply #65)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 08:01 PM

67. I think in the case of firsts the birth defect problem is there nt

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Response to Blanket Statements (Reply #60)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 04:47 PM

130. I didn't know first cousins could marry in Florida.

I lived in Florida and had a totally hot first cousin, but it's too late now

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:40 PM

61. Depends on what state you are in



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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:47 PM

64. If they're a cousin, it's icky. nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 07:53 PM

66. No one else's business. nt

 

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 08:17 PM

68. It's all relative.

Heh.

Seriously, I don't think there's anything especially wrong with dating a third cousin, unless they grew up knowing each other and were very close. Some cousins can be as close as siblings, and I don't think it would be psychologically healthy to date someone who has a sibling-like place in one's life. But I've never even met most of my third cousins, and I don't get the impression that very many other people have, either, so I would think that it is rare to have a sense of a third cousin being "family." In that case, there should be no particular psychological ickiness.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 08:25 PM

69. Neanderthals are close enough...

...Homo habilis is probably too far distant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution



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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 08:33 PM

70. I read an essay in anthropology that suggested that most marriages in human history

were between second cousins, and that in the absence of a health condition or long history of intermarriage that the statistical risk presented by first cousin pairings is a statistical blip.

If you think about it, the average peasant marriage was to somebody who grew up within walking distance. Multiply that by a few generations and everybody in the region's some distant relation. It was anything to be concerned about we'd all have flippers by this point.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #70)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 08:54 PM

74. As an anthropologist, I doubt that.

I'd like to see that article. We know that a minimum gene pool is about 500 persons for a band of humans to be genetically viable, and even then they need some outside exchange over time.

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #74)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 09:05 PM

76. To my great surprise I found the article. God bless the internets.

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Response to LeftyMom (Reply #70)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 09:46 PM

79. I just sent off my mouth swabs

Aren't we all at very least 5 thousandth cousins?

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 08:49 PM

72. If you're Jerry Lee Lewis

I think it doesn't matter. Legally 2nd. Non icky...not doing it?

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #72)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:03 PM

110. That effectvely ended his career

as a 50's era rock & roller anyway.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 08:49 PM

73. It depends on the state

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 08:59 PM

75. It's ok if you don't hear banjo music. nt

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #75)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 09:33 PM

78. haha!

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 09:20 PM

77. how distant?

in the south...........................................................just across the room.

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Response to MFM008 (Reply #77)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 09:55 PM

81. third cousins nothing removed

Meaning the couple in question share a set of great great grandparents. Namesake on his side which seems ti cause the butthurt.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 09:56 PM

82. 'Date?' Anytime.

Marry, depends on the State.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 10:59 PM

83. Marriage between first cousins was not uncommon in pre-Victorian times

in the UK, at least: it's a plot point in Jane Eyre. And Queen Victoria married her first cousin, as, I think, did her grandfather. As did Charles Darwin.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 11:05 PM

84. Depends ...

on how pretty she is.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sat Nov 30, 2013, 11:26 PM

85. Third cousins likely share something like 3% of their DNA.

The situation you describe sounds fine, though I know how small towns can be. It's none of their business, but they're going to make it their business. Or try to.

In Colonial Times, cousin marriages were common. Not that many people to choose from. The most amazing mix I found was a couple in 1600s Massachusetts who were first cousins, and their son married a first cousins. Mr. Thirties great-grandparents were first cousins, think they married in New York. Mr. Thirties and I are ninth cousins, three ways, but don't share any DNA. His parents are eighth cousins and do share a tiny bit of DNA.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:00 AM

87. I don't know for sure

But if they are in love, then as their relative I'd just be happy for them and wish them well.

I recently started doing genealogy a bit so I have learned who some of my distant relatives are. In my life I can not remember meeting very many of my cousins and the number of times I saw them was maybe two or three times before I was an adult. Some families have a stronger connection with distant relatives than others. Mine never had that.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 05:40 AM

88. Second cousins are probably as close as you need to be if you're procreating.

If not, maybe first cousins would be all right. Cousin marriages happen a lot in other parts of the world, but Americans seem to be more determined to diversify the gene pool. I suppose things could get dicey if first cousins want to procreate, especially if there are some very undesirable traits in the family.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 05:44 AM

89. I could date one of your cousins

assuming she was a she.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 06:48 AM

90. Third cousin, I think, hardly counts. nt

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 08:13 AM

91. I believe the answer is first legally, and second relatively safely, but don't quote me on that.


My belief, although I won't swear to it, is that in the UK (and I think the US) it's legal for first cousins to have sex, but there's a much higher risk of birth defects if they have children than for unrelated parents; for second cousins I think the risk is only slightly higher than normal.

In some communities first cousins marrying is very common, and this does lead to a significantly higher rate of children with things wrong with them.

My ick standard would come of birth defect chance; I think that provided they're not brought up together (which is a whole other kettle of fish) the only argument against cousins dating is the medical one.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 09:35 AM

92. Thomas Jefferson's wife was his 3rd cousin

Eleanor and FDR were 5th cousins
Albert Einstein married his 2nd cousin after his first wife died.
Rudi Guilliani's first wife was his 3rd cousin



As with all things in love, it depends on the couple and on the family.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 10:26 AM

93. I don't even know if I have any third cousins.

In any case, in almost half of the states in the US, first cousins can legally marry, and those marriages are recognized as valid in all 50 states. So, if third cousins want to date, I'm good with it. I can't see any reason why they shouldn't. All valid marriages in any state should be completely recognized by every other state.

Frankly, I'm not bothered by first cousins getting married, either. The risk, genetically, is quite small, and a little genetic counseling can tell them if there's any risk at all.

If they fall in love with each other, they fall in love with each other. None of my business.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #93)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 10:28 AM

94. Yes, the risk of birth defects is only slightly elevated as I understand it.

Of course if they carry any recessive mutations for any serious diseases the risk will go up.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #94)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 10:47 AM

97. Well, I really advise some sort of genetic counseling for all couples.

Just an extended family health history is probably enough, if looked at by someone who understand genetic risks.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #93)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:20 AM

99. interesting list

http://cousincouples.com/?page=states

it is allowed in such redneck states as California, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois and Rhode Island.

In five states (and I thought it was more) it is allowed only if the couple does NOT reproduce.

Also, it looks like only 8 of the 25 states which prohibit cousin marriages, will recognize a cousin marriage from some other state. Although the 17 states probably have no way of finding out that a couple is 1st cousins unless perhaps a vindictive relative reports them or they say something to somebody about it.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #99)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:26 AM

101. As a matter of practical information, I do not know of a single

case where a first cousin marriage valid in some state has not been accepted in any state. I know of lots of cases where same sex marriages are not accepted. There are likely to be court challenges to that, based on the general acceptance of first cousin marriages. Lots of states have laws on the books that are ignored. This is one of those laws.

My interest in first cousin marriage is purely academic, except that it makes a great precedent for accepting the validity of same sex marriages in states that do not allow them. The test would be whether a state, for example, allows first cousin marriages to declare jointly on state taxes. As far as I know, no state has refused a first cousin couple the right to file jointly.

There is a serious issue here that is likely to be tested soon.

But, I don't care if first cousins marry. They do so in most of the world, and in half of the states in the US. Mazel tov to them all.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #101)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:43 AM

106. "they do so ... in half the states"

Well, they are ALLOWED to do so in half the states. How many actually do is another question. Even if there are no legal barriers to marrying, there is the practical social barrier of two sets of parents and three sets of grandparents perhaps saying "OH HELL NO" and of friends, siblings, co-workers, teachers, pastors, etc. perhaps asking "are you out of your frigging mind?"

My family history records a story of a young woman who wanted to marry and older man who was deaf. Like a twenty year age difference. The Justice of the Peace refused to do it, according to a newspaper article. But they did marry anyway.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #106)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:52 AM

109. I have no information on how many first cousin marriages

take place anywhere. In states where it is permitted, there wouldn't be any records of it, so it would be difficult to know. I personally know two couples who are first cousins. One couple is in my own very extended family. Nobody gives a crap that they are married, as far as I am aware.

I may know other couples who are first cousins. It's not really something that comes up in casual conversation. As for myself, I have half a dozen first cousins I have never even met. They lived a long way from my family, and I've just never met them. I have another first cousin I met only once, when we were both teenagers. We were somewhat attracted to each other, I remember, and kissed each other more than a few times when we met at a family reunion. But, it went no farther than that, and was the subject of some pointed jokes aimed at us at the reunion. Nobody really seemed to give a damn about it, though.

So, how many first cousins get married, I do not know. It does happen, though, and is perfectly OK in half the states in this county, and is commonplace in some other parts of the world. It's a matter of indifference to me, except as I described in my previous post. The fact of first cousin marriages figured in the Windsor case in the SCOTUS, though, and in the way I described above.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 10:29 AM

95. Old school was 7 degrees of separation.

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Response to JNelson6563 (Reply #95)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:18 PM

116. And that is why Kevin Bacon is doomed to remain single

(yes, I know he isn't single)

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #116)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:47 PM

122. lol Touche'!

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 10:36 AM

96. There is no reason to date any relative

There are lots of people in the world.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #96)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:09 AM

98. and all people in the world are related

especially Europeans.

Also, I would wager that in everybody's family tree ten generations back there is at least one set of first cousins marrying in that tree.

If you go back 200 years in history people were not nearly as mobile either. And after 200 years of living in the same village - everybody is related to everybody else, to a degree.

Now the Catholic Church had rules that no marriages were allowed for anyone more closely related than 2nd cousins, although they sometimes bent those rules.

So here are some of my ancestors from Germany. Ambros Honer born 1761 married Maria Schmid born 1761. With only the information that I have - they are related FOUR ways. (by which I mean if I could take their pedigree back another four or five generations there would doubtless be even more connections) They are 3C1R through Michael Bihler. They are 3C1R through Johann Schmid, they are 4C1R through Johann Rees, and they are 4C1R through Bartholomew Hauser (and also through their spouses - Anna Mayer, Maria Link, Anna Hagen and Anna Klonk)

An even better example would be Oskar Lammer born 1882 in Spaichingen married Agatha Weisshaar born 1890 from Seitingen - not even the same village. Their nearest relationship is 2C1R but they are cousins a total of 28 different ways!

Unbeknownst to me at the time, a girl I went to high school with is related to me in 6 ways (the nearest being 8C). Is it somehow NOT okay for 7th cousins to date? Really?

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #98)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 01:19 PM

125. That's my favorite statement of the internet so far today.

"...and all people in the world are related...especially Europeans."

Just thought I'd let you know.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #96)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:27 AM

102. Unless you have had your geneology done, you could marry a distant cousin and never even know

you were cousins. By the time you get to 8th cousins, it seems a humongous amount of us are related.
Like Barack Obama and G W Bush.

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Response to DebJ (Reply #102)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:38 AM

104. I think she meant in a more closer sense... Like, if you share more than five family members on

facebook as friends.

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Response to DebJ (Reply #102)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 01:30 PM

126. My wife is a distant double cousin to President Obama.

Both her mom and dad are related to Obama; so she's like a 7th cousin on one side, and 8th cousin once removed on the other side.
Of course, she's also related to Dick Cheney...

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #96)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:36 AM

103. I think you're right, but it really should be a personal choice if all parties are adults.

In my opinion, I think even siblings should be able to marry if they get 'fixed'. That would get rid of any legitimate argument I could have against it from a legal stand point (welfare of the potential child) Grant you, I'd have my personal opinion on it, but that's irrelevant to them.

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Response to penultimate (Reply #103)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:40 AM

105. Every society has cultural taboos against insest

for the purposes of the survival of the human species. It's pretty fucking basic.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #105)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:49 AM

108. But if we get rid of the risk by ensuring they don't procreate

I can't find a reason for me to justify denying them from getting married.

Also, wasn't it pretty common in the past for royalty and stuff to marry their own relatives? On game of thrones they are pretty big on that stuff too, and I'm pretty sure that's based on fact.

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Response to penultimate (Reply #108)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:09 PM

113. How do you ensure they don't procreate?

Forced sterilization?
It was common for royalty to marry relatives. Which is presumably why they had some inheritable diseases among them.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #113)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:14 PM

114. Well it wouldn't be forced, as they'd do it on their own accord so they can get married legally

But yeah, that would be the stipulation tied to it. Which someone can then say "but you're essentially forcing them by requiring them to do it if they want to marry", but before we were forcing them to not get married by threat of whatever legal action is taken when that happens...

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Response to penultimate (Reply #114)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:18 PM

117. Should that be done just to cousins or to everyone that carry some mutation?

A lot of people have inheritable diseases. Should they be forbidden from procreation?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #117)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:25 PM

120. That's a good point.

So maybe it should just be legal all together without the sterilization then.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #105)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:19 PM

118. But then also preservation of property

and status led people to arrange marriages between relatives.

Eleanor and FDR were fifth cousins, I think. Eleanor even had the same maiden name. No one seems to be grossed out by them. So there's a limit somewhere.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 11:49 AM

107. Old tradition says 2nd cousin.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:06 PM

111. Cousin Couples Forum

For those who think this is not a real issue, here's a forum where cousin marriage is the only topic, and people are dealing with this as a real, present issue for themselves. For these people, the issue is real and troublesome, and they discuss it at length.

http://www.cousincouples.com/

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:16 PM

115. In a lot of states you can still marry a first cousin

A second in just about every state.

Ickily, I'd say how closely together were you raised as kids. I had some second cousins we grew up playing with, calling their grandmother aunt while they called our grandfather uncle.

Others I met only as an adult, maybe having seen them once or twice as kids.

So I'd say it might not be so icky if you didn't meet them until they were both adults or teens.

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Response to treestar (Reply #115)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 01:32 PM

127. Second cousins are fine in all 50 states, I believe.

First cousins are OK in about 25 states, although a couple or three of those have some restrictions.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 12:25 PM

121. I feel that if your talking about the icky factor

then just the word cousin does it for me.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 01:02 PM

123. Ask "The Killer" Jerry Lee Lewis he married his 13 year old cousin at 22 then

at 76 he married her brother's x-wife. I think that is Louisiana. In WV they go to their family reunion to get a
wife. Just kidding

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 03:37 PM

128. How many people here know their third cousins?

Not just as a name on a family tree, but to talk to. I think it's pretty rare (here in the UK, anyway), so I'd say the 'ick' factor has disappeared.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #128)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 03:55 PM

129. I don't know any of mine. I assume I have some, but

I have no idea who they might be. We're not that into family trees in my family. I know who all of my first cousins are, but beyond that, I'm clueless. My wife's family, though, has cousins of one sort or another everywhere. It's amazing.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2013, 06:48 PM

131. First was good enough for Darwin

...it should be good enough for anyone.

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