Greg Resch (
26 Jan 1995 21:07:27 -0500

> ...In my family (besides the fact that my maternal grandparents were first
> cousins once removed) there are a fair number of cousin-cousin marriages.
> In days when travel was more restricted and people tended to marry within
> a small geographic locality, second and third cousin marriages were
> *very* common....
> In the middle ages the Church went to foolish extremes in
> prohibiting marriages between relatives, insisting at one
> point that 40th degree relatives could not marry....

That claim, notably unsubstantiated (as well as contradicting the writer's
own preceding paragraph), is false on its face. Almost no one, then or
now, could track such a precise relationship. And, were it true, and were
such a proscription enforced, the population level would have imploded.
History is curiously silent on such a catastrophe.

Perhaps the writer's admission of rampant consanguinity among his forebears
(in his next-preceding paragraph) suggests a cause for his making such wild