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6 Famous People Who Married Their Cousins!

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at 2016.02.19
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Today if you want to marry your first cousin in America, you may be surprised that many states no longer outlaw the practice. Many religions dont forbid it either. In 26 states, first cousin marriages are allowed with a few restrictions in some states.

Historically marrying your first cousin was not a problem. Religious scholars have long contended that Mary and Joseph (Jesuss earthly parents) were first cousins. It has always been legal and even encouraged (in the ruling class and aristocracy) of England and throughout Europe.

Even Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Phillip are somewhat close cousins. They are second cousins through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria.

In the US, bans to cousin marriage did not begin until the late 1850s and early 1860s. The more recent state law restrictions were based on the idea that there is an increased risk of birth defects in cousin marriages. Recent clinical research has confirmed that if you marry your cousin and have children, the risk of birth defects is increased to 6%. This is the same risk factor in women that have children after the age of 40. In the overall populace, you have a 3% chance of having a child with birth defects.

Actually, the most certain way to avoid passing down recessive genes is to marry outside your race. In mixed marriages, there is only a 1.5% to 2% chance of your child having birth defects. In recent history, some of the more famous cousin marriages has resulted in high achieving healthy children.

1. Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin who developed the theory of evolution (On the Origin of the Species) was a renowned English author, scientist and naturalist. He married his first cousin Emma Wedgwood in 1839. Their grandfather was Josiah Wedgwood, who made a vast fortune creating the Wedgwood china and pottery factory. Charles and Emma had 10 children. Three died in infancy (infectious common diseases). His surviving children and grandchildren include some rather famous and successful people.

His surviving sons included a famous astronomer, a botanist, a civil engineer, banker/education advocate and a politician/biologist. Both his daughters were writers. His daughter Henrietta edited much of Charles Darwins biographical work, as well as, her mothers correspondence. She published Emma Darwin: A Century of Family Letters in 1904.

In 2009, the film Creation was released. It details Darwins theories and his relationship with his wife, Emma.

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