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Did you marry your cousin?

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Did you marry your cousin?

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Saracen
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Did you marry your cousin?
« on: March 27, 2010, 23:37:58 »

I've been away from this site for a long time, but have decided to drop by again.

Not wishing to enter into any of the current debates, I thought I'd throw this into the pot, so to speak.  It's an essay I posted on another site a couple of years back, and no one commented on it.

I'm not sure this is the best place on the site for it, but one of the issues it raises is the extent to which we can reasonably be assumed to be descended from our own race, as opposed to being "mongrels" descended from people of different nationalities.

Here goes:

Did you marry your cousin?  This may seem a strange question, but it has a certain relevance to anyone who is interested in researching their family history.
 
Before I try to answer this question, let me ask a related question.  How many ancestors do you have?  Presumably, you have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on.  This brings us neatly to the ancestor paradox.  For every generation you go back, you double your hypothetical number of ancestors - and yet the further back in time you go, the smaller the world population becomes.  It is hard to be precise, because we do not have precise population figures for past historical ages.  In England and Wales, for examples, accurate figures go back only to the first census of 1801.  Nevertheless, the fact remains that if you go back far enough in time, then you reach a point at which your hypothetical number of ancestors in a given generation exceeds the likely population of your home country (or indeed the entire world) at that time.  How can this be explained?
 
The answer is that our ancestors often intermarried.  If you marry your first cousin, then you and your spouse have four parents between you, but only six (rather than eight) grandparents.  Obviously it is hard to be certain of the extent to which our ancestors intermarried, but it may have been to quite a large extent.
 
I once read in a history magazine that in a traditional community only three out of every four people in any generation have children who survive to adulthood.  That is to say that every fourth person in a given generation either has no children, or has children who do not live long enough to become parents themselves.  Only three people in every four are destined to become grandparents.  The author of this comment argued that while we tend to regard people who lived in ages past as our ancestors, it would probably be closer to the truth to say that very few of the people who lived in the distant past are the ancestors of people living today.  I took out my calculator, and found to my surprise that he could well be right.  Of people born fifty years ago, only three quarters are the ancestors of people born today.  Go back another generation, and it falls to just over half.  It was astonishing.  If I went back just five hundred years, then only a tiny fraction of people living at that time - less than half of one percent in fact - would have been the ancestors of people living today.  It seemed to me that logically, the only way that the human race could possibly have survived for all this time was as the result of some very serious interbreeding.
 
Fortunately, I soon realised that it probably wasn't true.  The root of this fallacy is that it makes sense only if you assume that no one in any generation ever has more than one child.  Suppose you have two children.  If one of those children never has children of their own, then this does not prevent you from becoming a grandparent.  If you assume that every person in history who died childless had at least one sibling who lived to become a parent, which may well not be far from the truth, then it follows that the majority of people who lived in the distant past could quite easily be the ancestors of people living today.
 
Or does it?  If we accept that in every generation there are some people who have no children, then surely there must be some diminution of the ancestor pool as we go back through time.  Suppose that we start by assuming that eighty percent of the post-war generation are the grandparents of children being born today.  Next let us suppose that for all of the people in a given generation who have no children, five percent have either no siblings or at least no siblings who have children.  The diminution of the ancestor pool greatly decreases.  If we go back to Tudor times, we have to allow that something like one third of the population would have been the ancestors of people being born today - but that still leaves two-thirds who would not.  If we go back even further to the years following the Norman conquest, then we have to assume that only around thirteen percent of the population would have been the ancestors of people being born today.  That's hardly a large proportion.
 
Furthermore, that is a small proportion of a total national population which is far lower than what it is today.  If we assume that Norman England had a population of two million people, then by the above logic fewer than three hundred thousand of those people were the ancestors of people being born today.  As the ancestor pool becomes smaller and smaller, so the likelihood of intermarriage among our ancestors becomes increasingly more likely.
 
So to answer the initial question.  We are all of us related to one another if we go back far enough into the past, and so in that sense all marriages involve cousins.  The question is not whether or not we are related to our spouses, but how closely - and the answer might surprise us.
 

I would rather live next door to April Gaede than to Rudy Guede.
papasmurf
King

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Posts: 61361



Did you marry your cousin?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2010, 09:56:47 »

Did you marry your cousin? 

I married my first cousin, (cue duelling banjoes).
As for your problems with how many ancestors people have you need to realise in Britain until the late 1800s most people married before their 17th birthday and died before they were 30.
 

Tories are like Hells Angels, they only represent 1%.
Saracen
Rook

****
Posts: 568


I don't vote for warmongers.


WWW
Did you marry your cousin?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2010, 20:58:51 »

As for your problems with how many ancestors people have you need to realise in Britain until the late 1800s most people married before their 17th birthday and died before they were 30.
And the evidence for this would be?
 
papasmurf
King

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Posts: 61361



Did you marry your cousin?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2010, 21:08:15 »

And the evidence for this would be?


The national census's covering the period, as well as other official data.
I am not about to do all you research for you when most of the official historical data is easily available with a few hours time of research on the internet.
 
Saracen
Rook

****
Posts: 568


I don't vote for warmongers.


WWW
Did you marry your cousin?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2010, 05:53:53 »

I'm a tad sceptical there.  I have as it happens spent time looking at census records for the 19C, although not recently, and I don't remember any teenage marriages.  I do remember some young deaths, but not so many as to suggest that it was the norm.

Anyway, assuming you're correct, how does that actually impact on what I originally wrote?
 
papasmurf
King

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Posts: 61361



Did you marry your cousin?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2010, 12:58:06 »

I'm a tad sceptical there.  I have as it happens spent time looking at census records for the 19C, although not recently, and I don't remember any teenage marriages. 

The vast majority of the working class married before their 17th Birthday, (many on boxing day because that was about the only day they got off of work.)
Check your own familiy tree, getting married before your 17th birthday didn't start to decline until the early 1900s.
 
marybrown
King

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Posts: 13157


honi y soit qui mal y pense

Did you marry your cousin?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2010, 19:09:06 »

I've been away from this site for a long time, but have decided to drop by again.

Not wishing to enter into any of the current debates, I thought I'd throw this into the pot, so to speak.  It's an essay I posted on another site a couple of years back, and no one commented on it.

I'm not sure this is the best place on the site for it, but one of the issues it raises is the extent to which we can reasonably be assumed to be descended from our own race, as opposed to being "mongrels" descended from people of different nationalities.

Here goes:

Did you marry your cousin?  This may seem a strange question, but it has a certain relevance to anyone who is interested in researching their family history.
 
Before I try to answer this question, let me ask a related question.  How many ancestors do you have?  Presumably, you have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on.  This brings us neatly to the ancestor paradox.  For every generation you go back, you double your hypothetical number of ancestors - and yet the further back in time you go, the smaller the world population becomes.  It is hard to be precise, because we do not have precise population figures for past historical ages.  In England and Wales, for examples, accurate figures go back only to the first census of 1801.  Nevertheless, the fact remains that if you go back far enough in time, then you reach a point at which your hypothetical number of ancestors in a given generation exceeds the likely population of your home country (or indeed the entire world) at that time.  How can this be explained?
 
The answer is that our ancestors often intermarried.  If you marry your first cousin, then you and your spouse have four parents between you, but only six (rather than eight) grandparents.  Obviously it is hard to be certain of the extent to which our ancestors intermarried, but it may have been to quite a large extent.
 
I once read in a history magazine that in a traditional community only three out of every four people in any generation have children who survive to adulthood.  That is to say that every fourth person in a given generation either has no children, or has children who do not live long enough to become parents themselves.  Only three people in every four are destined to become grandparents.  The author of this comment argued that while we tend to regard people who lived in ages past as our ancestors, it would probably be closer to the truth to say that very few of the people who lived in the distant past are the ancestors of people living today.  I took out my calculator, and found to my surprise that he could well be right.  Of people born fifty years ago, only three quarters are the ancestors of people born today.  Go back another generation, and it falls to just over half.  It was astonishing.  If I went back just five hundred years, then only a tiny fraction of people living at that time - less than half of one percent in fact - would have been the ancestors of people living today.  It seemed to me that logically, the only way that the human race could possibly have survived for all this time was as the result of some very serious interbreeding.
 
Fortunately, I soon realised that it probably wasn't true.  The root of this fallacy is that it makes sense only if you assume that no one in any generation ever has more than one child.  Suppose you have two children.  If one of those children never has children of their own, then this does not prevent you from becoming a grandparent.  If you assume that every person in history who died childless had at least one sibling who lived to become a parent, which may well not be far from the truth, then it follows that the majority of people who lived in the distant past could quite easily be the ancestors of people living today.
 
Or does it?  If we accept that in every generation there are some people who have no children, then surely there must be some diminution of the ancestor pool as we go back through time.  Suppose that we start by assuming that eighty percent of the post-war generation are the grandparents of children being born today.  Next let us suppose that for all of the people in a given generation who have no children, five percent have either no siblings or at least no siblings who have children.  The diminution of the ancestor pool greatly decreases.  If we go back to Tudor times, we have to allow that something like one third of the population would have been the ancestors of people being born today - but that still leaves two-thirds who would not.  If we go back even further to the years following the Norman conquest, then we have to assume that only around thirteen percent of the population would have been the ancestors of people being born today.  That's hardly a large proportion.
 
Furthermore, that is a small proportion of a total national population which is far lower than what it is today.  If we assume that Norman England had a population of two million people, then by the above logic fewer than three hundred thousand of those people were the ancestors of people being born today.  As the ancestor pool becomes smaller and smaller, so the likelihood of intermarriage among our ancestors becomes increasingly more likely.
 
So to answer the initial question.  We are all of us related to one another if we go back far enough into the past, and so in that sense all marriages involve cousins.  The question is not whether or not we are related to our spouses, but how closely - and the answer might surprise us.

That is why the NHS and the British people are paying for your inbreeding, and handicapped children, we don't marry our first cousins normally, we realised years ago that this was wrong!! Jewish people also inbreed and have a blood disorder!! disgusting! Does this work in your own country!!! Nooooo Nooooo
 
debatealot
Queen

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Posts: 1404


Batty, R.I.P.

Did you marry your cousin?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 13:32:02 »

I've been away from this site for a long time, but have decided to drop by again.

Not wishing to enter into any of the current debates, I thought I'd throw this into the pot, so to speak.  It's an essay I posted on another site a couple of years back, and no one commented on it.

I'm not sure this is the best place on the site for it, but one of the issues it raises is the extent to which we can reasonably be assumed to be descended from our own race, as opposed to being "mongrels" descended from people of different nationalities.

Here goes:

Did you marry your cousin?  This may seem a strange question, but it has a certain relevance to anyone who is interested in researching their family history.
 
Before I try to answer this question, let me ask a related question.  How many ancestors do you have?  Presumably, you have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on.  This brings us neatly to the ancestor paradox.  For every generation you go back, you double your hypothetical number of ancestors - and yet the further back in time you go, the smaller the world population becomes.  It is hard to be precise, because we do not have precise population figures for past historical ages.  In England and Wales, for examples, accurate figures go back only to the first census of 1801.  Nevertheless, the fact remains that if you go back far enough in time, then you reach a point at which your hypothetical number of ancestors in a given generation exceeds the likely population of your home country (or indeed the entire world) at that time.  How can this be explained?
 
The answer is that our ancestors often intermarried.  If you marry your first cousin, then you and your spouse have four parents between you, but only six (rather than eight) grandparents.  Obviously it is hard to be certain of the extent to which our ancestors intermarried, but it may have been to quite a large extent.
 
I once read in a history magazine that in a traditional community only three out of every four people in any generation have children who survive to adulthood.  That is to say that every fourth person in a given generation either has no children, or has children who do not live long enough to become parents themselves.  Only three people in every four are destined to become grandparents.  The author of this comment argued that while we tend to regard people who lived in ages past as our ancestors, it would probably be closer to the truth to say that very few of the people who lived in the distant past are the ancestors of people living today.  I took out my calculator, and found to my surprise that he could well be right.  Of people born fifty years ago, only three quarters are the ancestors of people born today.  Go back another generation, and it falls to just over half.  It was astonishing.  If I went back just five hundred years, then only a tiny fraction of people living at that time - less than half of one percent in fact - would have been the ancestors of people living today.  It seemed to me that logically, the only way that the human race could possibly have survived for all this time was as the result of some very serious interbreeding.
 
Fortunately, I soon realised that it probably wasn't true.  The root of this fallacy is that it makes sense only if you assume that no one in any generation ever has more than one child.  Suppose you have two children.  If one of those children never has children of their own, then this does not prevent you from becoming a grandparent.  If you assume that every person in history who died childless had at least one sibling who lived to become a parent, which may well not be far from the truth, then it follows that the majority of people who lived in the distant past could quite easily be the ancestors of people living today.
 
Or does it?  If we accept that in every generation there are some people who have no children, then surely there must be some diminution of the ancestor pool as we go back through time.  Suppose that we start by assuming that eighty percent of the post-war generation are the grandparents of children being born today.  Next let us suppose that for all of the people in a given generation who have no children, five percent have either no siblings or at least no siblings who have children.  The diminution of the ancestor pool greatly decreases.  If we go back to Tudor times, we have to allow that something like one third of the population would have been the ancestors of people being born today - but that still leaves two-thirds who would not.  If we go back even further to the years following the Norman conquest, then we have to assume that only around thirteen percent of the population would have been the ancestors of people being born today.  That's hardly a large proportion.
 
Furthermore, that is a small proportion of a total national population which is far lower than what it is today.  If we assume that Norman England had a population of two million people, then by the above logic fewer than three hundred thousand of those people were the ancestors of people being born today.  As the ancestor pool becomes smaller and smaller, so the likelihood of intermarriage among our ancestors becomes increasingly more likely.
 
So to answer the initial question.  We are all of us related to one another if we go back far enough into the past, and so in that sense all marriages involve cousins.  The question is not whether or not we are related to our spouses, but how closely - and the answer might surprise us.

I've been away from this site for a long time, but have decided to drop by again.

Not wishing to enter into any of the current debates, I thought I'd throw this into the pot, so to speak.  It's an essay I posted on another site a couple of years back, and no one commented on it.

I'm not sure this is the best place on the site for it, but one of the issues it raises is the extent to which we can reasonably be assumed to be descended from our own race, as opposed to being "mongrels" descended from people of different nationalities.

Here goes:

Did you marry your cousin?  This may seem a strange question, but it has a certain relevance to anyone who is interested in researching their family history.
 
Before I try to answer this question, let me ask a related question.  How many ancestors do you have?  Presumably, you have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, and so on.  This brings us neatly to the ancestor paradox.  For every generation you go back, you double your hypothetical number of ancestors - and yet the further back in time you go, the smaller the world population becomes.  It is hard to be precise, because we do not have precise population figures for past historical ages.  In England and Wales, for examples, accurate figures go back only to the first census of 1801.  Nevertheless, the fact remains that if you go back far enough in time, then you reach a point at which your hypothetical number of ancestors in a given generation exceeds the likely population of your home country (or indeed the entire world) at that time.  How can this be explained?
 
The answer is that our ancestors often intermarried.  If you marry your first cousin, then you and your spouse have four parents between you, but only six (rather than eight) grandparents.  Obviously it is hard to be certain of the extent to which our ancestors intermarried, but it may have been to quite a large extent.
 
I once read in a history magazine that in a traditional community only three out of every four people in any generation have children who survive to adulthood.  That is to say that every fourth person in a given generation either has no children, or has children who do not live long enough to become parents themselves.  Only three people in every four are destined to become grandparents.  The author of this comment argued that while we tend to regard people who lived in ages past as our ancestors, it would probably be closer to the truth to say that very few of the people who lived in the distant past are the ancestors of people living today.  I took out my calculator, and found to my surprise that he could well be right.  Of people born fifty years ago, only three quarters are the ancestors of people born today.  Go back another generation, and it falls to just over half.  It was astonishing.  If I went back just five hundred years, then only a tiny fraction of people living at that time - less than half of one percent in fact - would have been the ancestors of people living today.  It seemed to me that logically, the only way that the human race could possibly have survived for all this time was as the result of some very serious interbreeding.
 
Fortunately, I soon realised that it probably wasn't true.  The root of this fallacy is that it makes sense only if you assume that no one in any generation ever has more than one child.  Suppose you have two children.  If one of those children never has children of their own, then this does not prevent you from becoming a grandparent.  If you assume that every person in history who died childless had at least one sibling who lived to become a parent, which may well not be far from the truth, then it follows that the majority of people who lived in the distant past could quite easily be the ancestors of people living today.
 
Or does it?  If we accept that in every generation there are some people who have no children, then surely there must be some diminution of the ancestor pool as we go back through time.  Suppose that we start by assuming that eighty percent of the post-war generation are the grandparents of children being born today.  Next let us suppose that for all of the people in a given generation who have no children, five percent have either no siblings or at least no siblings who have children.  The diminution of the ancestor pool greatly decreases.  If we go back to Tudor times, we have to allow that something like one third of the population would have been the ancestors of people being born today - but that still leaves two-thirds who would not.  If we go back even further to the years following the Norman conquest, then we have to assume that only around thirteen percent of the population would have been the ancestors of people being born today.  That's hardly a large proportion.
 
Furthermore, that is a small proportion of a total national population which is far lower than what it is today.  If we assume that Norman England had a population of two million people, then by the above logic fewer than three hundred thousand of those people were the ancestors of people being born today.  As the ancestor pool becomes smaller and smaller, so the likelihood of intermarriage among our ancestors becomes increasingly more likely.
 
So to answer the initial question.  We are all of us related to one another if we go back far enough into the past, and so in that sense all marriages involve cousins.  The question is not whether or not we are related to our spouses, but how closely - and the answer might surprise us.


It is common for Muslims to marry their 1st cousins. I am sure if they married their sisters our PC government would legalise that for them !!
 

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