Cousin marriage

Discussion in 'Puritan Literature' started by chuckd, Feb 7, 2013.

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  1. chuckd

    chuckd Puritan Board Sophomore

    I don't know where to put this. I read An Alarm to the Unconverted by Joseph Alleine about a year ago. Good book, but something that stood out especially was his biography at the beginning. Including that he marriage his cousin. Was this normal/allowed? I'm reading conflicting reports that the Puritans both outlawed it and encouraged it (as an unnecessary RCC law).
  2. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    The Westminster Confession, 24.4, has this:

    Debate arose in the 19th century, particularly in the South, over this exclusion, and ultimately the final sentence in that paragraph was excised from the American editions of the WCF.

    Barry Waugh did his Westminster Seminary dissertation on the history of that debate. He is considering making the dissertation available either in print or as a PDF. Those who might want to see that material can send me a PM and I will pass along your contact info.
  3. chuckd

    chuckd Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks. The question is not over the last sentence, but more of the first. What are the "degrees of consanguinity?" Is cousin not included?
  4. Quatchu

    Quatchu Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think this has become stronger taboo in our day then it was previously. I have done genealogy and discovered in the 17-1800 cousin marriage happened a few times. To be clear i don't think brother-sister marriage is ever good, cousins although not optimal i think is fine to a degree given you do not have 3 generation who have married there cousin. I read somewhere albeit it escapes me, that there is enough different genes among 1st cousins that problems with children are not a issue.

    Of course I'm the guy who jokes that i married a women from California in order to make sure I did not mistakenly wed my cousin.
  5. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Much of this has to do with the fact that isolated populations were the norm in many areas until high-speed transportation became the norm. For those who lived in the Appalachians or the Scottish Highlands most of the people they would have known would be cousins of one degree or another.
  6. Petty France

    Petty France Puritan Board Freshman

  7. Rufus

    Rufus Puritan Board Junior

    It had to be in the South.
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    Hey, they had their own problems up north, what with the practice of bundling and all.
  9. nicnap

    nicnap Puritan Board Post-Graduate

  10. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

  11. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    First cousins are not expressly forbidden from marrying by Scripture, and thus it is within Christian liberty, but "all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient." One might want to consider whether one might have a slightly raised likelihood of having a child with congenital problems, or a genius, or both!
  12. yeutter

    yeutter Puritan Board Senior

    In many cultures cousin marriages are expected, Kashmir for instance. Cross cousin marriages are common in some, if I remember correctly the Hmong married cousins from among their mothers relatives that were often related on the fathers side as well. The degrees of consanguinity prohibited are consistent with what is taught in Leviticus 18.
  13. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Forgive my ignorance, but what is (was?) bundling?
  14. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

  15. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    fascinating, thank you for filling me in!
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