Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Discovering Consanguinamory in the Family Tree

I am [or, had been] active on [a certain Big Online Portal's question and answer service], especially when it comes to explaining the importance of relationship rights, full marriage equality, and decriminalizing consanguinamory. Someone had this question...

Family Tree Concerns..?
My Grandfather recently passed away and my Grandmother told us all that her and my Grandfather were never married, they had always celebrated an anniversary (or so we thought,) but didn't understand while she waited till he died before telling us. After further research into my family tree I have discovered that my Grandmother married her Uncle (is this incest!?!), my Mother feels all weird because it feels like her life has been a lie and the only person she could have asked and got a proper answer was her Dad but now he's gone so we are both just looking for some advice or if anyone has been or is going through a similar situation...
This was my answer, which was chosen as the best answer (thankyouverymuch)...
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Here's what matters: Was your grandfather a good person? A good spouse to your Grandmother? A good parent? A good grandparent? THAT is what matters, not any genetic or legal relation to your grandmother. There's no lie about any of that. Your mother's life is no different now than it was before she knew that information. She's just allowing cultural prejudices to influence her reaction. Your grandparents had what is called a common-law marriage. As long as they were good to each other, that is what matters.

You didn't make it clear, but it appears you mean your grandfather was the brother of one of your grandmother's parents (he would still be an "uncle" to her if he had, at one time, been married to one of your grandmother's parents' sisters without any biological relation to your grandmother). Assuming there was a genetic connection (though it is possible he had been adopted into the family, too), that is still no reason for alarm. This is much more common than people think. People are finding out about this through DNA testing and family records, although family records don't always reveal the truth. If you go back further, it is virtually guaranteed you'll find you have consanguineous ancestors.

You don't have to go too far back in anyone's family tree to find these kinds of things. I doubt there is a person out there whose ancestry has nothing like this.

In other words.... you and your family are as normal as everyone else.
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Just about everyone has incestuous childbearing in their family tree. In some cases, someone was raped, which of course is a horrible, or there was cheating. In other cases, it was true love between people who were not cheating on anyone. If the law prevented them from legally marrying or from telling the truth, that is a problem, a terrible problem, of the law, and just one of many reasons we need full marriage equality. It is not something wrong with the lovers.
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  1. I think if the incest in people's family trees were to be revealed, if people could see just how much it does happen, there would be a large number of shocked or surprised people out there. On the other hand, if everyone knew the truth, then maybe, just maybe, it would help some people change their minds about incest.

    1. It's not a direct ancestor but we learned that one *of* my direct ancestor's siblings married their first cousin once removed.

  2. People always let society fog their judgment. You had a good answer, what matters is if their relationship was a good one, which from the sound of things, really was. I would also add that looking at the result of their bond, they would see that knowing it was consanguineous changed nothing, only their perception was changed. So they need to take a step back and look at things objectively, I feel they would see things more positively as they realize that the world didn't end, that they weren't' mutants or anything of the sort. They would then see the shackles of their brainwashing disappear and a burden would be removed.

  3. Its never easy to find out something about a person when they are not around any more to be asked about it , even if all you would have offered was acceptance know its hard to trust sometimes when being discovered means taking a risk of rejection it can feel like its best hidden , Sounds like your family members decided that risk could never be taken and that is sad but all you can do is accept them for who they were. If there was love that is all that matters/

  4. I am in a similar situation. My fiance's parents and some extended family members are strongly against our marriage plans just because we are from the same clan in Ghana! They have not been able to convincingly trace any close blood relations. Meanwhile our customs do not see a marriage between a man and his uncle's daughter as incest! The Criminal Offences Act does not 'see' our relationship as incest but our customs, which is also part of the laws recognised by the Ghanaian courts, regard that as such. My question is, if we are to follow this logic and extend their argument a bit further beyond theirs, then won't we perhaps conclude that a man and a woman mustn't get married because they come from the same parents, the only people God created, Adam and Eve?

    1. Thanks for sharing that. Everyone who wants to be together should be free to do so.

    2. And, consider this: Who did Adam and Eve's grandchildren come from? It means that if they came from a third person that God created (this means not including Adam's possible first wife, Lilith) then the punishment for Eve's sin should have been cancelled out LONG ago or that if they come from Adam and Eve's line it would have been between brothers and sisters.

  5. I have two friends who are in a relationship she is 23 and he is 27. They are an aunt and nephew. They have been together for more than 12yrs. Even though they knew they were related, that wasn't an issue. All these years it has been a secret, the reason I know is because me and her have been friends for a while and she knew that all that matters to me is that she was happy. She is a good friend and me knowing her secret doesn't change the type of person that she is which is a fun, caring person. From what I was told their relationship started more like friends and with time it grew into something more. When we hang out all you see is two people who love each other dearly and only want the best for each other. They are always happier when they are together. Its sad that they have to keep it a secret. For me as long as its a good positive relationship there shouldn't be a problem

    With regards to the grandparents and family tree, its no surprise why they kept it a secret for so long because it can cause family feuds. I see it like a Romeo and Juliet type of story.

    1. People like you are so wonderful to me. I too am in a consanguineous relationship and I wish everyone could understand that who we love does not determine or change who we are or the kind person we are and always have been. The only thing that has changed for me as a person is that I am happier, healthier, and more productive than I ever have been.

  6. That really is a perfect answer. I couldnt have said it better.

  7. It is unfortunate when you find love so close to hime. Nobody understands. Nobody would ever consent or approve. I have been there. It is a confusing situation and you feel like there is something wrong with you for feeling the way you do.


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