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Kennedy, married his second cousin, Mary Josephine Hannon.
Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York, married his second cousin once removed, Regina Peruggi Samuel F. Morse, inventor of the Morse Code, took his first cousin once removed, Sarah Elizabeth Griswold, as his second wife.
For example, a single individual today has more than 30 generations going back to the High Middle Ages with roughly a billion ancestors, more than the total world population at the time. Nobody has more ancestors than those on the face of the earth.
Duplicate ancestors (the same person appearing in multiple places in the family tree) will always appear in every person’s ancestry chart if we research and find every ancestor.
Indeed, there is some increased risk although the numbers appear to be small.
Going back to earlier and earlier generations results in a smaller and smaller number of ancestors when compared to the ancestry charts of the offspring of “unrelated” couples.
For example, a person with no cousin relationships amongst his or her parents or grandparents has eight great-grandparents.
Anyone whose parents were cousins only has six great-grandparents instead of the normal eight.
One article I read claims that twenty percent of all married couples in the United States are cousins. The only way to find out is to research both of your family trees. In America, marrying your first cousin is legal in 25 states. It is also legal throughout Canada and Mexico to marry your first cousin. Many people believe that the Bible is a higher authority than the laws of men.
To be sure, all of us are related to each and every other person somewhere back in history. Some lists claim that 26 states allow cousin marriage. In Leviticus, Chapter 18 (KJV), God tells us that we are not to have sexual relations with a long list of relatives, but the word “cousin” is absent from the list.
The confusion apparently stems from the laws of North Carolina, where double cousin marriage is specifically prohibited, but marriages amongst “normal” cousins (those who are not double cousins) are allowed. Leviticus does deny marriage to “any close relative,” and scholars have long debated whether or not that includes cousins.