There is no music in hell, for all good music belongs to heaven. ~Brigham Young
Question #16723 posted on 07/19/2005 4:27 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

let's say that-hypothetically speaking-there were two individuals that were cousins (i am quite aware that this happens frequently). so my question is, what relation would that make their grandchildren? would it be reasonable for said grandchildren to be married (11 fingers aside)?

- nin10do kid

A: Dear nin10do kid,

If you and I were 1st cousins ("regular" cousins are 1st cousins), our grandchildren would be 3rd cousins to each other.

Such a marriage would be legal in any state, as they would be separated by 8 degrees of consanguinity. (Most states allow marriages starting at either 4 or 5 degrees.)

It is quite likely that many such marriages occur without either party realizing they are so "closely" related. I highly doubt that there would be any serious genetic side effects from any such marriage, unless the common ancestors happened to be carriers of some particularly heinous disease. (And quite likely not even then.)

- Katya