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Q: Intermarriage amongst cousins in Wiltshire, England ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: Intermarriage amongst cousins in Wiltshire, England
Category: Health
Asked by: nigel-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 30 Apr 2002 03:43 PDT
Expires: 07 May 2002 03:43 PDT
Question ID: 6658
Is it true that intermarriage amongst cousins in Wiltshire, England is
thought to produce some strange human characteristics in the resulting
offspring, especially deviant sexual behaviour, and is it also true
that Tim Daw, a well known Wiltshire farmer is a prime example of
these devaint practices?
Subject: Re: Intermarriage amongst cousins in Wiltshire, England
Answered By: grimace-ga on 30 Apr 2002 05:39 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
The genetic ill-effects of intermarriage among cousins and other close
relatives has been known for centuries. It happens everywhere, of
course - and although it may perhaps be more common in relatively
rural areas like the West Country, there is no evidence beyond the
anecdotal to suggest that Wiltshire is especially plagued with

Here's a page of cuttings from various newspaper articles about the
subject of inbreeding:

A useful table of kinship and degrees of consanguineity among blood

A nice account of the genetic effects of intermarriage in the States:

As for Tim Daw - well, judging from your other questions, I presume
you mean the COO of Netshift ( I have found
no particular evidence to suggest consanguineous marriages in his
background. CEO Nigel Seed, on the other hand, has a very tangled
family tree. Perhaps you know him.

Hope this helps,


search terms used : intermarriage + cousins
                    intermarriage + wiltshire
                    "tim daw" + wiltshire

Request for Answer Clarification by nigel-ga on 30 Apr 2002 10:11 PDT
what exactly have you heard about my family background? - my Mum says
she found me under a mulberry bush ;-)

Clarification of Answer by grimace-ga on 30 Apr 2002 11:56 PDT
No offence intended, of course! ;-)

Glad you liked the answer.
nigel-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Intermarriage amongst cousins in Wiltshire, England
From: chiflado-ga on 30 Apr 2002 11:43 PDT
Recent research suggests that marriage between cousins may not have
any significant risks. See the article at
Subject: Re: Intermarriage amongst cousins in Wiltshire, England
From: mvguy-ga on 01 May 2002 08:56 PDT
If you're interested in issues surrounding the marriage of cousins,
this site may have more than you want to know from the perspective of
those who support such a practice.
Subject: Re: Intermarriage amongst cousins in Wiltshire, England
From: me-ga on 01 May 2002 10:43 PDT
Worldwide, marriage between two healthy cousins is healthy, but if one
of them is unhealthy then it's unhealthy.
Subject: Re: Intermarriage amongst cousins in Wiltshire, England
From: elizabeth199-ga on 14 Jun 2002 11:55 PDT
The initial advice that you received on your question is somewhat
misleading.  Although the increased risk to children of married first
cousins is slightly higher than that to children of non-cousin
parents, recent studies have stressed that the risks are minimal.  The
lead author of the most recent study relating to the effects of
first-cousin marriage on offspring is Dr. Arno Motulsky, who is the
prof. emeritus of medicine and genome scientists at UW.  You can find
information about this study at
 Further, you can find a book on both the cultural and health issues
that surround cousin marriage at
 The book is titled Forbidden Cousin Marriage: The American Myth of
Cousin Marriage.

Also, the comment posted by me-ga on May 1 is incorrect.  Two
perfectly healthy people (including cousins) can have children that
are unhealthy because of a genetic trait that is present in both
partners, but not expressed (it is recessive, not dominant).  Also,
between two people, including cousins, if one person is healthy and
the other has a disorder resulting from a genetic problem or defect,
then there is an increased risk of passing this disorder onto the
children.  However, this is not unique to cousins and depends on what
sort of disorder the person has.

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