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consanguinity

consanguinity (kŏn´săng-gwĬn´Ĭtē), state of being related by blood or descended from a common ancestor. This article focuses on legal usage of the term as it relates to the laws of marriage, descent, and inheritance; for its broader anthropological implications, see incest. Consanguinity is to be distinguished from affinity, which is the relation of a person, through marriage, to the consanguineous relatives of a spouse. Marriage between persons in lineal consanguinity (persons in the direct line of descent, such as father and daughter) and between brothers and sisters is void under common law, church law, and statute. Whether or not marriages between persons of collateral consanguinity (those having a common ancestor but not related in direct line of descent) are prohibited as incestuous depends on statutory provision and judicial interpretation. In more than half the states of the United States, marriage between first cousins is prohibited by law, and the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Eastern Church have strict rules on consanguinity as an impediment to marriage. Statutes in the United States discard affinal relationship as an impediment to marriage. Whether incestuous marriages are void or voidable in the United States depends on local statutes and their interpretation. In the law of descent and inheritance, the concept of consanguinity is most important in the area of intestate succession. Most states award the spouse of a person who dies intestate a certain share of the estate, even though there exists neither lineal nor collateral consanguinity between the spouses.

See B. D. Inglis, Family Law (2d ed., 2 vol., 1968–70).

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Consanguinity

CONSANGUINITY

Blood relationship; the relation of people who descend from the same ancestor.

Consanguinity is the basis of the laws that govern such matters as rules of descent and distribution of property, the degree of relation between which marriage is prohibited under the laws concerning incest, and a basis for the determination of who may serve as a witness.

Lineal consanguinity is the relation in a direct line—such as between parent, child, and grandparent. It may be determined either upward—as in the case of son, father, grandfather—or downward—as in son, grandson, great-grandson.

Collateral consanguinity is a more remote relationship describing people who are related by a common ancestor but do not descend from each other—such as cousins who have the same grandparents.

Consanguinity is not the same as affinity, which is a close relation based on marriage rather than on common ancestry.

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consanguinity

consanguinity A consanguine relationship is a kin relationship based on descent from a common (male or female) ancestor, who may not necessarily be a blood relation. Social anthropologists point out that fictive relationships can be just as important as actual biological ties when tracing consanguinity (as is often the case with clans). A. R. Radcliffe-Brown argued that kinship is a better term than consanguinity, because it does not imply a blood relationship.

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consanguinity

consanguinity(adj.consanguineous) A genetic relationship in which individuals share at least one ancestor in the preceding few generations. Matings between related individuals may reveal deleterious recessive alleles. For example, first cousin marriages among humans account for about 18–24 per cent of albino children and 27–53 per cent of children with Tay–Sachs disease, both of which are rare recessive conditions.

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consanguinity

consanguinity (adj. consanguineous) A genetic relationship in which individuals share at least one ancestor in the preceding few generations. Matings between related individuals may reveal deleterious recessive alleles. For example, first-cousin marriages amongst humans account for about 18–24% of albino children and 27–53% of children with Tay-Sachs disease, both of which are rare recessive conditions.

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consanguinity

consanguinity XIV. — L. consanguinitās, f. consanguineus of the same blood, f. CON- + sanguis, sanguin- blood; see -ITY.

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consanguinity

consanguinity (kon-sang-win-iti) n. relationship by blood; the sharing of a common ancestor within a few generations.

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