Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Quandary of Cousins

It has been far too long since last I blogged.  Those of you who deign to read my mad ramblings should not be forced to wait through such prolonged spells of inactivity.  I shall henceforth resolve to post something to this blog at least twice a week.  Even if the posts are merely short status reports about my mundane existence, it will no doubt keep you in the loop.

While my writing projects continue to crawl along, I have made some amazing inroads with my family research.  The work, while time-consuming, is proving to be very entertaining.  It is the world's greatest puzzle, and each new piece sheds new light on my own existence.  I'll have to stop and give it a rest soon, or else I'll never get anything else done.

As my family tree continues to expand, a most curious question plagues me.  When does a cousin stop being a cousin?  By that I mean how far back does blood count?  It is not a simple question when you can trace your lineage back 10+ generations.  Would you consider a fifth cousin once removed to be family, or does the blood get too thin?  I am finding it hard to say.

The easiest answer (one no doubt a lot of you have already considered) is that cousins stop being "real" family when you can legally marry them.  However, this assumption would be horribly flawed, for it turns out that 25 States allow first cousins to marry.   As gross as that is, you can see the problem.  You can't cut your blood ties that close, now can you?

It's amazing how extended my extended family is getting.  In the upcoming weeks, I'll reveal more of my findings, including a shocking truth about my own surname.  Be forewarned; you just might be a cousin!

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha I know what you mean about extended family.

    Even my not so very extended family is huge. In fact, I can't even always figure out who fits where.

    I think that blood stops being family when the people don't really interact with you anymore. I.e. I know that my parents have many cousins, but I only see about four of them as family.


    PS, I have an award for you on my blog.