As among the Makah, the marriage of first, second or third cousins was forbidden by the Nootka. But, again, fourth cousins were considered remote enough in blood relationship that marriage contracted between them did not constitute an incestuous union (Koppert 1930:53).
Is it common to marry your cousin?
In much of the world, consanguineous marriage between cousins is very common. For most Americans, however, marriage between cousins is at best a punchline, at worst a taboo. In many states, it is illegal for first cousins to get married. The objections are ostensibly based on the risk of genetic problems.
Was it common to marry your cousin in the 1800s?
Marrying your first cousin was perfectly acceptable in the early 1800s, and the practice certainly offered some benefits: Wealth and property were more likely to remain in the same hands, and it was easier for young women to meet and be courted by bachelors within the family circle.
When did it become wrong to marry your cousin?
Physician Samuel Merrifield Bemiss of the American Medical Association wrote a highly influential report that “inbreeding does lead to the physical and mental depravation of the offspring.” By the 1880s 13 states had passed laws against marrying ones cousin, and that number doubled in the 1920s.