pedigree collapse

When the principles of breeding and of inheritance are better understood, we shall not hear ignorant members of our legislature rejecting with scorn a plan for ascertaining by an easy method whether or not consanguineous marriages are injurious to man.
~ Charles Darwin
(The Descent of Man: And Selection in Relation to Sex)

“Seven-Year-Old Charles Darwin in 1816” by Ellen Sharples ~ Charles married his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood and they were the parents of ten children.

Two parents… four grandparents… eight great-grandparents…

If the number of ancestors is doubled in each generation as we go back in time, logic suggests there will be about a thousand ancestors per person in ten generations, and about a million of them in twenty generations. But as we go back in time fewer people were on earth than there are now.

However, one does not usually have to go too far back in his or her family history to find cousins marrying cousins of one degree or another. This actually collapses the pedigree, because when cousins have children together, some of the children’s ancestors are repeated in another line. This can make for a non-branching family tree with very tangled roots! The more cousins having children together on one’s pedigree, the more lines of ancestors will be repeated, and the actual number of one’s ancestors will eventually be fewer and fewer…

Following are the cousin marriages I have found so far on our trees. I will continue to update this page when I discover new connections.

Tim & I are 10th cousins, twice removed. Tim’s 11th-great-grandparents and my 9th-great-grandparents were [7968] Nathaniel Bacon and [7969] Hannah Mayo.

Tim’s great-grandfather, [16] George Lincoln Rodgers married his first cousin, [17] Mary Jane Rodgers, Tim’s great-grandmother. George & Mary’s fathers were brothers, and their grandparents in common were [64] Jacob Rogers and [65] Mahala Bedford.

My 2nd-great-grandfather, [56] William Martin White married his first cousin, [57] Ellen C. Hill, my 2nd-great-grandmother. William’s father and Ellen’s mother were siblings, and their grandparents in common were [224] Oliver White and [225] Lydia (—).

My 2nd-great-grandfather, [58] Reuel Gardner Atwood married his half second cousin, once removed, [59] Louisa Jane Atwood, my 2nd-great-grandmother. Reuel & Louisa’s common ancestor was [472] Lt. Nathaniel Atwood.

My 3rd-great-grandfather, [116] Reuel Atwood married his sixth cousin, [117] Abigail Savery Tillson, my 3rd-great-grandmother. Reuel & Abigail’s common 5th-great-grandparents were [7602] John Howland and [7603] Elizabeth Tilley.

My 3rd-great-grandfather, [118] Ebenezer Atwood married his second cousin, twice removed, [119] Waitstill Lucas, my 3rd-great-grandmother. Ebenezer & Waitstill’s common ancestors were [944] Dea. Nathaniel Atwood and [945] Mary (—).

My 3rd-great-grandfather, [122] Warren Freeman married his double fourth cousin, [123] Elisabeth Weekes, my 3rd-great-grandmother. Warren & Elisabeth’s common 3rd-great-grandparents were [3912] Joshua Hopkins and [3913] Mary Cole; and also [3932] Edward Small and [3933] Mary Woodman.

My 4th-great-grandfather, [232] Nathaniel Atwood married his first cousin, [233] Zilpha Shurtleff, my 4th-great-grandmother. Nathaniel & Zilpha’s mothers were sisters, and their grandparents in common were [930] Nathaniel Shaw and [931] Hannah Perkins.

Tim’s 5th-great-grandfather, [376] Asher Huntley married his first cousin, [377] Betsey Wilder Tiffany, Tim’s 5th-great-grandmother. Asher’s mother & Betsey’s father were siblings, and their grandparents in common were [1506] Consider Tiffany and [1507] Naomi Comstock.

My 5th-great-grandfather, [464] Ichabod Atwood married his first cousin, once removed, [465] Hannah Shaw, my 5th great-grandmother. Ichabod & Hannah’s common ancestors were [944] Dea. Nathaniel Atwood and [945] Mary (—).

My 5th-great-grandfather, [478] William Shurtleff married his first cousin, once removed, [479] Ruth Shaw, my 5th-great-grandmother. William & Ruth’s common ancestors were [1912] Abiel Shurtleff and [1913] Lydia Barnes.

My 5th-great-grandfather, [488] John Freeman married his second cousin, [489] Abigail Hopkins, my 5th-great-grandmother. John & Abigail’s common great-grandparents were [3906] Richard Sparrow and [3907] Mercy Cobb.

My 7th-great-grandfather, [1952] Edmund Freeman married his second cousin, [1953] Sarah Sparrow, my 7th-great-grandmother. Edmund & Sarah’s common great-grandparents were [15618] Thomas Prence and [15619] Patience Brewster.

Last Revised:  15 November 2017

Ancestor Table

Josiah Sweet & Eunice Day

Josiah Sweet (1796-1880) & Eunice Day (1800-1871) ~ photograph contributed anonymously to Ancestry.com in 2010.

Tim’s 4th-great-grandfather, Josiah Sweet, son of Joshua and Eliza Mary (Hurd) Sweet, was born 20 February 1796 in Roxbury (Litchfield) Connecticut, and died 28 January 1880 in Big Spring [now New Haven] (Adams) Wisconsin. He married 20 November 1819 in (St. Lawrence) New York, Eunice Day, who was born 8 June 1800 in (Washington) New York, and died 1 September 1871 in Big Spring, daughter of Lemuel and Lydia (—) Day.

Tim’s 4th-great-grandmother, Eunice (Day) Sweet, also happens to be my 6th cousin, four times removed. Our ancestors in common are Nathaniel Bacon (1613-1692) & Hannah (Mayo) Bacon (1622-1691). From this couple Tim & I are 10th cousins, twice removed.

Eunice & Josiah were the parents of fifteen children, all born in Depeyster (St. Lawrence) New York:

1. Clarinda Sweet (Tim’s 3rd-great-grandmother), born 22 September 1820, died 9 February 1875 in Macomb (St. Lawrence) New York. She married 8 July 1840, Henry Charles Raven, who was born 11 December 1820 in Merrickville, Upper Canada [now Ontario] and died 5 January 1892 in Natural Dam-Gouverneur (St. Lawrence) New York, son of Peter George and Sabrina (Cummins) Raven. Clarinda & Henry were the parents of twelve children.

2. Orilla Sweet, born 3 October 1821, died 28 April 1823 in Depeyster, age 1.

3. Eliza A. Sweet, born 1 January 1823, died 26 April 1891 in Macomb. She married about 1842 in (St. Lawrence), James Truax, who was born 23 May 1820 in New York, and died 5 May 1884 in Macomb.

4. Julia Sweet, born 2 July 1824. She married 5 July 1849 in Macomb, James H. Reed, who was born about 1826, son of Henry and Betsey (Reynolds) Reed.

5. Josiah Sweet, born 2 July 1826, died 8 May 1891 in Hale (Trempealeau) Wisconsin. He married Amelia (—).

6. Hiram Sweet, born about 1828.

7. Eunice Sweet, born 14 May 1829.

8. David Sweet, born 2 February 1831.

9. Stephen Foster Sweet, born 26 December 1832, died 27 January 1906 in (Adams) Wisconsin. He married about 1860, Elizabeth (—), and also married Mercy (—).

10. Olivia Sweet, born 28 September 1834.

11. Celia Sweet, born 9 February 1837, died 29 June 1905 in (Columbia) Wisconsin. She married Amos Landt.

12. Cora Maria Sweet, born 8 April 1839.

13. Edwin Dodge Sweet, born 8 April 1842, died 16 August 1864, age 22.

14. William Dallas Sweet, born 22 June 1844, died 24 May 1907.

15. John Wright Sweet, born 2 July 1846, died 30 July 1913 in Montana. He married Sarah Jane Town.