My father Murphy Miller, Sr.’s mother is Evenia Sonnier, daughter of Ernest Sonnier, Sr. and Therese Alcina Fontenot. Evenia Sonner, my Ma-mair or grandmother’s parent are as stated above. Evenia married by Salomon Miller, son of Antoine Salomon Miller and Ophelia Fuselier. I wanted to find out how many Fontenot/Miller related marriages occurred in my direct paternal-maternal ancestry, i.e., my father’s mother’s family.
There are no other Fontenot/Miller related marriages in Evenia Sonnier’s ancestry family. It does however beg the question about the kinship or cousin relationship of my great-great grandparents, Ernest Sonnier, Sr. and Theresa A. Fontenot. This led me to run the Legacy Relationship Report. The results follow.
Their closest relationship is fourth cousins and they both share common ancestry who is Jean Louis Fontenot and Louise Angelique Henry, their great-great-great grandparents, or in genealogy speak, their 3rd great-grand parents. But what does this mean and how can I better understand cousin marriages.
The Table of Consanguinity found in Wikipedia, also known as a relationship chart, enables a better understanding of family relationships. While this chart
Well if both Ernest Sonnier, Sr. and his wife went to a family reunion where they visit their common ancestry, Jean Louis Fontenot and Louise Angelique Henry when Ernest Sonnier is 30 years old, how old would his and her 3rd great grandparents be? Ernest, born in 1861, is 30 years old in 1891. Jean L. Fontenot, born in 1686 would be 205 years old at this family reunion while his wife Louise A. Henry, born in 1699, would be 192 years old.
According to Wikipedia, cousins are not included in the lists of prohibited relationships set out in the Hebrew Bible, specifically in Levictus 18:8-18 and 20:11-21 and in Deuteronomy. Additionally, all marriages more distant than first-cousin marriages are allowed in Roman Catholicism.
States also have prohibitions regarding who you may marry. A Wikipedia chart below illustrates.
DARK BLUE (FL, GA, etc) - First-cousin marriage is legal
LIGHT BLUE (ME, NC) Allowed with requirements or exceptions
ROSY PINK (MN, IL, IN) Banned with exceptions
RED (LA, MS, AK, etc) Statute bans first-cousin marriage
BROWN (TX, OK, ND, SD, NV) Criminal offense
Some US states recognize marriages performed elsewhere, especially when the spouses were not residents of the state when married
In the 21st Century the likelihood of marrying a close cousin has been diminished with modern transportation and education and the change in how we earn a living. Unlike the 19th and early 20th centuries when the United States was predominately an agrarian society, young adults with better educations move to where employment opportunities are located. Thus, marrying a cousin is less likely than their parents or grandparents who grew up in the same local.
Releated Blog: The Pierrottie and Martel Marriages
Books: Pierrottie / Pierrotti / Pierotti Family (2016)
Pierrottie, Pierrotti, Pierotti Photos (2012)
Chachere Family of Louisiana (2013)