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Woman Accidentally Discovers She Married Her Cousin During Baby Name Search!

One of the places many expecting parents will search for when looking into baby names is their family tree. Old-school vintage names are all the rage and many couples will choose to honour a relative through their baby name choice. 

Mum-to-be Marcella Hill and her husband, Tage decided to check the genealogy site, FamilySearch while on their baby name search. The two were both on the site on their respective devices, sitting next to one another when her husband checked her screen. 

“He’s like, ‘Oh that’s funny, we have the same grandma and grandpa’s names’.”

“I look at this line and it’s all the same as mine. So I think, ‘Oh no no, you’re still logged into my account’.

We both kept going back and forth thinking how could this be? But sure enough, we soon realised that my grandpa and his grandma were first cousins. It was super weird.”

Marcella called up her grandfather, Charles Phillips, 86, to ask if he knew Tage’s grandmother Doris Brimhall, who has since passed away. It turned out they knew they were cousins and had lived together as children in Clawson, Utah – which now has a population of 165.

No idea they were related before baby name search 

Marcella and Tage were both recently divorced when they met each other and, although they both previously lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, they didn’t realise their paths had crossed in the past.  The couple also explained that they had a very small wedding so not many relatives were there. 

Four years after getting married, the pair were expecting their first child when they discovered that they were third cousins. First cousins share a grandparent, second cousins share a great-grandparent and third cousins share a great-great-grandparent.

Couple names their daughter after a shared relative

They were initially worried about the health of their unborn baby but were reassured that there was no risk. Now, Tage and Marcella’s daughter is eight years old and named after their joint great-great-gran, Mary Jane Dollar. 

While Marcella is an avid TikTokker and shares plenty on her social media sites, she hadn’t disclosed the third cousin thing to her fans, until recently. While some of her fans didn’t see the problem with it, others were a little concerned about the close family ties.

“So in a way your baby is its own 4th cousin,” one said. 

“3rd cousins not a huge deal, you’re good. hilarious though,” said another. 

“I think you should have just not told anyone.”

“Say you’re from Utah without saying you’re from Utah,”  another joked. 

Marcella and Tage can see the funny side of it now and admit they often joke about it with their extended family. 

In the USA, second cousins are legally allowed to marry in every state while first cousins are legally allowed to marry in half of the states. There is no law against third cousins marrying. 

In Australia, marriage between cousins is legal. According to the Queensland Law Handbook:

“A marriage will not be valid if the parties are in a ‘prohibited relationship’ (s 23B(1)(b) Marriage Act). A prohibited relationship is one between a brother and sister (including half-blood) or between a person and an ancestor (i.e. a parent or grandparent) or descendant (i.e. a child or grandchild). For an adopted child, these rules apply to their adopted family as well as their natural family. It is not unlawful for cousins to marry one another. A marriage between parties in a prohibited relationship is void.” 

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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