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Consanguinity

law and common

CONSANGUINITY, relationship of per sons descended from the same ancestry or common stock. Consanguinity may be either direct (known also as lineal) or collateral. Consanguinity is direct when the relationship is that which exists between ascendants and descendants, as grandfather, father, son. It is collateral when the relationship is that which exists between persons who have the same ancestor but who are the issue of different children, as first cousins. Various degrees of consanguinity are recognized by law, but the manner of computing collateral consanguinity varies with the locality, depending on whether the civil or the canon law is followed. In the civil law the degrees from the common ancestor are numbered on both sides, brothers thus being related in the second degree and first cousins in the fourth. In the canon law, which is the same as the common law in this particular, the steps between the remoter person and the common ancestor are counted, brothers thus being related in the first degree and first cousins in the second degree. The rule for computing

the degree of lineal consanguinity is the same for the canon, civil and common law. English law and the law of most of the States in this country follow the canon law in reckoning downward from a common ancestor. Con sanguinity is an important question in the law of marnage, inheritance and descent, certain crimes as incest. and in determining the dis qualifications of judges, jurors, etc. The term consanguinity must be carefully distinguished from affinity, which latter term means relation ship by marriage, either through the husband or wife, and not through a common ancestor.

SeC DESCENT IN LAW ; INHERITANCE.