What is a Pedigree Collapse and Endogamy?
The Meadows Cousins
A family tree has pedigree collapse when one of your ancestors married a cousin. When cousins marry, there are only two grandparents instead of four. In my family line on the Meadows line William Meadows (a 3rd great grandfather) married his first cousin Jane Jean “Jincy” Meadows. William’s father was Isham Meadows, (Jr.). Jane Jean “Jincy’s” father was John Meadows brother of William.
I first learned of William Meadows marrying his first cousin through Michal M. Farmer’s book The Daniel and Isham Meadows Family a revised edition of her 1976 book Daniel Meadows and His Descendants. You can check out the book here.
Do you have colonial roots as I do? Then somewhere in your family tree you probably have pedigree collapse. According to Wikipedia in genealogy, pedigree collapse describes how reproduction between two individuals who share an ancestor causes the number of distinct ancestors in the family tree of their offspring to be smaller than it could otherwise be. The offspring of two first cousins has at the most six great grandparents instead of the usual eight.
What is endogamy? Endogamy is the practice of marrying within the limits of a certain community, culture, clan, or tribe. Sometimes, this is the result of tradition or religion, and other times it is a result of necessity. You can read about pedigree collapse here on the ISOGG website.
How many couples in your family tree are cousins? This would be something that you will need to pay closer attention to as you research your ancestors, and it is beneficial to know this as you look at your DNA matches.