I married my COUSIN and we didn’t realise until I was pregnant with our baby – what we named her sums up our surprise | The Sun
A MUM was left baffled after finding out she had married her cousin while she was pregnant with his baby.
Marcella and Tage Hill were exploring their family trees on an ancestry website to get ideas for baby names when they made the shock discovery.
But the couple, both age 42, were stunned at what they discovered next.
While scrolling through the generations of their families, they noticed that their great-great grandmother had the same name.
At first they thought it was a wild coincidence – but they soon discovered they were related.
Marcella and her husband traced the family tree back and found the link which showed they were third cousins.
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She realised her grandad and Tage’s grandma were first cousins.
As Marcella was pregnant, the couple began to worry about the health of their unborn baby – but doctors said there was no risk.
In light of the strange discovery, the couple decided they would name their daughter after their joint great-great-grandmother, Mary Jane Dollar.
Marcella said: "I was on my laptop looking through my family’s names, he was on his laptop doing the same thing.
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“And he was suddenly like, ‘that’s so funny, our great great grandparents had the same names.
“At first, I thought that somehow he must be 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".
The author Marcella from Utah, U.S, then called up her grandad Charles Phillips, 86, to ask if he remembered her husband’s grandma Doris Birmhall, who has now passed away.
The couple were shocked to hear they did know each other, and had even lived together as children.
"At that point, once we’d got past the worry, it just seemed hilarious and strange," she said.
When the pair first met 12 years ago after both getting divorced, they had no idea that there was even a chance of being related.
The odd situation has sparked jokes among their friendship group.
"At a neighbourhood party one time, the hosts decided to play a funny game to find out who in the neighbourhood is most closely related," Marcella said.
"Everyone used an app that can tell you who in the room has the same ancestral line, and of course my husband and I were by far the most closely related.
"They all cheered when we won."
It is also a laughing matter among their family at gatherings.
"One time at a family reunion, my uncle had made a quiz about our family’s genealogy, and for one of the answers I was like, ‘that’s my husband’s great great grandpa'," she said.
"Our relationship was already super weird, but this just added an extra layer of crazy."
And in a heartwarming turn of events the couple also realised they had both previously lived in the same town.
“One time, we were at a reunion with my husband’s family watching old family movies, and I noticed that I had been to the house that I could see in the video.
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“We then took a trip back to Cheyenne together, and the same family who I knew as a 30-year-old woman remembered my husband from when he was a kid”.
In the UK, there is no legal restriction on the marriage of first cousins.
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