Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 970 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CONSANGUINITY, or KINDRED, in law, the connexion or relation of persons descended from the same stock or common ancestor (vinculum personarum ab eodem stipite descendentium). This consanguinity is either lineal or collateral. Lineal con-sanguinity is that which subsists between persons of whom one is descended in a direct line from the other, while collateral relations descend from the same stock or ancestor, but do not descend the one from the other. Colla`-'ral kinsmen, then, are such as lineally spring from one and the same ancestor, who is the stirps, or root, as well as the stires, trunk or common stock, whence these relations branch out. It will be seen that the modern idea of consanguinity is larger than that of agnatio in the civil law, which was limited to connexion through males,and was modified by the ceremonies of adoption and emancipation, and also than that of cognatio, which did not go beyond the sixth generation, and was made the basis of Justinian's law of succession. The more limited meaning of consanguinei was brothers or sisters by the same father, as opposed to uterini, brothers or sisters by the same mother. The degrees of collateral consanguinity were differently reckoned in the civil and in the canon law, " The civil law reckons the number of descents between the persons on both sides from the common ancestor. The canon law counts the number of descents between the common ancestor and the two persons on one side only," and always on the side of the person who is more distant from the common ancestor. English law follows the canon law in beginning at the common ancestor and reckoning downwards. The question of consanguinity owes its great importance to the relationship it bears to the laws of marriage and inheritance. For instance, the law. forbids marriage between persons within certain degrees of consanguinity and affinity, a prohibition which applies with equal force to a bastard as well as to those born in wedlock. The laws of inheritance and descent are regulated in a great measure according to consanguinity, however much they may vary in different jurisdictions. Apart from those countries which have made either the civil or the canon law the basis of reckoning degrees of consanguinity (and practically all civilized countries adopt one or other), it is impossible to describe any method or system, for they are as various as the countries and tribes. See, however, the article INDIAN LAW; and consult Lewis H. Morgan, Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family (Washington, 1870); J. F. McLennan, On Primitive Marriage (Edinburgh, 1865): E. A.Westermarck, History of Human Marriage (2nd ed., London, 1894) ; E. Crawley, The Mystic. Rose (1902); A. Lang and J. J. Atkinson, Social Origins and Primal Law (1903) ; E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture (4th ed., 1903). See also AFFINITY; MARRIAGE; INHERITANCE.
CONSCIENCE (Lat. con-scientia, literally " knowledg...

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