Marital structure and inbreeding coefficients were analyzed in La Cabrera, an isolated mountain region in northwestern Spain. A total of 5,714 marriages were celebrated from 1880 to 1989 in the 37 parishes of the area. The total frequency of consanguineous marriages (up to the fourth degree) is 23.05%; multiple consanguineous marriages are remarkably common, reaching 5.43% of the total. The first cousin/second cousin ratio (referred to as kinship-type frequencies) is 0.43. The inbreeding values are the highest recorded in Spain and in Europe: 3 is 4.82 10 3 for the whole period and 4 is 6.78 10 3 for 1880–1919. The temporal trend of inbreeding shows high values ( 3 4.5 10 3 ) for a particularly long period (1900–1959) and a rapid decline from 1960 onward. This historical inbreeding trend is clearly related to changes in population size. The frequencies of multiple consanguineous marriages and the analysis of isonymy show that the inbreeding structure is related to geographic and demographic factors. Comparing the results at two hierarchical levels (La Cabrera as a whole and the 37 parishes individually), we conclude that the inbreeding values are affected by internal geographic subdivision of the population (Wahlund effect). Social and cultural factors, such as avoidance of or preference for consanguineous marriages, are less important but depend on the kinship type involved.
Blanco Villegas, Maria Jose; Boattini, Alessio; Rodriguez Otero, Humildad; and Pettener, Davide
"Inbreeding Patterns in La Cabrera, Spain: Dispensations, Multiple Consanguinity Analysis, and Isonymy,"
2, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol76/iss2/2