Monday, June 17, 2013

Book Review: "Kinship - It's All Relative" by Jackie Smith Arnold

Kinship, degrees, consanguinity, removed!  Who is your kin?  Your family?  Who can't you legally marry? Are you confused, perplexed or even bored when it comes to determining the closeness of your relatives?  Do you care?  Genealogists do, and the laws of each state do.  You should too!

Jackie smith Arnold, Kinship - It's all Relative," Enlarged Second Edition, (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2012), 144 pages, $14.95 (soft cover). ISBN:  9780806319537
Item #: GPC178

The publicity for this book says:

We pursue it as a hobby and search for it in the most out-of-the-way places, yet few of us actually know very much about kinship. For instance, do you know the degree of blood relationship between yourself and your first cousins? Between third cousins and second cousins once removed? Do you know anything at all about the removes? Do you understand the difference between a great-aunt and a grand-aunt? Or between a cousin-german and a cater cousin? And what about double first cousins? If you’re a little vague about any of this, then this book is for you. It explains everything there is to know about kinship: about agnate and cognate kinship, collateral and fictive kinship, the kinship connection of orphans, foundlings, foster children, and adopted children. Everything!

The expanded second edition of Kinship already featured new chapters on the subjects of marriage, names, and wills, as well as an expanded treatment of subjects such as degrees of consanguinity and ways to calculate blood relationships; and it had a new glossary, bibliography, and an index.

Now we have a new Enlarged Second Edition with a unique chapter on the role of same-sex marriage as it impacts genealogy and family history, placing same-sex marriage in the context of history, law, religion, and the changing culture of the modern family. This is a timely and fascinating topic in itself, stirring passions on all sides by redefining the concept of family as we know it. And as public opinion hardens or changes, so, too, does the law, and perhaps the most impressive part of this new chapter is the state-by-state breakdown of current law pertaining to same-sex marriage. Now you can tell in an instant what the laws are in all fifty states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, with the understanding that such laws are constantly evolving.

This book costs $14.95 plus $5.50 shipping costs from Genealogical Publishing.  You can order it here.

Disclosure: contacted me recently and asked me to provide a review of this book. They mailed me a review copy for my personal use as remuneration for this review. 


Unknown said...

And your review of the book? Worth reading? Accurate and instructive for understanding the topic? Helpful to have on your bookshelf? Or not worth a second glance?

Andrea said...

The topic, especially the promised discussion of same sex marriage, put this book on my list. Luckily, I checked it out of the library instead of buying it. In my opinion, the information in the book was mostly outdated. I wondered how much revision actually occurred. The touted chapter on Same Sex Marriage was literally tacked on at the end of the book AFTER the epilog,glossary and index. Didn't bear much relation to the earlier chapters. The author does identify some questions about kinship repercussions that will undoubtedly keep genealogists, including myself,busy for years to come. I'll save my money for other titles.