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Old 07 February 2015, 06:44 PM
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Icon05 Jerry Lee Lewis

What, exactly, was the familial relationship between Jerry Lee Lewis and his 13-year-old third wife, Myra Gale Brown? She's been variously described as his "cousin," "first cousin," and "third cousin," and she herself seems to consistently refer to him in interviews as her "second cousin":

http://www.people.com/people/archive...120714,00.html

http://articles.philly.com/1989-07-2...is-great-balls

In this interview, she said Jerry Lee was her father's cousin, which would make Jerry Lee her first cousin once removed:

http://jerry9.tripod.com/Myra.htm

But this article states that Myra's father and Jerry Lee were second cousins:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/goss...ith-brown.html

And this article say that Myra's father was Jerry Lee's uncle:

http://www.funtrivia.com/en/Music/Le...Lee-13197.html
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Old 09 February 2015, 09:53 PM
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This may or may not be the appropriate place to say - I've always wondered about the people who were more creeped out by the fact that she was his cousin (of whatever degree) than by the fact that she was thirteen. 13.
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Old 09 February 2015, 10:13 PM
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Blow Your Top

True. But perhaps even creepier is the fact that it was (and maybe still is) perfectly legal for an adult to marry a 13-year-old child.
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Old 09 February 2015, 10:24 PM
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Many of us would not have to go far back in our genealogies to find someone married that young.
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Old 09 February 2015, 10:54 PM
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I'd have to go well back into the 19th century (or earlier) to find anyone in my family tree who married that young.

I think there are only a couple of states in which a 13-year-old girl can still legal marry (Massachusetts and New Hampshire), and even those require judicial approval first.
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Old 09 February 2015, 11:00 PM
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There are a couple seemingly well-researched family trees on Ancestry.com that indicate Jerry Lee Lewis and J. W. Brown (Myra's father) were first cousins; Jerry's father and J.W.'s mother were siblings. This would make Jerry and Myra first cousins once removed. I haven't verified this information independently, however.
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Old 10 February 2015, 12:07 AM
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The biography Hellfire says the same thing (p 107): http://books.google.com/books?id=hbC...q=myra&f=false
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Old 10 February 2015, 12:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tootsie Plunkette View Post
There are a couple seemingly well-researched family trees on Ancestry.com that indicate Jerry Lee Lewis and J. W. Brown (Myra's father) were first cousins; Jerry's father and J.W.'s mother were siblings. This would make Jerry and Myra first cousins once removed.
To make it even more confusing, the way I learned it was that relationships like this were not the same on both sides--meaning that while Myra would have been Jerry Lee's first cousin once removed because she was indeed the child of his first cousin, Jerry Lee isn't the child of *her* first cousin so how could he be her first cousin once removed also? I would consider him to be a second cousin to her as he would be one more generation back from a first cousin, but various sites on the net don't seem to agree with my interpretation.
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Old 10 February 2015, 12:47 AM
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Symmetry is irrelevant. This wiki article helped me understand it.
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  #10  
Old 10 February 2015, 12:53 AM
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Yes, the degree of "cousinness" is determined by how far back you have to go to find a common ancestor, while the "removed" part refers to the generational relationship of the cousins on the family tree.
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