"Charles Darwin's family suffered from the deleterious effects of inbreeding, suggests a new study that serves as ironic punctuation to the evolutionary theorist's life work", according to a new report in Primates Magazine.
"It's fascinating that the 'Father of Evolution' had a family that continually married cousins and paid the price in early death", says researcher Donald Hatfield McCoy.
One of the pioneers of the theory that genetic traits affect survival of both individual organisms and species, records show that Darwin wondered in his own lifetime if his marriage to first cousin Emma Wedgwood was having "the horrible effects of close interbreeding" that he had observed in plants and animals.
"If it worked there, why not in humans?", Darwin wrote in one of his diaries, stated Hatfield McCoy.
He also admits that he himself is a distant relative of the family.
Three of the Darwin children died before they were ten year's old. Plus, Darwin's mother and grandfather were also Wedgwoods, and his mother's parents were third cousins.
"You would have thought someone like Darwin would be the last to perpetuate this but it continued after he had passed on", stated Hatfield McCoy.
The researcher claims that several families did come to recognize the fact and moved to the US, settling in the general areas of West Virginia and eastern Kentucky.