This work focuses on the quantitative and qualitative analysis of marriages between relatives (by blood or marriage) in the north and west of Spain during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. The question that we intend to answer is, at first, simple: what specific weight did this type of marriages have with respect to the total number of marriages contracted between 1701 and 1900 in the marital scene of the selected area? To answer this question will also allow us to approach three issues of importance: first of all, to identify in the long term the existence of explosions, retreats and changes of tendency of this type of betrothal; second, and, considering the extensive geographical area of the study, to analyze the interregional and interprovincial differences observed, and even to deal with a comparison between marriage between rural and urban relatives; and, finally, to fit the results obtained in the debate on the evolution of the Spanish family, in general, and marital behaviour, in particular, in its long transition towards modernity. To answer that questions we have used the parish books that contain the sacramental marriage certificates of different areas in the Principality of Asturias and the provinces of León, Zamora and Salamanca.
Keywords: Marriage – Matrimonial dispensation – Consanguinity – Affinity – Kinship – Inheritance – Social history – Family history – Spain