Kissing Cousins: A genealogical look at
four early Mather family marriages.
When Darien was founded in 1820, the estimated population was 1,126.
There were no singles bars. No movie theaters. No Bumble. No Tinder. No Match.com. The opportunities to meet your soulmate often did not extend beyond a small circle of friends—or sometimes family.
In the first generations of descendants of Rev. Moses Mather, we find at least four marriages between first cousins.
Noyes Mather and Chloe Waterbury. Noyes Mather was the son of Rev. Moses Mather and his second wife, Elizabeth Whiting. Chloe was the daughter of Elizabeth Whiting’s sister, Abigail Whiting Waterbury.
Polly Selleck and Lewis Selleck. Polly was the granddaughter of Deacon Joseph
Mather and daughter of Hannah Mather and Charles Selleck. Charles was the son of Nathaniel Selleck and Sarah Bates. Charles’ brother was Nathaniel Selleck Jr. who married Azubah Raymond. Their son was Lewis Selleck. With the marriage Polly became Polly Selleck Selleck.
Isaac Selleck and Deborah Ann Mather. Isaac was the brother of Polly (above) and grandson of Deacon Joseph Mather and son of Hannah Mather and Charles Selleck.
Deborah was the granddaughter of Deacon Joseph Mather and daughter of Moses Mather and Sally Bishop. Moses was the brother of Hannah Mather Selleck.
Sarah Vail and Edward Osborn Wakeman. This was a marriage of first cousins once removed. Sarah was the granddaughter of Joseph Mather (the Deacon’s son) and Happy Osborn Wakeman. Sarah’s mother Sarah Jarvis Mather passed away 25 days after giving birth to Sarah. Sarah Vail was raised by her grandparents and married Edward Wakeman, the son of Happy’s brother Charles.
Today first cousin marriage remains legal in 21 states, including Connecticut.