Here was the typical Icelander’s pre-date checklist on Valentines Day last week: Put on a nice shirt, buy some flowers... run you date’s name through an online incest database.
It sounds crazy, but with Iceland’s population at just 300,000, the risk of accidentally romancing a relative is uncomfortably high.
Enter Íslendingabók, or the “Book of Icelanders”, an online resource that tracks 1,200 years worth of genealogical data on the country’s inhabitants, according to
All Icelanders have to do to prevent incest is type in their name and the name of a potential love interest – that is, provided they have an “Icelandic ID number”, since the database is restricted to citizens and legal residents.
An added bonus – Íslendingabók can also tell citizens if they are related to celebrities.
In an interview with Global Post, Alli Thorgrimsson, 31, said he used the database to discover that he’s distantly related to singer Bjork.
He also breathed a sigh of relief when he learned that he and his ex-wife were distantly enough related (seventh cousins) to be clear of incest concerns, making him one of only a handful of people in the world relieved to marry his seventh cousin.
The website, which was developed in collaboration between a genetics research company and a software entrepreneur, has apparently been active since 1997.