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May 30, 2009

GENEALOGY: Health Issues

When you are looking for your ancestors sometimes you are not thrilled with some of the things you may find.
They could be crooks or criminals, crazed or coldhearted, dishonest or immoral. Or they could be genetically dangerous to your health.

As a French Canadian I was stunned to find out that I have a greater chance of having Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy. That is hard to say in French or English. It turns out that my 9th Great Grandparents, Jean Emard (Aymart) and Marie Bineau somehow were the carriers of this genetic disease. Jean and Marie were born in France but they came to New France (Quebec) and their daughters were born here.

Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy has many different syptoms. It can weaken the facial muscles and the pharyngeal muscles. This weakening of the throat muscles can cause a diffuculty in swallowing known as dysphagia. Another symptom of this disease is the weakness of the muscles that control the eyelids. Ptosis is the name for droopy eyelids that can cause vision problems by covering your eye. My 2 sisters have this problem and the doctors they saw thought it was just an droopy eyelid like lots of people get. It would be considered cosmetic to have it fixed. However it is not cosmetic when your eyelid blocks your field of vision and any persperation runs directly into your eyes. The doctors can look with a high powered microscope at the muscle tissue from sufferers and see inclusions in the cells along with bubbly structures.

Although not limited to French Canadians, those French people who do have it can trace their familys back through time to one of the 3 daughters of Jean Emard and Marie Bineau. These women were Barbe Emard, Anne Emard and Marie Madeleine Emard.
My line is as follows:
  • Barbe Emard married Jacques Cochon in 16611.
  • Genevieve Cochon married Joseph Huot dit Laurent in 17082.
  • Joseph Huot dit Laurent married Marie Louis Cote in 17313
  • Charlotte Huot married Jean Baptiste Marion in 17594
  • Marie Amable Marion married Jean Baptiste Beaugrand dit Champagne in 17865
  • Emmanuel Beaugrand dit Champagne married Madeleine Laderoute unknown
  • David Alexander Beaugrande dit Champagne married Melanie Carriere in 1873
  • Ziphirin Champagne married Marie Octavie Carriere in 1907
Next in line was my mother. I dont' ever recall her having any problems with her eyelids or with swallowing but I must say she had a whole host of other health problems she had to deal with. It leaves me wondering what else may have been passed down from our ancestors.

  1. Quebec Vital Records, Drouin Collection, 1621-1967, ancestry.ca online [http://www.ancestry.ca/], accessed, Chateau Richer, 1661-1702, page 248
  2. Quebec Vital Records, Drouin Collection, 1621-1967, ancestry.ca online [http://www.ancestry.ca/], accessed, Chateau Richer, 1691-1719, page 73
  3. Quebec Vital Records, Drouin Collection, 1621-1967, ancestry.ca online [http://www.ancestry.ca/], accessed, St. Antoine de Tilley, 1727-1732, page 15
  4. Quebec Vital Records, Drouin Collection, 1621-1967, ancestry.ca online [http://www.ancestry.ca/], accessed, St. Antoine de Tilly, 1757-1767, page 20
  5. Quebec Vital Records, Drouin Collection, 1621-1967, ancestry.ca online [http://www.ancestry.ca/], accessed, Berthierville, 1786, page 31



4 comments:

Lou said...

Interesting post Lori. My son has ptosis in his left eyelid and despite our best efforts (patching etc) significant damage was done to the sight in this eye.

HappyDae said...

I enjoy your site! I think there should be an Atta Boy Award, too. I'd give one to Steve Danko, Mark Tucker and Randy Seaver.

Happy Dae·
http://ShoeStringGenealogy.com

Florida Sue said...

I had never heard of this, so of course ol' Lucy had to look it up. It shows up as very high CPK levels in the blood. CPK when elevated, is also an indicator for myocardial infarction and renal disease. The other interesting thing is that I have a ptosis of my left eye which is easily seen in my pictures. I always figured I would go on to develop myasthenia gravis, but I guess not by now. Have your sisters had bloodwork done, given the history?

Marie Reed said...

This is a fascinating post. AT what age were your sisters struck with Ptosis? I'm just shaking my head that this is considered cosmetic when fixed. I'm surprised considering how impressed I've always been with Canada's health care system.

I would be thrilled to see the stamps with your 11th great grandfather on them! Postcard Friendship Friday is every week:) It is a postal themed meme and is certainly not at all restricted to postcards!

Have a great Monday Lori!

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