: Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania
I wish to present Germanic family names who have been affected by Huntington's Disease.
Anna Mary EMINGER
, b. 1765 in Cumberland County, PA, d. 1820, in West Township, Huntingdon County, PA. She was the wife of Johann Barnhardt BORST and was the first known carrier of the HD gene in our family. I have not yet documented which of her parents, Elias and Susan EMINGER, was the likely carrier of the gene, although her known siblings seemed to live into extreme old age, so she may have been the first or, perhaps, that particular family unit was very fortunate in that it was passed to only one child. Her father died aged 60 years and her mother survived him, but we do not know for how long, so it could have been either of them. Given the passage of over two centuries, this family has quite a progeny in Central Pennsylvania and beyond, some of whom carried the HD gene onward, and some of whom did not. Most of these people lived/live in the Centre and Huntingdon County, PA areas, although some have moved on throughout the US. (It is ironic that these people who have Huntington's Disease chose to settle in Huntingdon County, well before the disease was identified and named, of course.) I have extensive genealogical documentation of this descendancy although my proof of HD is stronger for some branches than others. For some branches, I have death certificates, obituaries and personal knowledge of the diseases. For others, I only have generations of people who died in their 40s-60s and a few obituaries that claim that the deceased died "after an illness of 13 years" or some such duration. Surnames of descendant families known or suspected to have HD:
BORST, BREADON, BURNS, HILLARD, IRVIN, McNEAL, MILES, PORTER, ROCKEY, SHIPLEY, WALK, WEBER, WILSON
I am happy to correspond with anyone having an interest in these families.