Home | Connections | Franco-American Genetics Disorders | Search Site

Genetics Disorders which might affect


According to an article titled Genetic Disorders, Databases, and Genealogy by John P. DuLong, there are many genetic disorders that might favor Franco-Americans since they already affect French Canadians, Acadians and Cajuns. The original article is no longer online but an audio tape is available. In particular, he lists the following:

Acadians and Cajuns:

Friedreich Ataxia
Tay-Sachs Disease
Alstrom Syndrome
Niemann-Pick Disease without Sphingomyelinase Deficiency
Usher Syndrome, Type III

French Canadians:

Hypercholesterolemia, Familial
Tay-Sachs Disease
Hyperlipoproteinemia, Type I
Cystic Fibrosis
Hemoglobin--Beta Locus
Tyrosinemia, Type I
Dystrophia Myotonica
Ceroid-Lipofuscinosis, Neuronal 2, Late Infantile Type
Apolipoprotein B
Solute Carrier Family 3, Member 1
Gaucher Disease, Type I
Leber Optic Atrophy
Pseudovitamin D Deficiency Rickets
Spastic Ataxia, Charlevoix-Saguenay Type
Multiple Carboxylase Deficiency, Late-Onset
Dibasicaminoaciduria II
Thyroxine-Binding Globulin of Serum

Below is a compilation of some of the responses we have had on the Franco-American and on other French surnames mailing lists in connection with this topic. Note that several hyperlinks have expired.


From: Wes216@aol.com
Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2003 22:24:15 EST

ATAXIA is a Cajun Disease. For more information, see

From: Robert Lemerise <rlemerise@videotron.ca>
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2003 16:23:52 -0500

Which ataxia? Friedreich ataxia? It is a well-know disease here in Quebec, because of Claude St-Jean, my neighbour's first cousin. His family was badly hurt (4 out of 5 children with the disease, two ever dead). See

  • http://www.cam.org/~acaf/docs/combat.html (no longer valid)
  • http://www.cam.org/~acaf/docs/oratoire.html (no longer valid)

Claude founded an association for promoting research: http://www.lacaf.org/
Another interessant link (Switzlerland): http://www.achaf.org/us/index2.html



From: Jacques L'Heureux
Date: Wed, 08 Jan 2003 09:44:29 -0500

Alpha-1 is another inherited desease that affected a Baril branch in the St-Thecle area (central Quebec). A cousin Claude Baril and a radio announcer in Montréal formed an association and for several years, was in charge of a website on it at http://www.alpha2alpha.net/memorials.htm. He died from it but the website is being continued.


From: "Jane Tannenwald" <tannenj@worldnet.att.net>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 20:51:48 -0500

Just read about the Alpha-1 inherited disease that affected a Baril branch of the family.I had a rare familial non-malignant heart tumor called Atrial myxoma. Has anyone ever reported this as occurring in the family. I know my first degree female relatives were advised to have echocardiograms.


Genetic Deseases in General

From: llepore@juno.com
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 02:57:34 -0500

Hi George -

I'd start here with John P. DuLong's site: Genetic Disorders, Databases, and Genealogy:
http://habitant.org/genetics.htm. Lot's of links and books about the subject - also a list of French Canadian and Acadian diseases.

Your family group may want to investigate this BYU study:

Acadian Genetic disorders

HELP FOR CAJUN ILLNESSES Congressman William Tauzin - LA03

Here are some other sites - not necessarily French Canadian.

HHMI Longwood & HMS Genetics Site Search

Building and Understanding Your Medical Family History

Creating a Family Medical History

Genealogy and Genetics

Hereditary Disease Foundation:

Cyndis List for Medical, Medicine, Genetics:

Welcome to Family Health History:

You might want to go the list archives at rootsweb.com because this subject has come up in the past, or do a search for genetic disorders.


Links for Further Research

Back to Top

Send comments and suggestions to Jacques L'Heureux
Last modified: May 8, 2006