GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2005-06 > 1118287139
From: "J. M. Freed" <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] 60 minutes re Amish genetics
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2005 23:18:59 -0400
The program on the Amish genetic disorders was an informative
introduction to the problem of marrying your distant cousins. The
reporter emphasized that the Amish did not seem to recognize early
enough the genetic aspects of the disorders, considering that the
disorders were "God's Will" (or "Gottes Wille", if I recall the PA
Dutch given on the program). The other aspect of importance is that
now the Amish have hired their own physician, a pediatrician, who has
taken a great interest in assisting the Amish of the Geauga County
area. Comments were also made about the Amish not knowing their
My comments: This specific Amish group is a relatively small and
relatively isolated group located in Geauga County in the far
northeast portion of Ohio (only one county away from Lake Erie and
Pennsylvania). It is relatively distant from Holmes County, Ohio,
with the highest concentration of Amish in the world. It is my
impression that the Holmes County Amish do not have as many genetic
disorders because they are later arrivals from the German-speaking
areas of Europe, early 1800's, as compared to the Lancaster County, PA
Amish of the 1700's. At this point, I cannot find my references, but
it may be that the Geauga County Amish came from the Lancaster County
Amish, and thus are more likely to experience genetic disorders due to
longer periods of intermarrying.
One apparent error was the statement that the Amish do not know much
of their genealogy. It is my understanding that many Amish family
histories have been very recorded over the past few hundred years.
Not very much relevance to this list, except that if the Amish were
receptive to DNA testing, then suspected family connections could be
confirmed. Does anybody know if any Amish have had DNA testing?
Charles, how about your PA Deutsch project?
Jim in Central Ohio
who very much enjoyed visiting Amish Country (primarily Holmes County)
this past Saturday.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 10:40 PM
Subject: [DNA] 60 minutes re Amish genetics
> In a message dated 6/8/2005 8:55:55 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> Hey, anyone who is online right now, 60 Minutes is having a segment
> the genetic problems among the Amish and those who have worked on
> Word was passed along to me on another list from Dr. Harold Cross,
> medical geneticist who pioneered studies among the Amish in order to
> help them.
> Bonnie, or anyone else who saw it, could you post a summary? Thank