Archiver > HUNTINGTON-DISEASE > 2009-10 > 1255912888

From: "Ellen Cameron" <>
Subject: [HD Genealogy] Marylanders to Kentucky and North Carolina
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 20:41:28 -0400

Six or eight months ago, I searched Google for "Carpenter" and "Huntington's Disease", and found a link that I noted:
From: " John L. Carpenter" <
Subject: Huntington's Disease
Date: Thu, 12 Aug 1999 07:51:31 -0400

"This disease also surfaced in the colonial English Catholic community here in Southern Maryland. I met a woman a couple of years ago at a local genealogical conference. She was working on a project tracing the disease for Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Unfortunately, some years back the "enlightened" local health officials refused to allow a study of the disease in St. Mary's County, so the Johns Hopkins study went to the Catholic area of central Kentucky .. Marion, Nelson & Washington counties .. & did the study there. Most of the same Catholic family names in Southern Maryland show up in that section of Kentucky {& in smaller Catholic settlements in southern Indiana, Missouri, & Texas} .. I ran a short article on this subject in our local genealogical society's newsletter & suggested to our members with ancestry in this early English Catholic cluster to check w/ their doctor about Huntington's disease. It is very common in this area .. a close friend of mine has it all thru' his father's family .. from Southern Maryland. I suppose in any area that was isolated for many generations {by geography, religion, etc.}, these sorts of diseases can crop up."

Then, a few months ago, I did a Google search on Ingatius Spink, born in Maryland and died in Kentucky, who had several descendants who died of HD in Kentucky. I found a Google Books mention of Ignatius Spink in the book "Marylanders to Kentucky" by Henry Peden. I ordered the book, and received it this week. The book only had a little mention of Ignatius Spink. So I looked more closely at my database, and saw that I only had HD info on one of Ignatius's children, Francis Lewis Spink. He was married to Phoebe Youtsler, an uncommon surname which I researched with little result, but didn't spend too much time on it. Today, I spent some time researching the Youtsler, Yutsler, Eutsler etc. surname and found some info on the descendants of Jacob Youtsler, father of Phoebe Youtsler.

I saw that at least one descendant died in Texas and found the death certificate of Jennie Ethel Shaffer, granddaughter of Phoebe Youtsler's brother William. Her cause of death is listed as "Hemiplegia following insanity" and "exhaustion from constant unrest". I think she may have had HD.

The surname Youtsler is not indexed in the book "Marylanders to Kentucky", but I have several families located in Marion, Nelson, and Washington counties in Kentucky who have/had family members with HD. I will let you know what I find as I examine this book.

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