Any info on Arthur C Bennett Spencer Co, IN... Hungtingon's Disease

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Hi I'm looking for info on the Bennett family in the 1800s in Spencer Co IN.

My ggrandmother was Pearl Esther Ranger (married a Fortune and then Hobart Edwards), her father was William Lloyd Ranger and her mother was Lydia or Louisa Bennett born in 1867 I think. Lydia Louisa Bennett's parents were Harvey H Bennett 1841 - 1900 and Laura "Lydia" Hammond. Harvey H also married Saphronia Fields. Harvey was one of the children of Athur Charles Bennett 1821 - 1856 and Almanza Merithew 1822 - 1899. Almanza ended up marrying Thomas Williams after Arthur Charles died.

I can't find much info on Arthur Charles. Census says he was born in NY. I do find info on other Bennett's just prior to him in Spencer Co. William Bennett was the first coroner and he and his wife Margaret were born in Virginia and were among the earliest settlers in Spencer Co. I believe Margaret died in an assylum in Indianapolis in 1852 but she may not have been there long as she was on the 1850 census. Margaret and William apear to have been born in Virginia, but also lived in Ohio prior to coming to Spencer County. I think the families are connected because I see a lot of the same names passed on to their children. William and Margaret had James P and there was a James C that was also part of the Methodist church in the 1820s. He married a Rachel Vanzandt in the early 1820s.

Its possible these separate Bennett families settled on the same place when the community was tiny and starting, but I find it unlikely despite the different origins. I'm very interested in this part o the family because I have Huntington's Disease and I'm pretty sure I got it from GGrandma Pearl. Her daughter Nina was my grandmother and back in those days they had no idea what it was but called it "the Bennett disease" so I'm thinking that the 1800's Bennett's in Spencer County had some other prevalence of the disease. Bennett isn't a family I see much info on Huntington's from on national websites so I suspect it started with this branch of the family either with William's wife Margaret born in Virginia. I found a newspaper report that suggested she died in an insane asylum in Indianapolis before being married on the Bennett farm in Spencer county. It could be a coincidence but that's what happened to Hungington's folks back n the day so its a heck of a coincidence. There also could be some intermarriage in the Bennett family with Margaret's family or some cousin marriage, I see that in other branches of the tree in the 1700s on the frontier so that wouldn't shock me. I suspect Margaret and William have a connection to my Arthur Charles but haven't found any good records. The census saying Arthur Charles was born in NY makes me wonder what the connection was with the Virginia to Ohio to Spencer county Bennetts because of the similar names and other clues.

I found them on ancestry.com and have marriage dates and census records but would love to get any other info about Arthur Charles, Harvey "Henry" Hutchinson Bennett, Almanza Merrithew, and especially solve the riddle of the first Spencer Co Bennett generation (William and Margaret, James C) to the second one including Arthur Charles and Almanza. They may be children born in Spencer Co to William or James C and the census guy may have gotten their deeper family ancestry origin from NY. Or they may be cousins, but the presence of using the same names like James Charles in the next generation suggests a connection as does the asylum clue with Margaret.
in Genealogy Help by
edited by Ellen Smith
I am also interested in tracing relatives with Huntington's Disease as this is present in my family also. I would be keen to contact others interested in this, maybe we could work together on a Huntington's Free Space Page?

I tracked HD back a good deal in my family too, but even at the start of 1800 it seems like dozens of people in my family had it that were pretty distant cousins.

This paper is by far the most interesting one I've read on this subject: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=iau.31858012620104&view=1up&seq=7&skin=2021 (It was written in 1916 so it's fairly offensive too btw)

It looked at the ancestry of around 900 patients and traced them back to 7 people in the 1600s. They describe them as three brothers who settled in New Haven, Connecticut, two brothers who settled in East Hampton, New York, J.F. who came to Greenwich, Connecticut, and W.W. who came to America in 1635 and was a founder of Southold, Long Island. It sounds like the families then spread out around Fairfield, Branford, Bedford and Stamford, Connecticut as well as Central Connecticut, and Southampton, Greenport, and Suffolk County, Long Island.They were probably all from Boston and Stamford, England and they suggest the source was there, before the founding of America.

I also liked this document, from 1984: https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S003329170001967X It seems to research different families, but comes to a very similar conclusion. They say the Long Island cases were from a man named Mulfoot or Mulford, who was born in the Massachusetts-Connecticut area. They then traced his ancestry back to three brothers who migrated from Bures St. Mary, on the border between Suffolk and Essex, in 1630 to settle in America. According to church records Mary Haste was the mother of at least two of them and the paper suggests she could have been the first person with it. They also talk about a Welles family who also migrated in 1630 from Colchester, England, just 10 miles away from Bures.

There's a more recent article that analyzes that 1916 document that's very interesting to read too: https://geneticsunzipped.com/news/2019/1/2/hunting-for-huntingtons It talks about [https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Unknown-203516 Elinor Knapp] and how she was misidentified as a witch, but most likely had Huntington's as well.

But if all three of these papers can be trusted, they seem to point towards at least 5 cities in England within about 110 miles of each other. To me, that seems to suggest a source much older than Mary Haste, back in the 1500 or 1400s. It doesn't seem like the researchers uploaded their old ancestry documents anywhere either, all I could find were those obscure notes.. it would be really neat to get that into wikitree if it's available somewhere though.

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Hi, I’m researching this also and haven’t found an answer. However, Arthur Charles Bennett is my 4th great grandfather. I believe I may be of the youngest living generation of Bennett’s and would love to connect. I’m bookmarking this page and will reach out as I do more research.  :)
by
I have requested a category be created under the Genetic Disorders category so that we can tag family members who had Huntington's and maybe trace the interconnections between families
The category has now been created and you can add this category for any ancestors who had Huntington's

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Huntington%27s_Disease

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