Question of the Week: What traits do you see being passed from generation to generation in your family?

+15 votes

traits.jpgWhat sorts of traits do you see being passed from generation to generation in your family? 

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in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)
Muscular myopathy and high IQ.
Hi Leigh Anne, we have the same. I went to see how closely related we are but unfortunately your tree isn't public. Would you be willing to check out relationship?

Susie :-)
My dad had a muscular myopathy (inclusion body myositis--the one that Peter Frampton has).  Any chance this is the same one that is in your family?  I read that it generally does not run in families, but your comment has me a bit concerned for me and my siblings.  So far, we are fine...
Many of the answers I see here are not known to be genetic. Some like dimples are, and others, like height, eye and hair color, etc., are all too obviously genetic. I think many of the other traits cited in answers are passed on more by culture than by DNA, and can be changed in future generations. Even many genetically disposed conditions can be mediated by modifying behavior. We are not solely defined by our family histories, but also by the choices we make.
Musical talent. My maternal grandfather played harmonica & mandolin, my father & oldest brother played trumpet & sang (Dad in the Goodyear Men's Chorus & brother onstage in Akron., Ohio & N.Y.C. :American Savoyards & The Harry Simeone Chorale), my mother played piano sang in our church choir, my next oldest brother played drums & percussion instruments, I play piano/keyboards electric bass & cello & sang in 10 bands as well as in Goodyear Theater Musicals, My younger sister was lead vocalist in our first band (1971-72).

While searching information on my maternal 4th great grandmother, I found a picture of her that astounded me. All of the women in my family (maternal side) have the same naturally turned down mouth with what I call saggy jowls. My 4th great grandmother has the exact same natural look as we do. So now we all know who we inherited it from. Dorcus Hyatt Traywick It is something that we've all wondered about. It's cool to find out where it came from. 

Trigger finger, its past down from my Viking ancestors
woulnt have a clue as im still no wiser lol
Susie I thought my tree settings were public. Lord knows they are on Perhaps after completing some bio's I forgot to open up the privacy settings.

The genetic abnormalities (putting intellect aside) that I referred to are consistent and trackable back 4 generations (before-which the health records drop off). I knew my g. grandmother until after H.S. I knew all 4 of my grandparents until my early 30's. They all lived 2 miles from us. So, it was easy for me to be an observable witness. The muscular myopathy I referred in response to the original question 'haunts' us generation after generation. That line derives from my Northern German (Palatinate) lines of which I'm 1/8 on paper: Most recent (g.grandparent) ancestors: Barnes, Swadley, Bowman and Saylor of Johnson City, Washington Cty, TN. But, also with these lines is a tendency towards tall height: My dad was 6'7" my sis. 6'; my bro. 6'3" and I'm the shorty at 5'10". The tallness may be related; I know the clumsiness is.

I found the auDNA analysis, which was extensive, to be spot-on in it's predictability of genetic risks assessed from my auDNA upload. While the service didn't predict my very rare auto-immune disorder (immune complex vasculitis) it did predict pretty much every other health issue I've faced my entire life. I highly recommend it.
Michael the muscular weakness, which increases significantly over time (g.grandmother was completely bedridden the last 20 years of her long life) appears to be inflammatory in nature. The problem my RA specialists have experienced with me in particular is that I also suffer from an extremely rare genetic disorder called Immune Complex Vasculitis which, according to th"em, really screws up the test results". I love my RA immunologists because they're brutally honest. There are no treatments for my personal health issues. Whether they could have helped my g. grandmother or my grandmother is for obvious reasons unknown (since I'm 65).  Leigh Anne
I tend to agree.  In my family music has been passed down from both sides.  However one thing that is being passed down and not thru seeing  is creating inventions.  This is not something really seen by the other generation but creating things keep popping up.  My grandson took a jug, put a straw in the side and put water in.  When he puts the cap on the water stays in, when he turns the cap the water comes out.  I was amazed.   His dad made a batting machine that worked.  Without instructions, he just made it.  And things like that.  They would take my foil and use the whole thing on some creation.

66 Answers

+13 votes
Light skin, light hair, light eyes and high IQ.

Funny - my father died 6 years before my son was born. When my son was a toddler/young child and I was trying to tell him off he would stand just like my Dad and cock his head the same way. Kinda hard to tell him off when I am spooked by it!
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+12 votes
My height, I suppose, comes from the Shepherd side. Several generations consecutively.

Diabetes shows up regularly in descendants of one of my great-grandfathers.

Having a full head of hair is definitely a trait of male Underwood descendants.

A love of oral history comes from both sides of the family!
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.1m points)
+8 votes
On the Hughey side,there seems to be a prevelance for red hair--three of my brothers, several of my Hughey aunts and uncles (blood kin). The Sills line also shows an abundance of red hair.I'm the once without it!

Some of my nieces don't either.  Red hair genes are recessive and don't usually show up in people with black hair genes and often times not in people with people with brown hair genes.
by David Hughey G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
We have red hair that pops up from time to time.  My uncle has it.  No one in our family had it.  But a couple of nieces and then some grand nieces have it big time.
+9 votes
A tendency to violence.
by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (193k points)
I hope that your generation will break the cycle and be known for even tempers, and caring attitudes.
It is wonderful that you recognize the generational trait, because with that recognition hopefully you can tell your children and break it as a trait.If you aren't aware of generational passage, you can't stop it.

In my family I have found we have repeated patterns we did not know about until I started doing genealogy. I have found family often does not understand why you are telling them things they don't want to know,they even become hostile.

Thank you for sharing
+11 votes
Height. My grandfather on my mom’s side was tall. As a result, I have a cousin who is tall. Comes in handy when decorating Christmas trees. Then again I am kind of tall. Like 5 foot 10.

Most of my family wears glasses. Including me.

And ya know....I got my dad’s nose.

Dark hair is also a common trait. Not many people have light hair on either side of the family.

Curly hair is a trait from my father’s side. Though his grandfather had light hair.
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (441k points)
My brothers and I swore the reason my short mother had three tall boys was so she could say, “Can you get that down for me?”
Haha! My mom would say "Can't argue with that logic!" My brother and I are a bit tall.  I used to be really short. Then I hit a really painful growth spurt. Talk about regeneration.....
+11 votes
Hmm.... diabetes and high blood pressure.

Stubbornness. Kentucky side is still generating clanishness three generations out of the hills. We don't take to outlanders. Meaning anyone who isn't family, and not all of them either.

Hard to say much more, personally, I'm a fairly atypical member of the family. Kind of a mutant.
by Thomas Fuller G2G6 Mach 8 (80.7k points)
Gotta laugh, Thomas. Clannishness runs in my family, too. North Carolina mountains. Must be a leftover from my Scots heritage.

One day my mother and I were talking about how her side of the family sees my father's side (all northerners) as freakishly (read: typically) friendly to strangers (read: friends). My mother then said, "I guess we're rather clannish" meaning on her side. A light bulb came on, something clicked, and so much fell into place. It explains so much.

Like most Appalachians, my mom's parents seem to be mostly Scots and Scotch-Irish, maybe some Welsh, and rumors of Cherokee that aren't true.

+10 votes
Left-handedness.  I'm left-handed, my mom's sister is left-handed, my mom's mother's brother was left-handed, and my mom's maternal grandmother was left-handed-there's one of us per generation in my maternal line since at least my great-grandmother (and probably earlier than that).
by K. Anonymous G2G6 Pilot (126k points)
You reminded me K, left-handed was not allowed when mum was growing up, so she had to try to be right-handed, but myself and all her grandchildren are lefties. We are taking over the world! Lol.
Indeed we are!  

Fortunately, no one in my family was forced to write right-handed; all I can complain about is not getting a left-handed desk until high school and having gym teachers that never knew how to teach a left-handed person how to bowl/pitch/bat left-handed, so I did have to learn sports from a right-hander's perspective (and I insist this is why I'm so, so bad at sports!)
As the only left handed person in my family, I'm with you on this. Not only am I bad at any sports having to do with a ball but never could knit properly or touch type.
It's too bad-I have an especially hard time bowling, which I really used to like.  People told me to start bowling left-handed, but I'd been shown how to do it right-handed all my life so I can't adjust to left-handed bowling.  Oh well-that's what bumpers are for.
+13 votes

We are all as mad as hatters.frowncheekywink

by Dave Welburn G2G6 Pilot (122k points)
Madness spices the world!
So, you're saying that the family coat of arms ties at the back?
When you shake my tree all the nuts fall out.
Mercury poisoning?
+9 votes
At first I would say our blonde hair, however that has gradually started to disappear. Now I would have to say our kindness to others, we have always been there to help others when needed. I can remember watching and learning this from my grandparents.
by Dean Anderson G2G6 Pilot (460k points)

@Dean “At first I would say our blonde hair, however that has gradually started to disappear.”  - it’s called balding

I meant disappearing as changing color not balding, our hair color has been getting dark by the generation.
+10 votes
All of us tend to be tall and thin. We always considered this a Mosson trait, this side of the ocean, but its not. I've acquired pictures from my Grandma Mosson's family - the tall, thinness is a Parsons trait, from Ada Rose's side of the family. The Parsons men tend to go bald - also considered a Mosson trait over here!

 In my own part of the family we also have Scottish ancestry. What we get from the Camerons is fierce loyalty, love of tradition, love of our Tartan, and a fiery, but quick to calm temper. Like I told my new daughter-in-law - she joined a long line of women with both fists in the air and feisty as "h-e-double hockey sticks"! She fits right in!!! We also tend to be warriors, several of us having served in Canada's Military. I guess some of us just truly believe we are Sons of Hounds!
by Linda Hockley G2G6 Mach 1 (12.3k points)
Scottish here, too, so I can identify.
+10 votes
What a great question as I have always been aware of specific traits from a couple of my family lines.

My paternal line - Small boned, slightly built, blue eyes and "peaches and cream" skintone. Very soft-spoken. The line originated in Scotland and England. Digestive issues and high blood pressure. Maybe if they raised their voices more, the blood pressure would lower!! I have most all of these traits. All of my cousins in this family have the digestive issues including me. I have photos from my Great grandfather on down and they all look alike.

My maternal side - Larger boned and sturdily built and physically strong. Blue eyes. German descent.
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (660k points)
+6 votes
On my wife's side, everything and anything to do with gardening. Also on her side, left-handedness and a simian crease.
by Bart Triesch G2G6 Pilot (252k points)
edited by Bart Triesch
+8 votes

Hazel or green eyes, dimples and orneriness.  Since the definition of ornery is different depending on where you’re from, here is ours:    

“chiefly Midwest having or showing a playful tendency to cause trouble: Mischievous

On a serious note: My mother had CREST Syndrome. It’s an autoimmune disorder, it doesn’t have to be CREST, but it just means we are prone to autoimmune disorders or disease.

by Karen Wells G2G6 (9.3k points)
+7 votes
Dad's side:  athletic ability, autoimmune disease, unibrow.

Mom's side:  good in school, issues with speech, viscous/sticky saliva.
by Michael Schell G2G6 Mach 3 (31.3k points)
What fascinates me is the "athletic ability" trait from my dad's line.  Dad was an above-average athlete (3 sports, including state finalist in one).  Overall, on a scale of 1-to-10 he might be an 8.  On the same scale, Mom would score 1 or 2.  The kids all ended up slightly athletic, but not remarkably so--say, a 6.  Contrast that to Dad's sister, who was above-average like her brother.  She married a guy who was significantly above-average, perhaps an 8 or 9.  The children of that union were all star athletes--the best in their high schools.  And one of them had a successful career as a professional athlete, including an MVP award.
+6 votes
Alzheimer's Disease and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, haha. The Alzheimer's isn't early onset, but it hit my dad, his mom, and her mom. It's hard to tell which side the EDS came from, but I suspect my dad's side. My ex & I both have EDS, and so does my daughter, but it's quite manageable for us.

On my mom's side, heart and blood pressure issues reign supreme, at least on the less-happy side of things.

Appearance-wise, on my dad's side the men are tall and lean, and I take after them. My brother tends more to my mom's side, which tend to be stockier and freckled.

Speaking of tall and lean, my daughter is too, and she has my blue eyes (I was the only one in my family to win the blue-eyed lottery, everyone else's are hazel). She also has my slightly-off and punny sense of humor, but I'm guessing that's nurture, not nature ;)
by Eric Hoffman G2G6 Mach 1 (18.5k points)
+7 votes
Mitchell line has a lot of bipolar disorder. Martin has a lot of cystic fibrosis. Of course we're all ~brilliant~ and artistic.

My siblings and I connect telepathically, when we were young we honed those skills playing games and using our mental energy to influence each other.

Even now our Mom says, when one calls you all call.
by Sherrie Mitchell G2G6 Mach 3 (30.0k points)
+7 votes
High Cholesterol is very popular in my family xxx
by Karen Butler G2G6 Pilot (139k points)
Karen - same issue here. Myself, my mother, and her mother, we all have high cholesterol no matter what we eat! Darn those genes *fist shake*
+8 votes
If I straighten out my arms, palm up, my elbows touch each other.  Strong family trait from my mothers side.  I have 5 brothers and sisters and we all have that trait.
by C Fish G2G5 (6.0k points)
+7 votes
When my Dad saw my new-born daughter for the first time, his first comment was, "she has my bent little finger."

The Scott ears are also prevalent, particularly among the males, and I think we all have a tendency to procrastinate.
by Wendy Scott G2G6 Mach 1 (15.9k points)
I also have crooked little fingers, it's a recessive trait. I also have double crown and am a leftie as is my brother and Dad was..!
My MacAusland, (McAuslin, McCausland etc.) family nearly all have the crooked pinky little finger.  I am the only one of my generation now to have it but a lady in Australia had two of them and didn't know what had happened to her.  Do you happen to have Scottish/Irish ancestry with links to McAuslin, Horne or Miller?
Mary Cudmore, I don't know any of those names, but I certainly have Scottish in me.
Yes, we definitely have Scottish genes as tested per DNA, could be where the left handedness comes from too. Scottish left handed staircases helped them in sword fights...
+8 votes
From my father's side, digestive problems and being tall. We are all well over average height. Father 6' 4", brothers between 6' 3" - 6 5". 3 of us have inherited his sensitive digestion. Also we all have his 'dark' sense of humour.

From my mother's side, a certain impulsiveness, and asthma. She had it, as well as me and 3 of my siblings.

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