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 (1.7m 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

+3 votes
Melancholy.  Starts with me, then my mom and her father.  In his line we have 2 suicides and one who died in a mental institution.
by Marcie Ruiz G2G6 Mach 2 (25.1k points)
Marcie use this knowledge as power! Remind yourself that this is a condition you have, not a condition that has you!!! And if you ever feel like you can't shake those feeling seek treatment. Educate your descendants. Your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc They are all related to the central person where this trait started.
Thank you for this reply!  I have been obtaining treatment most of my adult life, when needed, and educating my son as well.
+2 votes
Independence, stoicism, benevolence, generosity, ingenuity, creativity, artistic, adaptability, green thumb gardeners, outdoors people and curly hair! Personality-wise, one of my sons is a clone of my maternal grandfather. I sometimes have to stop and remind myself that he is not my grandfather. A little unnerving at times because my grandfather was the number one person in my childhood, closely followed by my grandmother. My son's facial features and personality are strictly my grandfather's. Unfortunately, my son inherited his father's height, not my grandfather's, who was over 6-ft tall.
+2 votes
Looking back at quite a few men in my family tree it looks like heart disease is something to watch for as many died of heart attacks. And the women dementia. Though my uncle had it too, but I guess the heart attacks killed the men before they could get it.

But a good thing we all seem to share is the eyes and the smile. And decent teeth.
by Marcella Nadler G2G1 (1.4k points)
+3 votes
Very dark auburn hair and monovision.  The latter is where you are nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other.  We were made for monocles.  :)
Never heard of monovision before.  Do you know what the prevalance of that is?
+2 votes
Artistic ability, high IQ, verbal giftedness, unusually tall people, mitrial valve prolapse, strabismus and great senses of humor!
by Randy Almond G2G1 (1.2k points)
+2 votes
On my dad's side: burly frames, especially for the men; square shoulders, and rather evenly distributed weight. For a good idea of what this looks like, here's an accessible example: I remember the first time I watched Frozen with my mother, she said the character Kristoff looked shockingly like my father when he was younger.

There's a lot of Swedish heritage on both my paternal grandfather and paternal grandmother's portions of my tree (with names like Johnson, Botruff, and Tinberg, this should be no surprise).

On my mom's side: thin lips, and jowly faces in old age. I once remember my mom saying that the Queen of England (Elizabeth II) looked like her grandma (not sure about which one; possibly her maternal grandmother). No surprise, the vast majority of her ancestry came from the United Kingdom, either in the late 1800s or back in the colonial era. And, if my great uncle's extensive research is to be believed (I'm not sure if it is entirely true outside of the States), we are distantly related to English royalty. Haven't traced back far on here or on Ancestry to prove this to be actually true, though.

In addition, my younger brother looks shockingly similar to how my maternal grandpa looked as a young man (in one of our genealogy books there's a photo of him making a face exactly like my brother, with a haircut very similar to his). My younger sister looks shockingly similar to photos I've found of my great-great grandmother, Gladys (Crane) Joiner, in her younger years.
by Samantha Johnson G2G3 (3.2k points)
+2 votes
Love of music and performing.
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (541k points)
+2 votes
A definite artistic flare.  Working artists, teaching artists, studying art and getting a degree artists, university-wants-your-stuff artists, gallery show artists, lots of doing other things for a living but doing art because we must artists.
+2 votes
Diabetes and heart disease on my father's side, and ovarian cancer on my mother's. My double 2nd cousin just got diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year, and was found to have an uncommon cancer gene. I have not yet been tested, and the test is pricey, and cannot be done locally. Baldness, from my maternal grandfather. Neither his father nor grandfathers seemed to have it, so he may have inherited it from his mother's family, which I have no photos of. He went bald in his 20's, as did his son. My brother went bald in his 30's. Red/Green color blindness. From same grandfather. My brother got it, too.

Both sides of my family tend to be night owls. Mostly even tempered, intelligent, with a lot of musical talent, the latter of which I did not inherit. My mother's side of my family tends to have a long face. I inherited my father's round face, and my mother's nose and voice. And shyness, on my mother's side. Many of us are painfully shy and have to learn how to grow out of it as we mature. Both sides of my family are pretty scientific--biologists, chemists, doctors, computer geeks, engineers, etc.
by Alison Gardner G2G6 Mach 6 (62.7k points)
+2 votes
Musical ability. In my family, it was never a question of whether one would learn a musical instrument, only "which one". Even though we were poor, money was found to buy me a flute - even before I could play it (I still have it). I played the flute in high school and now sing Gregorian chant and polyphony in a church choir.

My mother's mother majored in music in college, played the piano and the organ, and gave piano lessons. My mother's father played bass violin in a "family orchestra" that played for Croatian gatherings in Cleveland in the 1930's.

My father had a beautiful voice; his parents were in Vaudeville (singing and tap dancing). A cousin on my father's side - Ernest F. Wagner - was a famous flutist in the NY Philharmonic in the 1930's. He was also descended from professional musicians, according to census records.
by Sue Rattray G2G2 (2.7k points)
+4 votes
I had an odd incident occur to me linked to this weeks question. A few years ago while I was researching my convicts I found a newspaper article and a transcript for a trial in Wales for a direct ancestor of mine on my mother's father's side, it occurred in the late 1700s / early 1800s. In these documents there was a description of my ancestor's running style and the fact that he could/did out run the police over a long distance, in fact someone in the trial commented on how all in this man's family had the ability to run long distances.

The odd thing for me was as I was reading this description I realised that this was a family trait that I had inherited from this man and it had been passed done the generations - I am not the only one in my family to have this odd hip movement and to partake in long distance running. I know that the particular line in my family that are direct descendants of this man have all been known at some stage of their lives for their running abilities. I had (until this point in time) always wonder where this ability came from - I found out that day and I let everyone in the family know.

Thanks for reading.
by Leeta Rutherford G2G Crew (320 points)
I love to research my outlaws. I have always been interested in a good moonshine and murder story. Anyways... I once found an article similar to yours on one of my family outlaw. The actual wording was "he ran like a deer"  lol

By the way, this evening I will be attending my sons high school track meet. Where he is a stand-out athletic sprinter, who is decorated with medals!
+3 votes
Either you'll be full grey by 25 or stay jet black till 60+
by Nora Mohan G2G1 (1.6k points)

laugh haha - we are all sporting greys by 25 

I worked with a guy who had a full head of white hair in his 20s. His nickname was Snow Monkey. My brother in law has a full set of dentures, like his Dad they lost all their teeth in their 20s, luckily my husband has all his!
+2 votes
Colorb!indness. My husband and our daughters 3 sons are all colorblind.
+2 votes

Syndactyly, webbed digits, on my mother's side. So far, I know my maternal uncle had both fingers and toes that were webbed. I am the only other one that I know of. I have webbed toes on both feet.

+3 votes

I already answered with some genetic conditions that are passed on, but this question is so intriguing!! So today I looked at my overall and see that most ancestors had very long lives for their time and place. I have not done an average, but it's going to be close to 80+,  even way back, discounting the accidentals, like struck by lightning. Feeling very grateful to be here and blessed to have my Ancestors.

by Sherrie Mitchell G2G6 Mach 2 (26.6k points)
+2 votes
Paternal twins every generation for the past six (not sure beyond that.)  Also, sadly, bipolar disorder - more prevalent in successive generations. :-( Courage and tenacity (okay, stubbornness) with a strong work ethic.  Lots of mechanical ability; excel at pattern recognition.
by Pamela Culy G2G6 Mach 2 (29.8k points)
edited by Pamela Culy
+2 votes

I suppose this all depends on which genes you inherit from which parents, My Eccles Family are known to be a musically family, I am tone deaf! well maybe an exaggeration  but I certainly can not hold a tune, 

My Mercer family (female) were all known to have very long dark hair, but yet My Singleton, Pye lines had Blonde hair and Blue eyes, I inherited the blue eyes, My Sister the blonde hair and blue eyes though it's only blonde until about 15 years old and then darkens (So not the Scandinavian White Blonde)

Diseases - The only inherit one I am aware of  is Glaucoma - Father's side, a few relatives have osteoarthritis and age related diabetes but they are not necessarily hereditary.

Intelligence - A lot of my Ancestors were Farmers so it's difficult to say what their intellect was they wouldn't have needed it, but I believe My Maternal Grandfather had an eye for 'Good' Cattle and was a dealer for other folk (He bought cattle for other people on his recommendation) - not sure if this was an hereditary trait or acquired, he was good at weather forecasting too, I remember One year we brought the hay in very early due to a storm coming the week after. (British weather is not predictable that I am aware of) 

I do think that an high IQ might run in my Paternal Side - At 14 my Dad was top  of his class (though missing the previous 12 months of schooling due to illness) and my Grandfather was bordering on eccentricity though very clever. 

My Mum says I have the creative gene, not sure were this comes from (more investigation needed!) Maybe the 'Musically' gene as surfaced as an artistic one. Though I have to get in the zone to do this because I am more analytical in my approach to normal life. Its like I have to activate a different part of my brain! So helps when I am off work and chilled smiley

Mental Illness /  Neurological - not known though my Grandfather had PTS (Shell-shock) and I have a few instances that I am unsure of one of my Auntie supposedly had St Vitus Dance (she fell asleep for a week! this doesn't sound like it to me but that's how it was diagnosed) and a Great Aunt had another that included stuttering / shaking someone has suggested dystonia.


by Heather Jenkinson G2G6 Mach 2 (28.2k points)
A good intellect serves farmers well.  It's just not always easily noticed or measured in that profession. You need to be a veterinarian, biologist, mechanic, meteorologist, an accountant and more.
+2 votes
I have double-jointed thumbs that we call the "Ungerecht thumb" because it comes from that side of the family.  I don't know how far it goes back, it's not something that gets written down.
by Rob Neff G2G6 Mach 5 (57.2k points)
+2 votes
I have small red moles all over called cherry hemaginomas.  They increase in frequency as I get older and get bigger with age.  I have one on the middle of my forehead in my profile picture.  When my son was a toddler I told him it was my atomic forehead laser, like the one Gigan has in the Godzilla movies.  I inherited these from my father, who also had them.

Fine hair comes from my paternal grandmother.

Short stature comes from my mother.  I am taller than she was and she was taller than her mother.  I am about 5 foot one inch and seem to shrink as I age, as they did.

My mother's Mueller family had vascular problems.  My mother died of a brain aneurysm; she also had hypertension.  Her brother died of a stroke.  Their father died of a blood clot following surgery for hemorrhoids.

I inherited the lips of my great-grandmother Ottilie Koerth Schilling.

They all had blue eyes, as I do.
by Margaret Summitt G2G6 Pilot (129k points)
+2 votes
Piercing huge blue eyes and thick thick fast growing lustrous blond hair .  Trigger finger. Knees that always announce their presence. High IQ, facility with languages. Artistic.
by Gloria Lange G2G6 Mach 1 (10.8k points)

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