By now, we know that the hereditary characteristics are bounded to the
chromosomes carried by all living things. We also know that a human
being has 23 pairs of chromosomes in each of the cells witch are part
of our body. At birth, each of the parents only transmits to their
child, one element of each pair. As 22 out of the 23 have a lot of
similarity, only one chromosome can be traced down through
generations. We call it the "Y chromosome" and it is exclusively on
the male side. While being transmitted from father to son, it keeps
all its genetic and morphologic characteristics.
Through the years, we have noticed that some french speaking Canadians
had a "Y chromosome" witch was different then for the rest of the
population. That difference had a slight variation from one family to
and other but very constant between males of the same surname or
family. Only four families have been found carrying this different "Y
chromosome". Those families are descendants of Jacques Bernier,
Nicholas Roy, Antoine Rouillard and the Gaudreau descendants of the
brothers Gilles and Jean sons of Jehan Gautereau from France.
In a world where the way of living, in families and socially or where
the general mentality seems to weaken family values, identifying this
"Y chromosome" can prove a family line amongst males of one of those
four families with more certainty than with the surname only.
Unfortunately, only about 1% of the population carries that "Y
chromosome". So, in the Gaudreau families, only those from Gilles and
Jean can have that proof of their descendance.
This text comes from a conference given by Paul Genest to the Quebec
genealogy society, on a study of family ties.
Dr Paul Genest