CHROMOSOMES Y

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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