Health inheritance

It’s all in the genes as they say (and I wrote about that here from a personal perspective). That being the case I have a fair chance of making old bones – provided I pass the next danger zone of the early 70s. I have no wish to last to 100 but quite a few of my ancestors have reached the 80s or late 80s, and some more distant ancestors even made it past 90 back in the 19th century. So much for the predictions that we will live longer today.

This pie-chart represents the distribution of my ancestors’ ages at death. The chart works clockwise starting with the over 80s.

Longevity percentage

Helen Smith is a huge advocate for doing a family health inheritance chart and after much procrastination I’ve finally done mine and will provide them here…it’s easier to see by splitting them into Dad’s line and Mum’s line. Comparing the places with the family tree on the previous blog makes it clear how many of my 2xgreat grandparents made the migration here from elsewhere.

Health chart Dads line

Health chart Mums line copy

Thanks Alex from Family Tree Frog blog for the Aussie descriptor “alive and kicking” which I’ve used for Mum and me. I was surprised when I downloaded my longevity details from my Relatively Yours program, that both my paternal grandfather and grandmother lived to the same age, and Dad was very close. Also my ancestor who died in London in 1926 was a world-traveller who had been living and working in Queensland and New South Wales for over 50 years.

13 thoughts on “Health inheritance

  1. This is really fascinating Pauleen. I bet you have looked at the causes of death that are now treatable and wondered how long those people would have lived if they had treatment. So sad to see two parents taken in their early forties. It’s also interesting for what it may hide. We have a genetically inherited disease in our family and it must have precipitated several deaths but it has not been recognised until my generation and of course has never been listed as the actual cause of death.


    1. There are certainly some deaths that could have been prevented, most likely my great-grandparents, George Michael and Julia (Gavin) Kunkel. I wrote the horror story of Julia’s death some years ago here

      Mercifully we don’t have an obvious genetic illnesses, though dodgy hearts are obviously in the line as is cancer underlying some. Overall very long lived for their era in particular.


  2. I did an L for Life Expectancy post in the past. About time I revised it!

    Very interesting! I have a number of older ancestors but a couple of younger deaths (child birth, accidents and typhoid) reduce the average considerably…….but I am hopeful that I will have plenty of family history research time remaining!

    Liked by 1 person

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