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Toe Genes: Goss

Toe Genes: A Possible Goss Link
By L. J. Dewald, Editor

In our Winter '97 Issue, we reported an interesting study relating to a possible correlation between women having a damaged second X chromosome, or only a single X chromosome, and the manner in which it may affect the spelling of our surname as PRENTICE, PRENTIS or PRENTISS. (Naming Gene)

In a follow-up article in our Summer /98 Issue, we examined the possible existence of a previously unknown side-effect of such gene irregularity: the number of toes produced. (Toe Gene) In the latter article, it was pointed out that whether there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship is not entirely free of doubt.

A related article, Genes, Surnames and Toes, considered other aspects of the possible interrelationship between genes, spelling of the surname, Prentiss, and extra digits, including the issue whether the excess toe problem existed prior to, or subsequent to, the immigration of the various families to America.

On Monday, 18 Jan 1999, we received an E-mail from Ken Goss of Crowley, LA which mentions similar finger and toe situations in the Goss families of MA, CT, PA, OH, MO and LA which has been traced to the 1700s. Upon reflection, his communication may provide some valuable insight as to how the Prentice, Prentis and Prentiss families may have acquired a damaged second X chromosome, or acquired only a single X chromosome.

A preliminary review of our computerized genealogy software database discloses the marriage of Hatesin Prentice and Chastity Goss on 1 Apr 1667. (Fn. 1, Fn. 2) Although we are now only at the earliest stages of review, analysis of data collected earlier for the above-mention articles contains a hint seeming to suggest that the toe problem in the Prentice, Prentis and Prentiss lines may not have existed prior to that marriage. It also contains clues that the appearance of the extra appendages might be limited to descendants of that marriage. Additional study of the gene structure of the descendants of Hatesin and Chastity is obviously needed and we hope to provide progress reports on that study in one or more subsequent articles.

If you are a descendant of Hatesin and Chastity, we would like to hear from you.  You may contact us at dewald@prenticenet.com..


Fn. 1: Unfortunately, the submitter of that information neglected to identify the place of the marriage and the diskette containing the name of the submitter cannot be located.

Fn. 2: "Hatesin" is an unusual first name and may be a variation of the name,"Hatevil." (See the genealogy entitled "Hatevil Nutter of Dover, NH and his Descendants," discussed in the latest Jan-Feb 1999 NEHGS NEXUS, Vol. XVI, No. 1 at pg. 12.)

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