Monday, February 28, 2011

Madness Monday
Alzheimer Disease - Generational

Debilitating memory loss is a part of my maternal family tree. We don’t talk about it much, it is what it is. Genealogy research revealed at least four generations have suffered with dementia. The earliest known ancestor of this line documented to have a form of dementia was my great granduncle Grant Markham.

Generation One - Uncle Grant was born in 1868 in rural Lincoln County, Mississippi. He was a younger brother to my great grandfather Monroe Markham. Uncle Grant died of heart failure due to senility in 1947.

Generation Two - Great grandparents Monroe and his wife Mary had three daughters to die from complications of senility. My grandmother Alice died of a stroke due to senility, Aunt Beatrice of malnutrition due to senility and Aunt Polly complications due to senility. Aunt Beatrice, the youngest of the sisters took care of both sisters during the 1960s.

Generation Three - My mother, Monroe’s granddaughter, has Alzheimer’s Disease. First cousins to my mother died of the disease or recently diagnosed.

Generation Four – My mother’s first cousin once removed, Monroe’s great granddaughter, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Learning as much as I can about dementia has been helpful in caring for my mother, and making plans for my own life.


  1. Linda - I know your situation all too well. Many people don't realize that there is a strain of Alzheimer's which is hereditary. My mother's early onset Alzheimers started at age 58 and of her 7 sisters, 2 others have also been diagnosed with one already passing away.

    If you need any help or advice please feel free to ask - in fact you'd be surprised at how many genealogy bloggers are in the same situation.

  2. Thank you, Thomas, and I do feel free to ask.