Taylor & Ashdown Family Genetics - Hereditary Illnesses

Taylor & Ashdown Family Genetics & Hereditary Illnesses

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Warning!! I do not recommend family members read this page if they are inclinded towards hypochondria or paranoia, as these pages are open to individual interpretations and incorrect conclusion may be drawn. Remember we will all will die of something one day, possibly even by accident. My purpose in deciding whether to include these pages was determined by two main factors. Firstly, my primary reason being that another descendant may also be interested in this avenue of Family History Research and secondly due to the overwhelming number of Genealogists whom I meet who advise they began researching their own Family History, either as a direct result of a Hereditary Illness in their own family, or due to their desire to leave a Medical History for their descendants.

My Interest in Genetics & Hereditary Illnesses

Together with my other passions in life of Travelling and researching my Family History, I also have a keen interest in Genetics & Hereditary Illnesses.

My interest in Genetics & Hereditary Illnesses began not long after I experienced my first episode of Bi-Polar Affective Disorder (Manic Depression) in December 1996 when I was 37 years of age.

Pathophysiology: Current research advises 'The etiology and pathophysiology of bipolar disorder have not been determined, and no objective biological markers exist that correspond definitively with the disease state. However, twin, family, and adoption studies all indicate strongly that bipolar disorder has a genetic component. In fact, first-degree relatives of a person with bipolar disorder are approximately 7 times more likely to develop bipolar disorder than the rest of the population. Genetic studies of patients with bipolar disorder are ongoing.

I think it important to mention here that in the last few years I was advised that my Bi-Polar Affective Disorder is believed to be in the 25% of those with this illness that is not contributed to any genetic factor.

Taylor Family Genetics - Paternal Hereditary Illnesses


Diabetes (Type 2) is an illness appearing in both our Taylor and in our Ashdown lines. Although my doctors have advised me that I have a genetic predisposition, it should be noted that Diabetes is a twentieth-century illness of modern times, lifestyle, diet etc.

My mother Yvonne Phyllis ASHDOWN (a descendant of our ASHDOWN maternal line) developed Type 2 Diabetes when she was approximately sixty years of age.

My paternal grandmother Iris Jessie TAYLOR (nee ASHER) (a descendant of our ASHER paternal line) also developed Type 2 Diabetes. Her death (although admittedly at the age of 90) was directly related to complications of this illness, being Cause of Death : Gangrene left leg (weeks). Other causes of her death included Peripheral vascular disease (years) (Clinical studies have identified diabetes as a factor that increases the risk of peripheral vascular disease) and Past carcinoma breast (years).


Hypertension may be a genetic illness in our Taylor line. My father Bryan Henry Taylor's Medical Certificate dated 19/7/99 stated his 'Cause of Death' as given as (1) Cardioresp Arrest - 5mins (2) Emphysema - 9 years (3) Hypertension - 17 years. Therefore he had been diagnosed with this disease at approximately 32 years of age.

I was also diagnosed with this disease at approximately 30 years of age.


Emphysema appears to me to be a genetic illness in our Taylor line. Both my father and his brother Ronald Leslie TAYLOR developed this illness in their latter years. Although often contributed to cigarette smoking, Ronald TAYLOR was a non-smoker.

Hereditary Deafness

My paternal grandfather Felix St. George TAYLOR like his mother, Naomi Grace (Grace) EZZEY was profoundly deaf. Although it is not know at what age Felix became affected we know that he was deaf by the year 1945, as he was considered medically unfit for enlistment in the Second World War due to his deafness.

Felix's mother Naomi Grace (Grace) EZZEY was profoundly deaf and by the time she reached her late teens she had become almost totally deaf, and for the most part relied on lip reading to take part in conversation.

Hereditary Deafness is a well known family affliction of the EZZY descendants, of our ancestor William EZZY born 1767 in Beenham, Berkshire, England,

I personally began to experience hearing loss at about the age of 40 years and find myself today lip reading on more and more occassions.

Cerebrovascular bleed

The cause of my paternal grandfather Felix St. George TAYLOR's death was 'Cerebrovascular bleed (duration 12 hours)'. I am presently researching the genetic causualties of this disease. Recent investigations revealed 'Several factors are known to increase the chances of aneurysm development and rupture: cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, and atherosclerotic (hardening of the arteries) heart disease. Some families have a definite genetic predisposition; in such families the incidence of aneurysms may run as high as 20%. Brain aneurysms are more prevalent in females.'

Ashdown Family Genetics - Maternal Hereditary Illnesses


Diabetes (Type 2)is an illness appearing in both our Taylor and in our Ashdown lines (see above).

Heart Disease

I have been advised that both Heart & Kidney Disease are well known family afflictions of the ASHDOWN family.

My maternal great-great-grandather died of both of these diseases when he was only thirty-five years of age.
Henry William ASHDOWN's cause of Death was 'Disease of Heart and Kidney'. Henry's sister Ada Mary Ann BYLES (nee ASHDOWN) died of Congestive Cardiac Failure, Essential Hypertension, Post Operative Shock and Chronic Bronchitis on 27 Nov 1948. However, it should be noted that Ada was seventy-eight years of age at the time of her death.

Henry's son, my maternal great-grandfather Sydney William ASHDOWN's cause of Death was 'Natural causes to wit rupture aneurysm of the aorta'. He was 57 years of age when he died, however his Death Certificate states he was 59 years.

Sydney's mother Annie Louisa SADLER's cause of Death was 'Heart Failure while under anaesthetic, acute intestinal obstruction' at the age of 64 years.

This disease has also been noted on the 14 Dec 1931 death of Samuel William KEWN whose cause of death was 'Senile degeneration of heart'. However, it should be noted that he was 82 years of age at the time of his death and therefore basically should be considered to have died of 'old age'.

Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease is a well known family affliction of the ASHDOWN family.

The cause of death of my maternal grandfather Arthur George ASHDOWN was 'Carcinoma of Colon (in medicine, carcinoma is any cancer that arises from epithelial cells) and Renal Failure'(eg. where the kidneys fail to function properly). (See notes below for 'Cancer').

Lymphoma - Cancer

My maternal grandmother Irene Sylvia KEWN's cause of Death was (1) Pneumonia 6wks (2) Abdominal lymphoma - months. I am presently researching the genetic causualties of this disease

Nan's (Irene KEWN's father) Samuel William KEWN's cause of death was (1) Cachescia & (2) Carcinoma Colon (eg. Cancer). Cachexia or Emaciation (wasting) is usually due to cancer malnutrition or malaria. However, as the secondary illness of 'Carcinoma Colon' is noted on his death certificate, the primary cause of his death can be confirmed to be cancer.

Although the Cause of Death of my ancestor Mary Ann LAWS was 'Cancer of Liver. Duration - 2 months' it should be noted that she was 85 year of age at the time of her death on 7 Feb 1911.

My complete Rootsweb database can be seen at Amanda Taylor's Genealogy

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Send an e-mail to: Amanda Taylor