Dr. Kent Small, M.D.
Coat of Arms
Dr. Kent Small, M.D.

Surrett's with Macular Disease!
I have been redearching the SARRATT/SARRETT/SURRATT Family for over 30 years, and have corrensponded with several thousand's of "Common" researchers doing the same. But, as of to-date I have never received the common courtesy of any type of acknowledgement of any of my correspondence from 1996 to to-date regarding Dr. Kent Small, M.D. and his work. Professor, UCLA; Director, Macular Disease Center, UCLA Director, Retina Division Research Lab, UCLA

He has claimed several major issue's that I would like clarification:

The following is a "Chronological" order of events in my trying to get more information on these issue's.

It is my understanding that the "Three Brothers from Ireland" and the "North Carolina Macular Dystrophy" stories originate from a Mrs. Dorothy "Dot" Hyde of Buncombe Co., NC. and a Dr. Kent SMALL, of Los Angeles, CA. I have requested Information regarding these items but to-date I have NOT received any "Proof"

Any persons, that may have any information on this subject, I would love to compare notes! Paul R. Sarrett, Jr., ([email protected])

Submitter: 10. Kent Small Subj: Sarratts
To: "'[email protected]'"
CC: "Silva-Garcia, Rosamaria"
Hi Paul:
I saw your new web page..very nice....!
I just had another scientific manuscript published that might be interesting to you and your readers....
Molecular Vision 1999; 5:38 http://www.molvis.org/molvis/v5/p38/
Ans: Nice paper, but no reference to the Surrett, NC. Family? ..prs

I also don't buy the "3 Irish brothers" routine because I have never found any hard evidence...but that is what the family has told me. Ans: Who was "the family"?? ..prs

You could be alittle less critical of my work...at least in a public forum.... there is a slightly caustic tone in your comments about my previous work.... Ans: I am NOT critical of your Work!, just certain statements, you have made, and not following up with items that you said you would. This realy affects your creditability prs

Anyway...in order to send to you my pedigrees...which I do intend to do...I have to change/delete the affectation status to protect patient confidentiality....I am working on this...although..finding the gene is the most important to me... Ans: This is one of the items, which you promised to do in Aug. 01, 1996. (See Note {5}) it is now the year 2000, 4 years later..prs

Kent W. Small, M.D.
Professor of Ophthalmology, UCLA
Director, Macular Disease Center
Director, Retina Division Research Laboratory
200 Stein Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095
phone: 310-206-7475
fax: 310-794-7904
[email protected]
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 9:10:42 PM Eastern Standard Time

Submitter: 9. Kent Small Macular Degeneration
Look, what I got in response to my letter to Dr. Kent Small Letha Lewis
In a message dated 11/1/99 9:06:25 AM Pacific Standard Time,
[email protected] writes:
Subj: Re: macular degeneration
Date: 11/1/99 9:06:25 AM Pacific Standard Time
From: [email protected] (kent small) Note! new address, No Dr.?
To: [email protected]
Thanks for contacting me. What you have described sure sounds suspicious for North Carolina macular dystrophy. If you could get a copy of the records and fundus photographs sent to me...I would be happy to review them...thanks
Kent W. Small, M.D.
Professor, UCLA
Director, Macular Disease Center at
The Jules Stein Eye Institute
Director: Retina Division Research Lab
Note: Letha's family are all from TN., What does the North Carolina Macular Dystrophy, have to do with her family? ...prs
Dated: 11/1/99 4:29:30 PM Pacific Standard Time
Submitter: 8. Letha Lewis Macular Degeneration in the family
just a small note of a possible coincidence; I have had contact with you before on my line, no one we know of has this problem and it's said my sister is one of the youngest that the MD has seen
James Surratt + ?? of McNairy Co, Tennessee
James Monroe Sirratt Sr + Mary Jane Phillips both McNairy Co, TN.
James Monroe Siratt Jr + Mary Ingersoll
Phenia Siratt + John Henry White
Letha White +Earvin Burks
Letha Burks
Betty Burks born 1942, macular degeneration
Dated: 10/31/99 8:39:09 AM Pacific Standard Time
Submitter: 7. Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Macular Degeneration, Surratt Family
I responded the next day! on the Surratt GenFourm:
Re: macular degeneration in the family
Posted by: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Date: August 31, 1999 at 06:25:51
In Reply to: Message 191 Re: macular degeneration in the family by Kent W. Small, M.D.
Dr. Small,
I have E-mailed you before, but have not heard anything from you. Can you tell us just what type of research you are doing? Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. ([email protected])
Never received Response!
Date: Aug. 31, 1999
Submitter: 6. Dr. Kent Small Surratt GenFourm
Three days later (after my re-turn E-Mail of Aug. 27 with the above URL's ) Dr. Kent Small, posted a Message on the SURRATT GenForum. GenFourm Message #191
Re: macular degeneration in the family
Posted by: Kent W. Small, M.D. ([email protected])
Date: August 30, 1999 at 15:10:36
Hi all:
I am doing extensive genetic research of a rare macular degeneration (macular scars) that runs in some lineages of this family. I am interested in hearing from anyone who has family members with this disease or knows of affected family members.
Kent W. Small, M.D.
Professor, UCLA Ophthalmology
Dated: Aug. 30, 1999
Submitter: 5. Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Sarratt Genealogy
My re-turn E-Mail to Dr. Kent Small
Subj: Surret Genealogy {6}
Date: 8/27/99 12:27:37 PM Pacific Daylight Time
From: [email protected] (Paul R. Sarrett, Jr)
To: [email protected] (Small, Kent)
Thanks for the E-mail.
I to have been doing Genealogy & Family History on this line (and various spellings) for over 30 years. I have some 45,000 records of the SARRATT/SARRETT/SURRETT families in America, as well as maintain the SARRATT/SARRETT/SURRETT HomePage, Surrett GenForum, Sarrett/MyFamily pages on the Net. As well as several USGENWEB Counties.
The Buncombe Co., NC Surrett's are only a small portion of this branch. I also don't believe in the "Three Brothers from Ireland" story. This branch migrated from the old Spartanburg District, of South Carolina. Would like to compare notes.
Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.
Auburn, CA.
Just "Click" on these Pages!!
SURRATT Family - GenForum Page
Date: Aug. 27, 1999
Submitter: 4. Dr. Kent Small Sarrat Genealogy
Some 3 years later Dr. Kent W. Small, contacted me for the first time with E-Mail this E-Mail on Aug. 26, 1999 (He never mentioned my un-answered letter of 1996 ..prs)
The following is his E-Mail, I corrected spelling with ( ) grammar as is.)
Subj:	sarrat genealogy
Date:	8/26/99 11:34:17 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From:	[email protected] (Small, Kent)
To:	[email protected] ('[email protected]')
Hi Paul:
I too am interested in the Sarrat (sic Surrett) genealogy for medical 
reasons. There is a rare inherited macular degeneration that runs 
throught (sic through-out) the family.. at least the part in NC.  
I have been studying them for 12 years now an am on an intense search 
for the mutated gene.  
I have a pedigree of over 5,000 people. I began studying the family 
while I was  at Duek. (sic Duke)   I would very much like to hook up 
with you primarily to find more affected affected(?) family members 
and to make the trans Atlantic connection.  
Additionally, because of the molecualr (sic molecular) genetic research 
I am doing, I can tell if an affected person is a direct descendant from one 
of the original "brothers". 
Please contact me and we can tlak (sic talk) more...
Kent W. Small, M.D.
Professor, UCLA
Director, Macualr (sic Macular) Disease Center, UCLA
Director, Retina Division Research Lab, UCLA
Received: Aug. 26, 1999
Submitter: 3. Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Letter to Dr. Kent SMALL
Dr. Kent Small
Jules Stein Institute
Los Angeles, CA.

Dr. Small,
I saw your article (See Attached) from a newspaper article in the Buncombe County, North Carolina of Aug. of 1996. I am requesting information on yor work & the research of the "Surrett family back 11 generations to the immigrant "Brothers of Ireland" who came to the Buncombe Co., NC. area in the mid-1700's. I understand you have studied these descendants for 10 years." See Note {5} Aug. 01, 1996

Submitter: 2. Paul R. Sarrett, Jr., 1996 See: Asheville Citizen-Times
Monday, Aug. 02, 1996
By Nancy Marlow, Associate Editor
"Researcher works with family with rare eye disorder"

A medical researcher from the University of California at Los Angeles was in Asheville August 1st meeting with a Buncombe County family affected be a rare, inheritable type of muscular degeneration, a condition that affects the sight. Dr. Kent SMALL, ophthalmologist specializing in diseases and surgery of the retina and vitreous, is with the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA. He said the local family (SURRETT's) represents the world's largest concentration of the disease and has earned a name for the syndrome --- North Carolina Macular Dystrophy ---

Dr. SMALL, publishes the "North Carolina Macular Dystrophy Newsletter" to keep the family updated on his research.

Dr. SMALL, a Duke University graduate, said that 25 years ago a trio of Duke researchers {1} identified the (SURRETT) family as carrying the dominant gene. Dr. SMALL has traced the genealogy of the (SURRETT) family back 11 generations to the immigrant "Brothers of Ireland" who came to this area in the mid-1700's. There descendants have been studied for 10 years. Dr. SMALL did not identify the family.

The concentration of the disease here has nothing to do with inbreeding, Dr. SMALL said, but with the dominance of the gene. Each effected person has a 50-50 chance of passing the condition along to his or her off-spring. Men and women are equally effected.

Dr. SMALL is mapping and cloning the gene that causes the disease. According to Dr. Robert MACHEMER, M.D., professor of Ophthalmology and Vitreo-Retinal surgery at Duke University, Dr. SMALL is one of the leading researchers in efforts to pinpoint the gene. Dr. MACHEMER said identifying the gene will enable adults to know if they will transmit the disease to their off-spring.

In those affected with the "North Carolina Macular Dystrophy" sight problems may show up in infancy. Other forms of macular degeneration are age-related.

Dr. SMALL, said that although the condition is rare, it has been found in seven apparently unrelated families in Texas (a relationship to the North Carolina SURRETT family is possible in this case) Chicago, Belize in Central America, France, Britain and Germany.

The (SURRETT) Buncombe County family is the largest. The family pedigree consists of about 5,000 individuals dating to the late 1700's. {5} While members of this family are concentrated in the Southeast, individuals are scattered across the country.

Among the (SURRETT) family members, Dr. SMALL said, one-third have moderate impairment of their eyesight, one-third have moderate impairment and function well and one-third have severe vision loss to the point that they can not drive.

As far as he knows, Dr. SMALL said "no one has become completely blind from North Carolina Macular Dystrophy."

In his research, Dr. SMALL hopes to clone the gene in order to develop therapies for the disease. "Once we get the disease causing gene cloned, many avenues of hope begin to open up."

Dr. SMALL's goal is to be able to replace the bad gene with a good gene. He said his research group has succeeded in doing that with mouse embryos. Other therapies may be as simple as taking some supplement - a pill - to overcome or modify the effects of the gene.

"Theoretically," Dr. SMALL said, "the disease could be eliminated now with a fairly low-tech procedure in-vitro fertilization." He explained that the eggs carrying the "bad" gene could be eliminated before fertilization takes place.

"I am not inclined to tell this (SURRETT) family to stop having babies, because most of them function very well," Dr. SMALL said.
(End of Newspaper story)
Monday, Aug. 02, 1996

Submitter: 1. Mable S. King, 1980 Duke University Medical Center
   Mabel S. King writes in part from: (Page 191)
   TITLE: Some Surratt-Sarratt families in the United States, 1715-1980
   Sarratt, Laura A. (Young), 1917-1991 (w/o Norman H.) 
   Sarratt, Norman H., 1913-1997 
   PUBLISHED: Fresno, Calif.; Pioneer Pub. Co., 1980. 
   DESCRIPTION: book 236 p.; ill.; 26 cm. 
   NOTES: Includes index. Bibliography: p. 192-193. 
   SUBJECTS: Surratt family. 
   LC CALL NO.: CS71.S96251980
   LCCN: 80-146760 
   DEWEY CLASS NO.: 929/.2/0973 ED: 1980 

Mrs. Dorothy "Dot" Hyde of Candler, (Buncombe Co.) NC did a research project at Duke University Medical Center{1} in Durham on this family. Her research shows that three brothers came to Transylvania County {2} from Ireland. Their names were Johnny, David, and Obed, Sr. {3} Johnny and his nephew, Obed, Jr. settled in the Sandy Mush section of Buncombe County. There are more Surretts in Oklahoma than anywhere else." {4} From Sarratt/Surratt Family Book 1980

Note & Reference!
Note {1} Mrs. Dot Hyde, must have been one of the "three" researcher of the syndrome - North Carolina Macular Dystrophy

Note {2} If three brothers came to Transylvania Co., NC. then they had to come after 1861, because Transylvania was not even created until 1861 from the larger Henderson & Jackson Co's, NC.

Note {3} There were "Two" brother's John,7 (1782-1862) and Wm. H. Obedia (1792-1860) SURRATT, that came to Buncombe Co., NC. before 1820 from Spartanburg District of SC. (both s/o Samuel,4 & Frances (BONNER) SARRATT) There were "Five" brothers's (s/o John,7 & Wife Unknown) 1. Unknown, 2. Joseph, 3. John Jr., 4. Obedia Wm., 5. David A. There were "Four" brother's (s/o Wm. H. Obedia & Polly Unknown) 1. John,28, 2. Wm. David, 3. Fineon, 4. Johnathan, ALL of the sons above, listed as being born in "NC" and even in the 1880 Census they listed "Mother b. NC Father b. NC/SC" (See the Buncombe SURRETT's for continaution of these families!)

Note {4} Oklahoma is not the largest state with Sarratt/Sarrett/Surrett and various spellings living in the State. It is not even in the top 5. North Carolina leads with some 3,421 records, my records show's Oklahoma some 394. ..prs

Note {5} This letter to Dr. Kent SMALL, is in my files! (This was before "E-Mail" ..prs)

Note {6} I have not received a E-Mail back from my Aug. 26 1999.


Would like to Exchange and Share information on SARRATT / SARRETT / SURRATT Families, contact me at:

E-Mail: Paul R. Sarrett, Jr.

Text - Copyright © 1996-2003 Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. Created: Dec. 01, 1996; Jan 13, 2003