Last Updated on November 18, 2017 by Katie Sisel Distributor

Hemochromatosis — History a key to disease

About 35, 000 descendants form Australia’s largest First Fleet family.

At least eight generations have descended from convicts Nathaniel Lucas and Olivia Gascoigne.

One of their great, great, great, great,  grand daughters, Elizabeth Larking, 53, of Highett said the pair had 13 children, although twin daughters
died in an accident.

Mrs Larking said 120 grandchildren resulted.

“This escalated to 25,000 documented people and we believe there are another estimated 10,000 missing descendants,” she said yesterday.

Lucas and Gascoigne arrived in 1788 on different ships then met while working on Norfolk Island. They are thought to have married in 1791.

Mrs Larking, a nurse, is using her family tree to prove a theory about the iron overload disease hemochromatosis. She believes a gene that leads to the disease is prominent in her family and traceable to the First Fleet arrivals.

She hopes to perform DNS test on bones in the Tasmanian grave of several ancestors.

Newspaper Article: History a key to disease by Helen Carter.  Herald Sun, Wednesday, January 27, 1999.

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