Distant Kinship and Founder Effects in the Quebec Population

  • Marc Tremblay
  • Hélène Vézina
  • Bertrand Desjardins
  • Louis Houde
Part of the International Studies in Population book series (ISIP, volume 7)

The structure of kinship links in a given population at a given time is the result of several past demographic events that shaped the population during its evolution. Many populations display particular kinship structures due to the occurrence of specific events at some point in their history, such as founder effects. Using genealogical data retrieved from the BALSAC population register, the BALSAC-RETRO genealogical database and the Early Quebec Population Register, this study focuses on the genetic consequences of the demographic settlement and expansion experienced by the Quebec population over the last four centuries. A total of 2,223 ascending genealogies were reconstructed for the purpose of this study. These genealogies have an average depth of 9.3 generations and go back as far as the early seventeenth century. Measures of kinship show that 98 percent of all pairs of subjects share at least one distant common ancestor. Virtually all genealogies (99.2 percent) contain at least one French founder. Overall, nearly 87 percent of the current gene pool is explained by French founders who came mainly from the provinces of Normandie, Ile-de-France, Aunis, Poitou, and Perche during the seventeenth century.


Quebec population kinship founder effect population register genealogies gene pool 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Tremblay
    • 1
  • Hélène Vézina
    • 1
  • Bertrand Desjardins
    • 2
  • Louis Houde
    • 3
  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Research Group on Demography and Genetic EpidemiologyUniversity of QuebecCanada
  2. 2.Département de DémographieUniversité de MontréalCanada
  3. 3.Interdisciplinary Research Group on Demography and Genetic EpidemiologyUniversité du QuébecCanada

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