Wednesday, 11 March 2009

The Bent Pinkie

When a new baby is born, it is natural to ask 'who does he/she look like?' We know that we inherit physical features, like the colour of our eyes or the shape of our nose. Sometimes of course we inherit medical conditions perhaps related to an organ like the heart. Occasionally I get a query about whether I know if a characteristic relates to other members of our 'Clan'. Some time ago I had my DNA analysed in order to compare it to that of a group of people with a similar name to 'McIlhagga' and who wondered if one name might come from the other. This week a question has been raised about a specific and a very distinctive physical feature, that of the 'bent pinkie' - the 'little finger' to those who are not Celts!

The syndrome is called Clinodactyly or Camptodactyly.  The little fingers grow bending considerably inwards, a condition which can inhibit doing some things, like playing musical instruments. Like some other physical conditions, sadly children sometimes have a hard time because of the comments they get from their peers.  Unfortunately it is a condition which can get worse and painful as the years go by.  This is apparently a known trait in some Central and Native American peoples and in the West there are theories about a link with Irish and/or Viking ancestry. We all know that one of the major Viking settlements was Dublin. If there is any evidence in the McIlhagga Clan of the 'bent pinkie' or indeed of any other distinctive trait that may be inherited, we would like to hear about it.

1 comment:

  1. as far as i know im of irish and german descent and i have the bent pinkies to have done since i was born and my 2 year old son was also born with it