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The Fulgates Of Troublesome Creek – Family Born With Blue Skin

Fulgates of troublesome creek
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The Fulgates of Troublesome Creek.

In the early 19th century, a French orphan called Martin Fulgate settled in Troublesome Creek, Kentuckey. He met and then married a red haired woman with very pale skin called Elizabeth Smith. Unbeknown to the couple, they both carried a gene with a genetic mutation called Methaemoglobinaemia or met-H as it’s also known. Met-H reduces the individuals ability to carry oxygenated blood. The condition causes no other effects to the sufferer other than the blue coloured skin.

Martin and Elizabeth had 7 children with 4 of them being born blue. As the area in which they lived was so remote, there was only one other clan in the area that the family married into. When the Fulgates eldest child, a son was old enough, he married his mother’s sister. Amazingly, the family of the other clan also carried the incredibly rare gene met-H. The two families continued to interbreed and a high level of intermarriage resulted in many more children being born with the unusual blue skin colour.

Fulgates of troublesome creek

As more people started to settle in Kentucky in the 20th century, families moved apart and the blue adults and children became less and less common as interbreeding reduced.

Fulgates of troublesome creek

The last known descendent of the family to be born blue was Benjamin Stacey in 1975. Ben was born exhibiting the characteristic blue colour of the disease. When Ben was born, doctors were amazed and shocked by his colour and quickly started setting up a blood transfusion, but were stopped by Ben’s grandmother who informed the doctors that Ben looked like his great-grandmother, Luna, who she called “the bluest woman I ever saw”.

By the time Ben was 7, his blue colouring had completely gone.

Fulgates of troublesome creek

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