There is strong evidence for a genetic contribution to epilepsy, but it is commonly assumed that this genetic contribution is limited to 'generalized' epilepsies, and that most forms of 'partial' epilepsy are nongenetic. In a linkage analysis of a single family containing 11 affected individuals, we obtained strong evidence for localization of a gene for partial epilepsy. This susceptibility gene maps to chromosome 10q, with a maximum two-point lod score for D10S192 of 3.99 at theta = 0.0. All affected individuals share a single haplotype for seven tightly linked contiguous markers; the maximum lod score for this haplotype is 4.83 at theta = 0.0. Key recombinants place the susceptibility locus within a 10 centimorgan interval.