Titanic’s ‘unknown child’s’ identity finally revealedApril 27th, 2011 - 2:27 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, April 27 (ANI): The identity of one of the Titanic’s most famous passengers, a little boy known as the “unknown child,” has finally been recognized- a team of American and Canadian researchers has revealed.
The remains of the young boy are “most likely those of an English child, Sidney Leslie Goodwin,” said Ryan Parr, Vice-President of Research and Development of Genesis Genomics in Ontario, and colleagues.
The youngest of a family of eight who all died in the disaster, Goodwin was a third-class passenger traveling from Fulham, England, to Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Recovered from the Atlantic’s icy waters five days after the luxury liner sank, the body of the small child was buried with some 150 other Titanic victims in a cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Following exhumation of the grave in 2001, which produced in a 2.4-inch-long fragment of an arm bone and three teeth, Parr and colleagues concluded that the child was Eino Viljami Panula, a 13-month-old Finnish infant who drowned with his parents in the disaster.
Since mitochondrial DNA is passed from a mother to her children, the researchers compared the unknown child’s DNA HV1 sequence with samples from maternal relatives of all six boys under age three who had died in the shipwreck.
Matches resulted in only two boys: the 13-month-old Eino Viljami Panula and the 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin.
Further analysis of the child’s teeth narrowed the age between nine months and 15 months, thus pointing to Panula.
However, a pair of leather shoes recovered from the unknown child and held in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax led the researchers to reconsider. The gloves were too large for a 13-month-old like the Finnish boy.
Then the researchers carried out more extensive mtDNA analysis, and this time also sequenced the HVS2 region, which positively confirmed that the unknown remains are Goodwin’s.
According to Parr, the test gave “98 percent certainty the identification is correct,” Live Science reported.
The findings were published in the June issue of the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics. (ANI)
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Tags: 15 months, arm bone, canadian researchers, exhumation, finnish boy, fulham england, genesis genomics, halifax nova scotia, hv1, leather shoes, luxury liner, maritime museum of the atlantic, maternal relatives, mitochondrial dna, niagara falls, nine months, parr, shipwreck, titanic victims, two boys