Brigadier General Zebulon Pike was a War of 1812 hero who discovered the famous Pike's Peak in Colorado. His grave sits in Sackets Harbor, New York, at the Military Cemetery, but a recent study showed that officials are not 100 percent sure it's actually Pike's body in the grave. They're hoping for closure.
"When we found out that the Army wasn't totally sure who was buried in the grave, we said DNA can answer that question,” said Stu Pike of the Pike Family Association.
So, the Pike Family Association is asking the Village of Sackets Harbor for permission to dig up the grave and test any DNA.
Really? Hey, I am as interested in genealogy and in DNA as the next person; but do they REALLY want to dig up the old boy's bones just to satisfy their curiosity? This one sounds a bit macabre to me. Can't they let the man lie in peace?
The digging up of bodies to test DNA is rather common these days although usually for rather serious purposes. Bodies of unknown soldiers are exhumed and tested for DNA to identify the remains and to provide closure to their loved ones. That strikes me as a good idea.
A few bodies have been exhumed and tested for medical purposes. That strikes me as a good idea.
Some bodies have been dug up to satisfy historical questions. Poor Billy the Kid seems to get dug up about once a decade. I am not so sure if that's a reasonable practice or not.
But these folks want to dig up their ancestor just to see if it is really him in the grave!
Let's look at this from another angle: would you want your descendants to dig up YOUR body 150 or 200 years from now, just to satisfy their curiosity about you?
You can read more in an article by Brian Dwyer in the News 10 Now web site at http://news10now.com/content/all_news/474692/family-petitions-town-to-dig-up-war-hero.