DNA Testing Links 300-Year-Old Remains of a Baby to a Colonial Maryland Governor

Much is known about the 6-month-old who died in Maryland 300 years ago and was buried in a small lead-covered coffin. Yet there is no record of the child’s death — or birth. No one knew for certain who the infant was. No one knew if the baby was a boy or girl.

Now, almost 26 years after the coffin was unearthed in St. Mary’s County, experts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History have learned that the baby was a boy — and the offspring of an important colonial governor of Maryland, Philip Calvert. The discovery came about through new genetic testing done at Harvard Medical School at the request of the Smithsonian.

You can read more about this use of DNA in genealogy research in an article by Michael E. Ruane in the Washington Post at https://goo.gl/kSRlJI.

My thanks to newsletter reader Claire Bettag for telling me about this interesting article.

One Comment

Thanks Dick, nice to know of another cousin and to learn of the poverty of nourishment even amongst the rich.

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