Bones Found in 1974 May Be Linked to Serial Killer, Authorities Say

Genetic genealogy was used to identify skeletal remains as those of a 15-year-old girl who went missing in Florida in 1972. The authorities believe she was the victim of an ex-police officer convicted in 1973 of two murders.

#bones, #broward-county-fla, #florida, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #missing-persons, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #palm-beach-county-fla, #serial-murders

Body Found in Indiana Is Identified After 30 Years

Advances in DNA technology helped the authorities to identify remains found near a highway in 1992 as those of Margaret Ann Sniegowski Jr., who had disappeared from her home in Ohio.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #indiana, #sniegowski-margaret-ann-jr, #toledo-ohio

‘I-65 Killer’ Who Terrorized Motel Clerks in the 1980s Is Identified

The authorities said they connected Harry Edward Greenwell, who died in 2013, to at least three murders in Kentucky and Indiana, using genetic genealogy.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #greenwell-harry-edward, #indiana, #kentucky, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #robberies-and-thefts, #serial-murders, #sex-crimes

How to Find Newly Released Census Records From 1950

It is now easy to access information on individuals from that census, but beware of misspelled names.

#ancestry-com, #archives-and-records, #census, #census-bureau, #families-and-family-life, #genealogy, #national-archives-and-records-administration

Seven Decades Later, the 1950 Census Bares Its Secrets

Federal law kept the answers on millions of census forms secret for 72 years. The forms go online on Friday, a bonanza for historians, genealogists and the merely curious.

#archives-and-records, #census, #census-bureau, #computers-and-the-internet, #genealogy, #history-academic-subject, #national-archives-and-records-administration, #population, #world-war-ii-1939-45

Book Review: ‘Ancestor Trouble,’ by Maud Newton

Maud Newton’s “Ancestor Trouble” is a sweeping genealogical investigation that becomes an investigation of genealogy itself.

#ancestor-trouble-a-reckoning-and-a-reconciliation-book, #books-and-literature, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #newton-maud

Philanthropists Push Police Searches of DNA Databases

When the police can’t afford to solve cold cases, deep-pocketed donors can.

#crime-and-criminals, #crowdfunding-internet, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #gofundme, #philanthropy, #police

Descendants Trace Histories Linked by Slavery

Some American descendants of enslaved people and others whose ancestors profited are using online portals to collaborate and reckon with their shared family pasts.

#archives-and-records, #computers-and-the-internet, #families-and-family-life, #genealogy, #race-and-ethnicity, #reparations, #slavery-historical, #state-university-of-new-york-at-binghamton, #truth-and-reconciliation-commission-south-africa, #united-states

We Need a New Language for Talking About Race

In the 18th century, “scientific” myths about race sought to divide people into separate groups. Today, new DNA science is revealing just how connected we really are.

#genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #race-and-ethnicity

When an Ancestry Search Reveals Fertility Fraud

Starting in the 1960s, three physicians in Rochester, N.Y., began secretly using their own sperm to help women become pregnant.

#ancestry-com, #artificial-insemination, #doctors, #families-and-family-life, #frauds-and-swindling, #genealogy, #infertility, #rochester-ny, #sperm, #your-feed-health, #your-feed-science

Disabled Ancestry Should Be Embraced With Pride

In the past, their stories were often hidden in shame. But we can make our familly histories whole by telling them. 

#disabilities, #families-and-family-life, #genealogy, #parenting

After Nearly 58 Years, Pennsylvania Police Solve Killing of 9-Year-Old Girl

On Sundays and holidays, the victim’s mother ended a prayer with a plea: “Please help the Pennsylvania State Police find the man that hurt my daughter.”

#chiverella-marise-ann-d-1964, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #forte-james-paul-d-1980, #genealogy, #hazleton-pa, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #pennsylvania-state-police, #sex-crimes

Did the First Americans Arrive via Land Bridge? This Geneticist Says No.

In “Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas,” Jennifer Raff combines archaeology, genetics, linguistics and more to argue against a longstanding theory.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #bones, #books-and-literature, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #indigenous-people, #origin-a-genetic-history-of-the-americas-book, #paleontology, #race-and-ethnicity, #raff-jennifer, #science-and-technology

Slavery Was a Terror Beyond Measure

Data science is unlocking new insights about the slave system in the United States. But is there a danger in trying to quantify evil?

#africa, #archives-and-records, #black-people, #genealogy, #research, #slavery-historical

How Your DNA Test Could Send a Relative to Jail

Thanks to “genetic genealogy,” solving crimes with genomic databases is becoming mainstream — with some uncomfortable implications for the future of privacy.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides

Alex Haley Taught America About Race — and a Young Man How to Write

In 1968, the celebrated author of “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” arrived at Hamilton College to teach and work on his magnum opus, “Roots.” Now, on the centenary of his birth, a former student recalls Haley’s class.

#black-people, #gambia, #genealogy, #haley-alex, #malcolm-x, #roots-tv-program, #slavery-historical, #southern-states-us, #the-autobiography-of-malcolm-x-book, #writing-and-writers

Killed in a 1961 Crash, ‘Unknown Boy’ Is Finally Identified

The mystery of a teenage hitchhiker, now identified as Daniel Paul Armantrout, was solved 60 years later because of advances in DNA technology and genealogy.

#alabama, #forensic-science, #gedmatch-inc, #genealogy, #missing-persons, #privacy

DNA Confirms Sitting Bull Was South Dakota Man’s Great-Grandfather

Ernie LaPointe, the great-grandson of the leader Tatanka Iyotake, said he hoped the DNA confirmation would bolster his campaign to move the chief’s remains.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #lapointe-ernie, #native-americans, #north-dakota, #research, #science-advances-journal, #sitting-bull, #south-dakota, #university-of-copenhagen, #willerslev-eske

Ancient DNA from Sitting Bull’s scalp lock confirms living great-grandson

Hair from Lakota Sioux leader Sitting Bull’s scalp lock, from which DNA was extracted for analysis.

Enlarge / Hair from Lakota Sioux leader Sitting Bull’s scalp lock, from which DNA was extracted for analysis. (credit: Eske Willerslev)

An international team of scientists has confirmed the lineage of a living descendent of the famous Lakota Chief Sitting Bull via a new method of DNA analysis designed to track familial lineage using ancient DNA fragments. According to the authors of a new paper published in the journal Science Advances, this is the first time that such an analysis has been used to confirm a link between deceased and living people—in this case, Sitting Bull and his great-grandson, Ernie LaPointe.

The team’s method should be broadly applicable to any historical question involving even the limited genetic data gleaned from ancient DNA. “In principle, you could investigate whoever you want—from outlaws like Jesse James to the Russian tsar’s family, the Romanovs,” said co-author Eske Willerslev of the University of Cambridge. “If there is access to old DNA, typically extracted from bones, hair or teeth, they can be examined in the same way.”

Sitting Bull (Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake) was a Lakota leader who is best known for his defeat of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer‘s 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Big Horn (aka, the Battle of the Greasy Grass) on June 25-26, 1876. Various tribes had been joining Sitting Bull’s camp over the preceding months, drawn by his spiritual leadership and seeking safety in numbers against US troops. Their number soon grew to more than 10,000. Custer’s men were badly outnumbered when they attacked the camp and were forced to retreat. The Sioux warriors ultimately killed Custer and most of his men in what was later dubbed Custer’s Last Stand.

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#american-history, #dna-analysis, #gaming-culture, #genealogy, #genetics, #history, #science, #sitting-bull

The Son My Sister Placed for Adoption Wants to Find Her. What Should I Do?

The magazine’s Ethicist columnist on confidentiality and our claims to know our biological ancestry.

#adoptions, #ethics-personal, #genealogy, #parenting, #pregnancy-and-childbirth

A Victim of John Wayne Gacy Is Identified 4 Decades Later

For years, some of the victims of John Wayne Gacy had gone unidentified. DNA and expanding genealogical databases allowed officials to identify a victim this month.

#alexander-francis-wayne, #cook-county-ill, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #gacy-john-wayne-jr, #genealogy, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #serial-murders

How Old is the Maltese Dog Breed?

Many dog fanciers like to trace their favorite breed to antiquity, but the researchers who study the modern and ancient DNA of dogs have a different perspective.

#american-kennel-club, #aristotle, #boyko-adam-r, #breeding-of-animals, #dogs, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #larson-greger, #maltese, #research, #your-feed-animals, #your-feed-science

How to Learn More About the History of Your Home

Tracking down property records and researching other documents can shed light on the life of a house.

#connecticut, #content-type-service, #genealogy, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #libraries-and-librarians, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #stonington-historical-society

Spain Pledged Citizenship to Sephardic Jews. Now They Feel Betrayed.

In 2015, Spain said it would give citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews expelled during the Spanish Inquisition. Then rejections started pouring in this summer.

#citizenship-and-naturalization, #genealogy, #immigration-and-emigration, #jews-and-judaism, #politics-and-government, #roman-catholic-church, #spain, #synagogues

Genealogists say Leonardo da Vinci has 14 living relatives

Analysis of the reputed self-portrait drawing by Leonardo da Vinci (~1515, Biblioteca Reale, Turin).

Enlarge / Analysis of the reputed self-portrait drawing by Leonardo da Vinci (~1515, Biblioteca Reale, Turin). (credit: C. Tyler/Saiko, Creative Commons)

A recently assembled Leonardo da Vinci family tree, spanning 21 generations from 1331 to the present, could pave the way for DNA testing that might confirm whether the bones interred in da Vinci’s grave are actually his. Two art historians’ hopes of uncovering a genetic explanation for the Renaissance artist’s brilliance, however, will probably be doomed by scientific reality.

Da Vinci’s modern family

To construct the family tree, art historians Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato dug through birth, death, and property records spanning the last 690 years. They also interviewed surviving relatives to learn more about the famous artist, scientist, and inventor’s modern extended family. In the end, they traced da Vinci’s family from his grandfather, born in 1331, to the 14 relatives living today. Leonardo da Vinci himself had no children, and his modern relatives all descend from his 22 (!) half-siblings.

The present family played an essential role in the new study. “Many of them have collaborated, together with their relatives, to the collection and verification of information,” wrote Vezzosi and Sabato, “helping enthusiastically to contact other family members and retrieve new documents and images.” Those many-times-great nieces and nephews include several office workers (one of whom served as a naval gunner in the 1960s), a retired upholsterer, a surveyor, and a state employee who is “passionate about motorcycling and music.” The oldest is now 85 years old, and the youngest is just one year old.

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#ancient-dna, #archaeology, #dna, #european-history, #genealogy, #historical-figures, #history, #leonardo-da-vinci, #renaissance, #science

Two Montana Sweethearts Were Fatally Shot in 1956. The Case Was Just Solved.

The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office said it appeared to be the oldest homicide case in the United States to be solved with genetic genealogy.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #great-falls-mont, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides

An Innocent Man Went to Prison for Murder. Now, It’s the Real Killer’s Turn.

Brian Leigh Dripps Sr. was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in the 1996 killing of Angie Dodge in Idaho, a crime for which Christopher Tapp was exonerated.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #false-arrests-convictions-and-imprisonments, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #idaho, #idaho-falls-idaho, #innocence-project, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #sex-crimes, #tapp-christopher

She Was Stabbed and Left in a Cornfield in 1972. Now There’s an Arrest.

Barry Lee Whelpley, now 76, was charged with killing Julie Ann Hanson, who was 15 when her body was found in Naperville, Ill., the authorities said.

#chicago-ill, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #illinois, #minnesota, #missing-persons, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #naperville-ill

Two New Laws Restrict Police Use of DNA Search Method

Maryland and Montana have passed the nation’s first laws limiting forensic genealogy, the method that found the Golden State Killer.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #law-and-legislation, #maryland, #montana, #privacy, #your-feed-science

Man Rescued in Colorado Mountain Pass Is Accused in 1982 Murders

Alan Lee Phillips was rescued from a snowdrift in 1982 after he signaled SOS with his headlights. The police now say he became trapped on the road after killing two women.

#breckenridge-colo, #colorado, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #oberholtzer-barbara-jo-d-1982, #phillips-alan-lee-1951, #schnee-annette-d-1982

Remains Found 36 Years Ago in Montana Are Identified

DNA analysis has identified the remains of a woman, who for decades was known only as Christy Crystal Creek, as those of Janet Lee Lucas, who was last seen in Spokane, Wash., in 1983.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #lucas-janet-lee, #missing-persons, #missoula-county-mont, #montana, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #serial-murders, #spokane-wash, #teeth-and-dentistry

To Solve 3 Cold Cases, This Small County Got a DNA Crash Course

Forensic genealogy helped nab the Golden State Killer in 2018. Now investigators across the country are using it to revisit hundreds of unsolved crimes.

#deangelo-joseph-james, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #privacy, #your-feed-science

To Name Unknown Soldiers, Military Mulls Crime-Solving DNA Methods

Forensic genealogy techniques that have successfully tracked down elusive serial killers may soon be used to help identify thousands of American service members “known but to God.”

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #futch-melton-d-1944, #genealogy, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces

To Name Unknown Soldiers Who Died, Military Mulls DNA Methods

Forensic genealogy techniques that have successfully tracked down elusive serial killers may soon be used to help identify thousands of American service members “known but to God.”

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #futch-melton-d-1944, #genealogy, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #world-war-ii-1939-45

She Vanished Decades Ago. Her Children Just Learned She Had Been Killed.

William Heiser Jr. said his father had told him and his sister that their mother, Marie Heiser, had “just packed up her stuff and left.”

#delaware, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #heiser-marie-petry, #missing-persons, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #parabon-nanolabs-inc, #philadelphia-pa

Oregon Man Is Charged With Two Murders Committed Two Decades Apart

Genetic genealogy connected Christopher Lovrien to a 1999 homicide victim, according to the authorities, who said they found the remains of a 2020 homicide victim when they searched his property.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #dribin-mark, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #griffin-kenneth, #lovrien-christopher, #missing-persons, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #oregon, #police-department-portland-ore, #portland-ore, #search-and-seizure, #serial-murders

Woman’s Search for Her Birth Parents Leads to a Story of Murder

Kathy Gillcrist said a DNA test she took in 2017 revealed that her father may have been William Bradford Bishop Jr., a fugitive suspected of killing his wife, mother and three sons in 1976.

#adoptions, #bethesda-md, #bishop-william-bradford-jr, #content-type-personal-profile, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #fugitives, #genealogy, #gillcrist-kathy-1957, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #north-carolina, #tests-medical

A Teenager Was Bullied. His Ancestors Saved Him.

Dennis Richmond Jr. was a middle-schooler who took refuge in his family history, some of it very surprising.

#black-people, #connecticut, #genealogy, #roots-tv-program, #rye-historical-society, #slavery-historical

DNA and Race: What Ancestry and 23andMe Reveal

Our country has struggled to reckon with the horrors of the past. Could DNA tests help?

#23andme, #ancestry-com, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #race-and-ethnicity, #slavery-historical

Bryan Sykes, Who Saw the Ancient Past in Genes, Dies at 73

An Oxford scientist with a flair for the dramatic, he introduced millions of people to the secrets of their ancestry through his books and TV appearances.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #cryptozoologists, #deaths-obituaries, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #sykes-bryan, #the-seven-daughters-of-eve-the-science-that-reveals-our-genetic-ancestry-book

Ancient DNA Shows Humans Settled Caribbean in 2 Distinct Waves

Millions of people living on the islands today inherited genes from the people who made them home before Europeans arrived.

#archaeology-and-anthropology, #caribbean-area, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #native-americans, #nature-journal, #research, #your-feed-science

Ancient DNA Is Changing How We Think About the Caribbean

New research delivers surprising findings about Indigenous people in the region before contact with Europeans.

#caribbean-area, #dominican-republic, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #haiti, #hispaniola, #indigenous-people, #population

Uncovering a Cemetery’s Lost Black History, Stone by Stone

Sourland Mountain, a once-isolated region in New Jersey, has long inspired tall tales. Two local women turned “history detectives” have been trying to recover its true story.

#black-people, #buck-elaine-1953, #cemeteries, #content-type-personal-profile, #genealogy, #hopewell-nj, #if-these-stones-could-talk-african-american-presence-in-the-hopewell-valley-sourland-mountain-and-surrounding-regions-of-new-jersey-book, #mills-beverly-1950, #museum-of-the-american-revolution, #museums, #research, #slavery-historical, #stoutsburg-cemetery-hopewell-nj, #stoutsburg-sourland-african-american-museum-hopewell-nj

Exhume the Body of Warren G. Harding? A Judge Says That Won’t Be Necessary

A grandson, whose grandmother Nan Britton had an affair with the 29th president, was attempting to confirm his presidential lineage.

#adultery, #ancestry-com, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #harding-warren-g, #marion-county-ohio, #suits-and-litigation-civil

The Long, Worthwhile Search for the Five Black Women of Grace Baptist Church

The names of the five Black founders of a church in Mount Vernon, N.Y., seemed lost to history — until a student journalist stepped in.

#black-people, #churches-buildings, #genealogy, #mount-vernon-ny, #mount-vernon-public-library, #race-and-ethnicity

The Gilgo Beach Murders Were a Cold Case. Then a New Police Chief Arrived.

After a decade of little movement in a series of killings on Long Island, a new sense of urgency.

#federal-bureau-of-investigation, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #gilgo-beach-ny, #ill-be-gone-in-the-dark-one-womans-obsessive-search-for-the-golden-state-killer-book, #long-island-ny, #lost-girls-movie, #lost-girls-an-unsolved-american-mystery-book, #mcnamara-michelle-1970-2016, #police-department-suffolk-county-ny, #serial-murders, #sex-crimes

Exhume President Warren G. Harding? Family Feuds in Court

DNA evidence is persuasive that James Blaesing, 70, is the grandson of the 29th president and his mistress. But his cousins are upset by his plan to exhume Harding’s remains with a reality TV crew.

#britton-nan, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #harding-warren-g, #marion-county-ohio

Golden State Killer Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole

Prosecutors said that Joseph James DeAngelo committed 13 murders and nearly 50 rapes that terrorized California in the 1970s and ’80s.

#california, #deangelo-joseph-james, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #sentences-criminal, #serial-murders, #sex-crimes

Why a Data Breach at a Genealogy Site Has Privacy Experts Worried

Nearly two-thirds of GEDmatch’s users opt out of helping law enforcement. For a brief window this month, that didn’t matter.

#computer-security, #computers-and-the-internet, #cyberattacks-and-hackers, #dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #gedmatch, #gedmatch-inc, #genealogy, #genetics-and-heredity, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides

A Half-Century Later, Police Identify a Homicide Suspect and His Victim

Using DNA evidence, the district attorney’s office in Orange County, Calif., said it had identified a 1968 homicide victim as Anita Louise Piteau and the suspect as Johnny Chrisco.

#dna-deoxyribonucleic-acid, #forensic-science, #genealogy, #huntington-beach-calif, #missing-persons, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #orange-county-calif, #spitzer-todd-1960