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Should we open graves 150+ years old for DNA samples?

Should we open graves 150+ years old for DNA samples?

Posted: 9 Jan 2013 4:33PM GMT
Classification: Query
I would like to get people's opinion regarding the opening of graves that are, oh, say 150+ years old, to retrieve some teeth for DNA testing. I would think that the Y-DNA testing results would help alot of genealogists with their research.

Let's say we have located a family, in a particular county, in the 1860 census. We don't know if they belong to our line, or not. There were a bunch of daughters and only one son, and that one son died in the Civil War before he could marry and have children. We know where that one son is buried.

Re: Should we open graves 150+ years old for DNA samples?

Posted: 9 Jan 2013 7:05PM GMT
Classification: Query
It's very tempting, isn't it? All that information that would answer so many questions.

A new found third cousin and I have jokingly talked about meeting at midnight in a certain old Brooklyn cemetery with shovels and crow bars. It would clear up some links that seem destined to remain unknown.

Re: Should we open graves 150+ years old for DNA samples?

Posted: 9 Jan 2013 7:38PM GMT
Classification: Query
If it is Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, count me in.

Re: Should we open graves 150+ years old for DNA samples?

Posted: 9 Jan 2013 8:16PM GMT
Classification: Query
I don't know that that would go over very well in every situation. However, if they are moving people anyway there could be an opportunity. They moved a mostly African American Cemetery near where I live some time back. Reading about that made me think if they were going to have to relocate people anyway they could at least be allowed to try to determine who they were in the process. Perhaps there should be a group that work on this, if there isn't already, for any new construction site that moves a cemetery. And I would be really careful about Native American sites as have some stringent rules.

Re: Should we open graves 150+ years old for DNA samples?

Posted: 9 Jan 2013 9:09PM GMT
Classification: Query
That's the one!
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