Forensic Identification of Titanic Victims

J

Jan C. Nielsen

Member
Yes, I saw those, but I'm asking Phil to post The Times' article, which he said would be published on Sunday.
 
Encyclopedia Titanica

Encyclopedia Titanica

Philip Hind
Staff member
Member
I obviously can't post the article itself but I may be able to post the gist of it. It looks like it is in the ST today butthe web link to the article is restrctied to subscribers, better nip out and buy the paper.
 
Encyclopedia Titanica

Encyclopedia Titanica

Philip Hind
Staff member
Member
Well it was quite a disappointment after speaking to the reporter on Firday and hearing all her conspiricy theories. The article itself had nothing new and was just a recapitualtion of facts we all new already. Obviously a quiet weekend for news!
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
The Sunday Times article is in today's Australian, but it's not online.

The current theory is that the unknown child may be Alfred Peacock, who was eight months old at the time of the sinking. He was lost with his mother, Edith, and his sister, Treasteall.

Genetic material has been provided by relatives for comparison and results are expected later next year.

Incidentally, the article manages to turn Mackay Bennett into a fishing boat. As soon as reporters get near to anything nautical, they get it wrong!
 
M

Mo LaBranche

Member
Looking for info on MtDNA Margaret Rice, I have an update from a Don Lynch posting many years ago for Nora Norton Stetson in Springfield, MA
 
Jen RN

Jen RN

Member
Hello Tracy,
I'm new here, so excuse me if this has come up before.

I submitted my dna to an ancestry site. I'm just curious, if any dna recovered that doesn't match family samples, could be compared against a large dna database. I recently read that a criminal case was solved in a similar manner, by genetic markers submitted by a relative if the perpetrator.

Thank you!
 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
Hi Jen. Welcome. I don't think Tracy has been here for a very long time. DNA is a pretty fascinating science with all its able to do but unlike on tv its not always 100% certain. One of the big problems is there are a lot of DNA databases around the world but they are not linked together. Usually they try to narrow down to a possible comparison as much as possible, Like we think its this person so lets check his relatives. But with more records and better links of databases and better computing power it is getting better. Of course on the flip side you get into the whole "1984" scenario.
 
Jen RN

Jen RN

Member
Thank you for your reply!

I have to admit, after reading about that criminal case made me slightly uneasy. Not that I've committed a crime, but having the government be able to access dna through private ancestry type sites seems to be an invasion of privacy. A guess I should've read that small print better!

I'm sorry that Tracy is no longer on here, but thank you for the reply and information.
 
Keith Baxter

Keith Baxter

Member
As far as I know, all of the major consumer DNA testing companies (AncestryDNA, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, LivingDNA) and websites that have DNA matching (GEDmatch, Geni.com, DNA.land, etc.) require that you confirm the DNA sample or raw data being submitted is your own, or that of someone for whom you are a legal guardian or have obtained consent. Also, I believe the two companies with the largest DNA databases, AncestryDNA and 23andMe, accept only saliva samples for testing, and do not accept raw data uploads.
http://www.genie1.com.au/blog/58-which-dna-testing-company

Apparently police in the U.S.A., as in the recent case in California, may be able to upload the autosomal DNA data of an unknown suspect, obtained after analyzing samples at crime scenes, to these websites that accept raw data uploads, despite obviously not having that person's authorization, since "DNA abandoned by the perpetrator of a crime basically has no legal protection", according to a professor of law quoted in this article.
Investigators searched a million people’s DNA to find Golden State serial killer

This would be done in hope of obtaining the name of a cousin or other relative of the suspect, and eventually identifying the suspect through further investigation. As the police investigators are using these websites like any other person, and the only information being obtained by them would be the name of someone voluntarily displaying it (and not their actual DNA data -- the A-C-G-T's), they do not need a court order.

From the first post of this thread, it would appear that any exhumation of an unidentified Titanic victim would occur only after someone had presented compelling evidence to local authorities that it was one of their relatives. If DNA was obtained from the exhumation, and it did not match the person thought to be related, it would certainly present an interesting situation. I have no idea if the authorities in Halifax would then be legally allowed to submit the DNA data to those DNA testing companies in an attempt to find someone related. The total database of all those companies was estimated to be 12 million earlier this year, with AncesrtyDNA alone at over 7 million and likely to exceed 10 million in 2018. And most of the people using them have been from largely English speaking countries (U.S.A., Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand), so I would guess there would be a very high probability of finding a relative, even if it was only a distant cousin, for most of the unidentified victims.

Perhaps before considering any such wide search of that kind if the situation did arise, a more reasonable course of action would be attempting to determine other possible identities for the victim, followed by efforts to locate their relatives.
 
Keith Baxter

Keith Baxter

Member
GEDmatch updated their terms on May 20th to include, among other things --
"When you upload Raw Data to GEDmatch, you agree that the Raw Data is one of the following:
... DNA obtained and authorized by law enforcement to ... identify remains of a deceased individual"
 
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