July 2023 – General Meeting: Child of the Titanic – Identified! Identified?

July 18, 2023 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
via Zoom

     Child of the Titanic:  Identified!  Identified?

Colleen Fitzpatrick, PhD.

The Forensic Genealogist

July 18, 2023
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick has been deemed the “Forensic Genealogist” for good reason.  She has been one of the pioneers in the use of DNA to solve not only murder cases but also in finding relatives dead or alive all over the world.  Featured on CNN, The New York Times and in People magazine, due to her successful history of using DNA to find people, she has worked as an accomplished genealogist to help people find lost family members along with police organizations to help them solve cases – both warm and cold.  This month, Dr. Fitzpatrick will share with us another of her favorite cold cases that she has solved/worked on using her DNA skills.

On Sunday 14 April 1912, the SS Titanic on her maiden voyage to America with 2207 souls onboard, struck an iceberg and sank in less than three hours. Only 705 passengers survived. Of the 328 bodies recovered by the salvage operation sent from Halifax, just one was that of a child. His identity was known only to God for nearly a century until 2002, when Dr. Alan Ruffman and Dr. Ryan Parr announced that they had identified the remains of the “Unknown Child” as Eino Panula, a 13-month-old Finnish baby who had perished in the accident with his mother and four older brothers.

In 2007, a controversy arose because the shoes of the child, held in the Maritime Museum in Halifax, were too large for a 13-month-old. It was then revealed that the results of the DNA test had been tied between Eino and 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin, so that the final identification had been based on estimates of the maturity of three tiny teeth found in the grave. Maybe that estimate was wrong.  Dr. Fitzpatrick will share how they resolved the controversy and so that the Unknown Child on the Titanic in unknown no longer.

The meeting will be held via Zoom. If you are not a member and would like more information, please email CVGSEvents20@gmail.com.