Titanic’s Unknown Child Identified as Sidney Leslie Goodwin

The following teaser is from an article published in the April 26, 2011 edition of gather.com.

The mystery of the Titanic’s unknown child has now been solved. Using genetics, Ryan Parr, an adjunct professor at Lakeland University in Ontario, and his team have identified a baby boy pulled from the icy Atlantic on April 21, 1912 as 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin.

The child had been incorrectly identified before, but through advanced technology of mitochondrial DNA testing, and the help of the U.S. Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, the result is a near certainty.

The child was buried in a cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where a headstone of “unknown child” marked his resting place. In 2001, the remains were exhumed by Parr and using only a 2.4 inch fragment of an arm bone and three teeth, an identification was made in 2004. The body was that of Eino Viljami Panula, a 13-month-old Finnish boy…or was it?

Doubts remained. And then, according to Yahoo News, it was learned that a pair of baby shoes recovered from the unknown child had been saved by a police sergeant named Clarence Northover in 1912. He couldn’t bear to burn them with other items, which were destroyed to deter scavengers and souvenir hunters. Northover’s grandson, Earle, donated them to a museum in 2002.

What was so important about the shoes? They were too large for a 13-month-old to wear. Parr re-tested the remains and determined that the child was in fact Sidney Goodwin, this time with a 98 percent certainty.

Read the full article.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (www.FamilyRootsPublishing.com), writes daily at GenealogyBlog.com, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

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