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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 August 2007, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Titanic baby given new identity
The Titanic leaves Southampton in England before her maiden Atlantic voyage on 10 April 1912
More than 1,500 people died in the Titanic disaster of 1912
A baby boy positively identified by DNA testing decades after he died when the Titanic sank has now been named as someone else.

The boy was first said to be a Finnish boy aged 13 months, but experts now say he was a 19-month-old English child.

He was found dead floating in the waters of the North Atlantic six days after the luxury liner sank.

Titanic was heading from Southampton to New York when it sank on 15 April 1912, killing 1,503 passengers and crew.

After DNA testing in 2002, scientists declared they had identified the boy.

It's very easy to say you got this wrong, but nevertheless that is how science works, and you do change your ideas and you do change your theories
Ryan Parr
Lead researcher

He was initially said to be Eino Panula, whose DNA was matched to living family members in Finland.

But Canadian researchers now say that he was 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin, who was travelling on the Titanic with the rest of his family to start a new life in America.

"It's very easy to say you got this wrong, but nevertheless that is how science works, and you do change your ideas and you do change your theories," said Ryan Parr, the case's lead researcher at Lakehead University in Ontario.

"The evidence was pretty conclusive at the time."

Lasting symbol

Based on the size of the child's teeth, scientists had been able to narrow the field of possible candidates to children of about one year old.

"There were some aspects that made us a bit uncomfortable, even though that's what the teeth experts were telling us," Mr Parr said. "So we pressed forward and did more DNA testing."

A test on the child's HVS1, a type of mitochondria DNA molecule, did not match the Panula family, the researchers said.

The child was one of some 150 Titanic victims buried in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

For decades, the boy was known simply as the unknown child and regarded as a symbol of all the children who died in the sinking.

After he was first identified, his surviving Finnish relatives travelled to the grave for a high-profile ceremony.

Although the Goodwin family has been informed of the discovery, it is not known whether they have any plans to visit the cemetery.

Titanic's baby victim identified
07 Nov 02 |  Americas
Anniversary of Titanic's sinking
15 Apr 02 |  England


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