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Last Updated: Monday, 31 January, 2005, 03:17 GMT
DNA bid for US 'founding father'
Bartholomew Gosnold
Archaeologists believe they have found the pioneer's remains
Scientists are looking for the DNA match of a Suffolk man who established the first English-speaking colony in America in 1607.

Archaeologists believe they have found the remains of Bartholomew Gosnold, who was born in Grundisburgh, Suffolk.

To confirm their suspicions, they proposed to make cross-checks with the DNA of Gosnold's sister or niece.

They are both thought to have been buried in Suffolk churchyards during the 17th Century.

Burial grounds

Experts are making radar searches of burial grounds in Shelley and Stowmarket on Monday to establish the feasibility of taking DNA samples.

Records show that Gosnold's sister, Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney, lies in the chancel of Shelley All Saints Church.

His niece, Katherine Blackerby, is believed to be buried at St Peter and St Mary Church, Stowmarket.

Captain Bartholomew Gosnold
He sailed to New England in 1602, 18 years before the pilgrim fathers
Was responsible for naming Cape Cod. Also named Martha's Vineyard after his daughter.
Returned in 1607 and established the first permanent English settlement in North America.
Some historians believe the US would have become Spanish territory if it had not been for Gosnold.
A spokesman for the Diocese of Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich said: "This is a very exciting and unique venture.

"The ground radar survey is just the first step. It must be stressed that there are a number of legal and other hurdles that must be crossed before a trowel is put into the earth."

He added: "If the results of the ground radar survey are positive, then the final decision to approve the exploration will be taken by the end of March, with archaeologists from Suffolk County Council beginning work in late spring or early summer."

Historians believe Bartholomew Gosnold is the overlooked founding father of America.




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