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Last Updated: Friday, 25 February, 2005, 07:18 GMT
US hero's relation's body 'found'
Bartholomew Gosnold
Archaeologists believe they have found the pioneer's remains
Scientists may have found the bodies of two maternal relations of the man who established the first English-speaking colony in America in 1607.

They hope to find a DNA match of a relation of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold at a church in Stowmarket, Suffolk.

Archaeologists want to trace the relation to authenticate the remains of Gosnold found in the US.

Using radar they think they have found Gosnold's niece's remains at the St Peter and St Mary church.

The body of his niece Katherine Blackerby may have been found near the probable entrance to the family vault at the church.

'Visionary leader'

James Halsall, project spokesman for the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: "The radar survey shows a potential vault under the Blackerby memorial tablet in the floor of Stowmarket church."

William Kelso, director of archaeology at APVA Preservation Virginia, where the first English-speaking colony in the country was established, said: "We are very excited about pursuing this research and helping Bartholomew Gosnold receive recognition for his visionary leadership that's long overdue.

"We are also extremely grateful to the Church of England and the two Suffolk parishes for their co-operation in this historic endeavour."

The results of the radar survey have been passed to the Council for the Care of Churches and Church Councils' in Stowmarket and Shelley. None of the bodies raised objections to the project continuing to the next stage.

Discussions will now take place between the Archaeology team from Suffolk County Council, the Council for the Care of Churches and APVA Preservation Virginia as to how the exploration should be conducted.

If final legal permission is granted by the Chancellor of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, work with archaeologists from Suffolk county council could begin in late May.

If DNA material can be successfully extracted, the results of the comparative tests are expected to be revealed in November 2005.

DNA bid for US 'founding father'
31 Jan 05 |  Suffolk



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