LOUIS IX OF FRANCE–THE BONES SPEAK

It is not just King Richard III who has had numerous scientific tests done on his mortal remains. Tests have also recently taken place on the jawbone of Louis IX of France who died in 1270 while on Crusade in Tunisia. Louis is also known as ‘The Saint’ and was the husband of Margaret of… Continue reading LOUIS IX OF FRANCE–THE BONES SPEAK

Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey

This programme, which has recently been repeated, began in 2017 with the duo meeting the legendary Borders historian Alistair Moffat, who just happens to be the uncle of a friend of theirs. Following DNA tests, it was revealed that McPartlin’s great-grandfather, Peter, had joined the 103rd (Tyneside Irish) Brigade and fought at the Battle of… Continue reading Ant and Dec’s DNA Journey

SPLITTING HAIRS–AGAIN

A dramatic news story always makes headlines. Therefore, I was not entirely surprised when, several years ago, I saw a newpaper headline reading, ‘Richard III was a Blue-Eyed Blond.‘ Sadly, many people do not read beyond headlines, and completely missed the part that said ‘the blonde hair was probably only in childhood.’ (I never knew… Continue reading SPLITTING HAIRS–AGAIN

Well, I had no idea the Ancient Egyptians were so ahead of their time….!

Well, the above reconstruction of Tutankhamun is a revelation, not only that he was so unlike his wonderful funeral mask, but also because….oh dear, you couldn’t make it up. Here’s an extract from this article :- “….What King Tut Really Looked Like….They conducted DNA studies and found out how frail the pharaoh was. He was… Continue reading Well, I had no idea the Ancient Egyptians were so ahead of their time….!

Combining genetics with genealogy to identify the dead in unmarked graves….

  Can you imagine swarms of investigators milling around unmarked graves (and known graves) across the UK, taking samples of DNA in the hope of locating someone of historic interest? After all, it’s how Michael Ibsen’s descent from Richard’s sister was discovered. Well, the nature of events in Quebec, Canada, described in this article, raise… Continue reading Combining genetics with genealogy to identify the dead in unmarked graves….

So wrong he could be right?

This article, by the former MP Norman Baker, appeared in the Mail on Sunday. Actually, the original version was much longer and referred to Elizabeth II as a descendant of Henry VIII. This is an egregious howler, surely, because all of his actual descendants died by 1603 (or the last day of 1602/3 in the… Continue reading So wrong he could be right?

Identifying Richard’s remains is one of Sir Alec’s three proudest moments….

Sir Alec Jeffreys, the scientist who revealed the secrets of genetic fingerprinting,  remembers the exact moment of his discovery. “It was 9.05 on the morning of Monday, September 10, 1984 – it’s seared into my memory,” he said. It may not be seared into ours in the same way, but we still marvel at the… Continue reading Identifying Richard’s remains is one of Sir Alec’s three proudest moments….