View Full Version : DNA testing links 300-year-old remains of a baby to a Colonial Md. governor

10-17-2016, 03:03 PM

Much is known about the 6-month-old who died in Maryland 300 years ago and was buried in a small lead-covered coffin. Yet there is no record of the child’s death — or birth. No one knew for certain who the infant was. No one knew if the baby was a boy or girl.

Now, almost 26 years after the coffin was unearthed in St. Mary’s County, experts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History have learned that the baby was a boy — and the offspring of an important colonial governor of Maryland, Philip Calvert.

The development is the latest in the long-running archaeological project at St. Mary’s City — once the capital of Maryland and now a community of the dead where scientists have been digging on and off since the 1930s.

The discovery came about through new genetic testing done at Harvard Medical School at the request of the Smithsonian.