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Franklin Expedition Member Identified Through DNA Analysis

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

ONTARIO, CANADA—CBC News Canada reports that the remains of Warrant Officer John Gregory have been identified through DNA comparison with living descendants of the crew of the Franklin Expedition. British polar explorer John Franklin, his crew of 128, and the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were all lost while searching the Canadian Arctic for the Northwest Passage in the 1840s. Archaeologist Douglas Stenton of the University of Waterloo and his colleagues analyzed DNA obtained from samples of Gregory’s remains, which were discovered on King William Island in 2013, and linked it to one of 16 DNA samples from descendants of the members of the Franklin Expedition. This sample came from Gregory’s great-great-great-grandson. “We think it’s important to learn as much as we possibly can about these men and identifying them is fundamental to that,” Stenton explained. For more on the discovery of HMS Erebus, go to "Franklin's Last Voyage."

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