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One of America�s founding fathers is subject of DNA �dig�
The first ever excavation to retrieve DNA from remains in a British church for a scientific project began in June.
Archaeologists from Suffolk and the United States had been working carefully to recover a small fragment of the skeleton of Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney, the sister of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, the Suffolk entrepreneur who led the expedition to establish the first English-speaking colony in the New World and the birthplace of the United States of America.
The Grave Shaft of Elizabeth Gosnold Tilney, Bartholomew Gosnold's Sister
In 1607, Gosnold�s group landed at Jamestown, in what is now Virginia, but died a few months later. He is considered the most overlooked of U.S. founders.
The remains of a 17th century captain were uncovered in 2003 by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA Preservation) on Jamestown Island. Backed by the National Geographic Society, the project at Shelley church aims to prove that the captain in Virginia is the USA�s Founding Father.
Dr William Kelso, the Director of Archaeology for APVA Preservation, has joined a team of archaeologists from Suffolk County Council at Shelley for the dig.
A second excavation to recover a DNA sample from Katherine Blackerby, Gosnold�s niece who is buried at St Peter and St Mary church in Stowmarket, will also begin shortly.
The results of any DNA comparison will be the centerpiece of an episode of �Explorer� on the National Geographic�s TV channel later in the year.
For more information about Jamestown history, visit www.historicjamestowne.org or Virginia www.Jamestown1607.org.