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  • Ehumation?

    Can DNA be collected from an exhumed body for testing? What would be required and how does one go about this? What would be collected?

    My gg grandfather died in 1945 and is the last male in the line I'd like to have tested. His last name is Randolph and I have yet to be able connect our family history to either the Randolphs of Virginia nor the Fitz Randolphs of NJ.

  • #2
    There are ways to obtain DNA from a situation like this, but:
    a) It would be quite expensive
    b) It would be hard to obtain the Y-DNA as it normaly is present in lesser quantity than the mtDNA
    c) We don't do it....
    Max Blankfeld
    Vice-President and COO @ Family Tree DNA
    A Gene by Gene Company

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    • #3
      Thanks for your quick response. It was turse and unhelpful.

      a) quite expensive is a sujective. several hundred? thousands? tens of thousands? millions?
      b) hard but not impossible?
      c) if a sample was sent to you, you won't test it and try to match to your records?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by scottdavis
        Thanks for your quick response. It was turse and unhelpful.

        a) quite expensive is a sujective. several hundred? thousands? tens of thousands? millions?
        b) hard but not impossible?
        c) if a sample was sent to you, you won't test it and try to match to your records?
        Scott,

        I don't think Max's reply was terse or unhelpful, - it just reflects the fact that Family tree DNA doesn't deal with forensic style DNA extraction. I would say the lab is set up to only deal with cheek cell sample from live people.
        Dealing with non live samples would require different lab extraction techniques I would imagine.

        Perhaps you might like to enquire with some other labs that deal with forensic type work.

        http://www.tracegenetics.com/services_gene.html

        Perhaps you can get these people to give you an idea of the cost & difficulty.

        If you could get someone else to do a forensic style extraction & then amplify the DNA in a way usuable to Family tree DNA, then probably family tree DNA would have no objection to testing it.

        Angela.

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        • #5
          Angela,

          Thank you for your reply. It was way more helpful than the previous reply. Explaining the "why" behind policies and giving alternatives is what good customer service is.

          I'll check out that other site.

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          • #6
            I saw this recently on a television show, where a body was exhumed and its DNA was tested. The coroner's office did this and it cost 10 thousand dollars. I think the coroner's office nearest to the gravesite might be able to give you the information you're looking for.

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            • #7
              Test

              Hi,

              I'll not be the diplomat Max is. I can appreciate your curiousity and longing but please don't do that. Its disrespectful. No matter what tests show, he is still your grandfather. Unless a crime was involved or there is a genetic disease that needs to be sussed out such a exhumation goes too far. In that case, I'd suggest you contact a lawyer.

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              • #8
                I disagree

                I find it most disrepectful for you to chime in with your moral judgement on a matter that is none of your business.

                I was looking into this as a last resort method when all other avenues of research have been exhausted.

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                • #9
                  Well, well, then we are even...

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