Saturday, July 19, 2014

DNA testing eyed for graves exhumed from historic Waco cemetery

By J.B. SMITH Waco Tribune-Herald
The committee tasked with planning the reburial of some 300 human remains unearthed from the old First Street Cemetery are hoping to enlist DNA technology in a quest to identify them.
The First Street Cemetery Memorial Advisory Committee has asked Baylor University forensic anthropologist Lori Baker to extract bone samples from each set of remains before the reburial, which is expected in 2015.

The city of Waco discovered the unmarked graves during a construction project behind the Texas Rangers Museum in 2007 and determined they were part of the city’s historic First Street Cemetery, established in 1852.

But so far, none of the remains has been identified.

So the committee this spring turned to Baker, who is known nationally for her work in mitochondrial DNA testing on subjects ranging from prehistoric Americans to migrants who perished in the Southwest desert.

Baker volunteered to collect bone samples that ultimately could be analyzed to establish kinship with living descendants or with other family members in the cemetery.

Do you have someone buried in the Waco, Texas, old First Street Cemetery. Read more at