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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Titanic, Megan Smolenyak and My Family Tree

My family's genealogy has always been boring compared to most. There are no tales of Native Indian princesses or connections to Billy the Kid or Amelia Earhart, just plan German and Finnish folks.

A couple of years ago I was researching some connections in Canada and was leaving a lot of messages when a distant cousin and his wife contacted me. This couple was researching my mom's maternal Finnish line and had a lot of research to share. At the end of one email they asked if I knew that some of our cousins perished on the Titanic!

Titanic Baby Given New Identity

It seems that a cousin, Maria Emelia Ojala-Ketola (Panula) and her five children were third class passengers on the Titanic. While I found this interesting I did not give it much thought until recently.

Last weekend I was attending a seminar by Megan Smolenyak and one topic was DNA research. While discussing this fascinating but complicated topic Megan brought up the story of the "Titanic baby" that had been mis-identified in 2002. The baby was thought to be a Finnish child but later in 2007 was identified as an English child. When I got home I checked and sure enough it was Eina Panula, my cousin.

99 Year Anniversary

April 15 marks 99 years since the Titanic sank killing too many people. If you would like more information on the Titanic and its passengers check out these links. I will be thinking how my cousins boarded that ship with such high hopes and met such a terrible fate.

Encyclopedia Titantic
Titanic Promenade
RMS Titanic, Inc

Take Care,

From Amazon:

Lost Voices from the Titanic: The Definitive Oral History

The Story of the Titanic As Told by Its Survivors

Titanic (Three-Disc Special Collector's Edition)

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