July 30th 2007!

Unknown Childs identity was wrong! See Below!

Newspaper article form The Times Dispatch, Richmond Virginia, April 16, 1912.
You can't really read it, but what a long headline!















This website is dedicated to the Panula and Goodwin families
and all the other Unknown Titanic victims.
We honour the horror of your suffering with remembrance.

On April 15th, 1912 when the Titanic sank in the cold North Atlantic, 150 bodies were recovered and brought to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada for burial. Many of those bodies identities were unknown, never claimed by loved ones and were only given a number and the date on their graves. Much effort has been made by many Titanic Researchers and some names were identified and added to the grave. The others, well, they remain the same 95 years later. We're hoping to change that with science and prayer.

Thursday & Friday, May 17/18, 2001

Please forgive the old, cheap 35mm pre-digital camera, blurry photos.
It's all I had at the time. No zoom.

When I arrived at the cemetery after the work was all finished on the second day, the only spectators were a small group of local children giggling and playing around the graves. Seeing the little girl with the baby doll made my heart ache for the Unknown Child. Here they have stopped to read Arthur McCrae's tombstone.

Most people had no idea... They simply announced on the Wednesday Evening News that three families were claiming that three of the victims bodies numbered 4, 240 and 281 may be relatives of theirs, and they want the bodies excavated for DNA sampling. Digging starts tomorrow! Being a new Titanic researcher, and of course living here where the history lies, and this is taking place, I had to be there.  This is my journal. I took many pictures for those of us who like a thousand words. I'm really not concerned with what the names are of everyone involved with the exhumation . During this experience I never read any newspaper articles, watched any TV reports, except the announcement, (including myself on the news) or listened to the radio. I wanted this story to be about what I felt and witnessed as an interested amateur Titanic Researcher. I wish I had a digital camera back then. The pictures aren't very good. My only concern anyway, is finding out the names of the people in the graves.

Thursday, May 17th 2001

Arrived at the cemetery alone, it's a chilly day. Wind is up a little and the sky is overcast and dull. I pull in the driveway of the Fairview Lawn Cemetery and faced a Halifax Regional Police van parked across from the graves. The news reported that the work would begin in the morning but there is little activity, maybe 8 people around just milling about their duties. I could see no one around the graves, just nearby. I cruised past the Van and parked for a minute to get out and look around and snap a few pictures (which didn't turn out because it was the beginning of the film). I noticed another Police cruiser coming in and pull up to the van to chat. I had to go and get my Mom, so I just drove around the yard down below the graves at the bottom of the hill. As I drove by I wondered if the police car was going to block access to spectators.

9:30 am
We return to the cemetery and there are now two Halifax Regional Police cars and I thought something must be up because there was still very little going on for all these Cops. Although, there was now about fifteen people, all who seem to be reporters or yard workers. We drove all the way around the cemetery and parked down below the graves at the bottom of the hill. Right then a guy came out of the building and he had a couple of rolls of bright yellow tape and we thought ok, here we go. He gated off the whole area around the site. During this more people are arriving and a little group is forming at the grave of the
Unknown Child. We decided to move the car and park facing the graves on the top of the hill. I noticed a couple of reporters crouched down in front of the grave of the Unknown Child interviewing a man in a hat and a brown leather jacket. We speculated that he was one of the family members. We drove around and parked to see two Policeman walking towards the group. They reached the man and spoke a few words to him as they helped him up from the ground. By now I'm at the plastic yellow parameter and I ask two men (still adjusting the caution tape) if the man is a protester. One man looks at the other and the first one says, "Yes, he is. He is a self-appointed caretaker of the Unknown Child's grave and has been for a few years. He has no connection to the HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality)". I just kept looking at him so he said it again. The gentlemen was brought away from the grave peacefully and I later learned someone reported that he was chained to the grave, but I didn't see anyone removing chains or chains in anyone's hands or around him. The two Police Officers and two other graveyard officials began talking to him and within a few minutes he was shaking the officers hand when I heard the Policeman say, "Sure I'll drive you home." I found out later that he was banned from the graveyard for the rest of the exhumation and that he was simply misinformed about what was going to happen. He was under the impression that the child's grave was going to be moved elsewhere for testing, and he felt that the child wouldn't want to leave everyone else. So, when they told him that they were only going to take some samples to try and find out who he is, and give the child a family name, he gave up his protest peacefully. Then, the Officer drove him home. In my opinion he was not a publicity seeker because he was visibly upset about what he thought was happening, and kept asking if what he was being told was the truth. He was really trying not to cry. Me too.


He  fenced off quite a large area around the graves.
Nobody was permitted inside after he was finished.

You can't really see the Reporters talking to the Protester,
but he is sitting down in front of the Unknown Child's grave,
as the guy begins to fence off the area with caution tape.

Here local Reporters watch as the Police escort the Protester aside.

This is the Police and two graveyard officials who explained to the gentleman
in the hat that the graves were to be sampled for DNA and not removed.
Mom and I went over closer to him and we could see that he was very emotional.

The Police inform the Gentleman that he is banned from the graveyard until the
work is done, then drove him home. Which I thought was nice and friendly like.

After the man is whisked away the reporters and Mom and I thin out because there is nothing else going on. We go back to the car and notice after a while that the reporters are all leaving. We figure that the work is delayed for some reason so we decide to go and get some tea and hot chocolate.

We return to the graveyard and there is no one around. There is only one car parked near the office with two men sitting in it. We were so surprised that there were no spectators! Not a one! I guess that here in Nova Scotia the Titanic is just such a part of our history that no one pays much attention to anything concerning it. Plus the fact that no one knew anything about this unless they watched the evening news the previous night. We sat around in the car drinking our beverages for about 45 minutes and watched as people returned, when one of the men got out of his car. So, we got out of our car and approached him. I still don't know who he was, but he was around all day and seemed to be connected to the graveyard as opposed to the exhumation. We chatted for a little while and he told us that the work wasn't scheduled to begin until 1:00pm. I asked if any of the relatives would be here and he said that they wanted to remain anonymous and would not be here. I said to him that the families must have some pretty convincing evidence in order to get authorities to do this and he proceeded to tell us their findings.

He said one of the victims a young man, (body #240) was found with a watch and chain when his body was recovered. This watch was also a locket that contained two pictures of loved ones. These pictures were photographed before they were buried with him and kept on record at the Public Archives. The family was able to produce the same pictures as well as several other family photos of him with the people in his watch locket.

CLOTHING - Grey overcoat; blue serge suit; white sweater.
EFFECTS - One pipe; key; silver watch and chain; £1 5s. in purse.

The woman (body #281) had a very large and noticeable wart on one of her fingers. The family was able to produce pictures of this lady showing her wart as well as a picture of her taken just before boarding the Titanic and wearing the same clothing she was found in.

CLOTHING - Black coat; blue skirt; red jersey; green blouse; woolen
singlet; grey underskirt; black boots and stockings.
EFFECTS - $26.00.

As for the Child's grave (body #4) the family claims that the child was older than two years, as estimated at the time of recovery, but instead was approximately 4 years old and believe the DNA testing of his teeth will prove that, as well they had a photograph of the child in the same fur cuffed and collared coat he was buried in. I asked him if it was the Paulson family descendants who were having the grave exhumed and he said, "as far as I know, it's not".

CLOTHING - Grey coat with fur on collar and cuffs; brown serge frock;
Petticoat; flannel garment; pink woolen singlet; brown shoes and stockings.

He also told us that the families have been trying to get the DNA testing done for the last three years and finally got through all of the official channels to do so, the last being our Medical Examiner. After I told the man that we were Titanic researchers working on the two STONE bodies that were recovered, he told us that there was going to be a private memorial service tomorrow at 4:00pm, and that we were welcomed to attend, and please don't tell the reporters. Which we didn't. I don't know if anything he told me was fact, but he certainly seemed to know.

The gentleman with white hair and beard is Alan Ruffman,
local Titanic Author and Researcher.

We decide to go and get some lunch since there is still hardly anyone around and the digging wasn't going to begin until 1:00pm.

We return to find a few reporters have come back and we park the car near them to eat. Just then local reporter Peter Mallett of the ATV Evening News approached the car and introduced himself. I told him I knew who he was, and he said he noticed that we were around all morning and could he ask what our interest here was. So, I got out of the car, took a deep breath and proceeded to tell him about the research we were doing on the two Titanic STONE crew members. I could tell he thought what I was saying was very interesting and he asked if he could interview us for the Evening News. I thought oh boy, now everyone watching will know of the research. I hadn't wanted to go public with my findings until I was sure, but on second thought now is as good a time as any to put it out there. So, I was interviewed and talked briefly about what I have discovered about their names.

The Reporters main agenda was of course to get my opinion on camera about what I thought of the exhuming of graves for DNA sampling. I am of course, all for it. I believe that when we leave our earthly bodies what we leave behind are those memories that remain with those whose lives we have touched, our DNA from the body if buried, and our name (bloodline). It is our birthright to be given a name, as well as having a memorial erected in our name after death. It's our right of passage when we cross over and leave the Earth that people know we were here for good or evil.

After the interview I was too excited to eat so we decided to go for a bathroom break before the workers showed up.

Finally, the men arrived who were to set up the tent that would cover the Scientists and Medical Examiner after the graves were dug. Reporters were to stay behind the caution tape of course. People have complained that all of this digging will disturb other graves, but this rumor is not true. If you look at the first picture you can see that the little grave digger is going to drive up the gravel road there and dig right were that man is bent over. Incidentally, that man in yellow is the one who talked to me about the evidence to get permission to excavate.

Ironically, bodies NO. 281 & 240 were right next to each other.
The third and forth stone in from the road, where the man is spraying marking paint.

Building the tent begins.

      It's bigger than I expected.     
                                Up she goes.                          

Things are behind schedule about a half an hour and finally the excavation team arrives. The people who were standing inside the fence and were at the graveside were these five people as well as a couple of others. I was told the man in the long grey coat was a Titanic author and president of some Titanic Society. The other man in the dark suit seemed to be a graveyard official, the woman next to the man in grey an anthropologist, the man in jeans a DNA expert, and the obscure person also a graveyard official. In fact, I'm not sure if those really are those people, it was just talk I heard around the Reporters.

They all seemed very excited to be present and working on this excavation.
They joked around a lot, laughing and talking.

This was the first time I had ever seen a grave digger.
How eccentric of me to think graves were still dug by hand. Sheesh.

The little grave digger moves into place and all the press gathers close. Mom and I included with them. This is the moment everyone is waiting for. The breaking of ground. All of the officials are gathered around the grave including a city Cop who was present all day. Everyone around me is whispering their lines and chatting quietly as they get posed to take shots, and then the grave digger places the scoop right to the ground and stops. He shuts off the machine and steps down. We all just look around at each other as everyone in front of us gathers at the head of graves, taking off their hats as they move to form a line. Oh my God I thought, they're going to pray. As soon as the line was formed and they put their heads down, everyone shot off a picture and then, complete silence. You could barely hear someone saying a prayer in the line. It was very powerful, that silence. Everyone quiet, just the breeze, the birds, and the soaring of my heart. The world was mine for a moment. I was really, really moved by it. In reflection now, it really was the moment I was waiting for...

There were two flat graves named Mother and Father where the grave digger sits. When they first brought the machine up the driver suggested a flat board be placed over them to prevent any damage to them. I  inspected them later and they were A ok.
They were really old, probably mid 1800's.

The breaking of ground. The picture is a little blurry because
 I was shaky from the prayer. This was history in the making,
and I'm standing right there. It was such a privilege.

The Police Officer to the right eventually became really curious,
and spent the rest of the day at grave side.

As the grave digger got closer to the casket he would dump the dirt and the Scientists would  inspect it for wood fibers before he would take another scoop. The graves had unfortunately sunk deeper than anticipated, and they had to dig several feet farther than expected.

This is the extent of people who were at the graveyard. All together
around 30 people. All were Journalists and Officials, then just myself and my Mom.


Here is the crowd from another angle. Not very many people.
My Mom is the lady in the long white coat.

A tour bus arrived a little later on, but nobody got out.
I couldn't see anyone on the bus. Maybe the bus driver was just curious.

It's nearly time for the tent to cover the site.

We needed a bathroom break so we left for about 20 minutes. When we returned most of the Reporters had left, and the tent was placed over the site for the digging to continue by hand.

Once they dug far enough the digger was set back in between the
tombstones and the rest of the work was undercover.


From this angle you can see the Unknown Child's grave. I heard that they chose
to do the Child's grave last because of a fear of rain. The other two graves are placed
at the bottom of  the incline and therefore would be much wetter should it rain the following day.

Friday, May 18th 2001

I had to work until 1:00pm so I didn't arrive at the grave yard until 2:00pm, where I found the Child's grave already dug. :( They had the tent over the grave site but for some reason they had one side of it opened. I guess it was because there was only about 10 people around, including a couple of Photographers.


The grave digger is surrounded by the tent for some reason. I guess because
they may have thought they would have to dig deeper, or that it might rain.


An up hill look and the first two graves finished. I heard the graveyard officials
say the grass would be replaced as soon as they were finished.

Here is the side angle.

There are several people bent down inside the
grave and standing around the grave.


There seemed to be more people around this
grave then there was the first day.

The man in red is holding up a clear plastic
bag with what looks like a DNA sample in it.

I had to go and pick up my Mom and bring her back for the memorial service at 4:00pm, so I left.

When we returned the yellow caution tape had been taken down and they were disassembling the tent and picking up the equipment. We figured that there would be no memorial service because of this, plus there was no one around but the cleanup crew, so we had a moment of silence, I snapped a few final pictures and we went home.


The tent coming down

Bodies NO. 281 and NO. 240

Body NO. 4
The Unknown Child

Here is the work completely finished. As you can see there is plenty of room for the
public to view the graves, as well as do the work without disturbing the other stones.


Noteworthy: I visited here a few times over the winter months and never once saw this big Christmas stocking in front of the Paulson grave. Suddenly it's here, so perhaps it just arrived. We did have a record setting snow filled winter this year, so perhaps it was just buried under the snow. I peeked inside it before I left the grave yard and it contained a jar of peanut butter, a loaf of bread, a knife and a note written on a ripped piece of cardboard which just seemed to be gibberish or some other language. There were English words, but they made no sense. Some of them were Sorry, Titanic, and Make.       ...Warmed my heart it did...


Since the bodies were sampled for DNA word has come that there was not enough in the bones of the first two bodies No. 240 and NO. 281 to get any good samples. :( Apparently the graves were too water logged and the bone marrow was gone. I was so heartsick to hear that, to know the names may never be known. Let's pray for the Unknown Child to be identified!

A couple of weeks later I returned to the graveyard to make
sure the work had been completed with new sod.
Without knowing it, the guy was there doing it when I arrived.
How about that!? I chatted with the fellow and he told me he had to wait
for the good sod because of all the visiting traffic :)

I told him he would be on the Internet.
I snapped the picture before he could get away!

He had already finished the Unknown Child's Grave.

Nice new good sod.

Articles below are from The Chronicle Herald

November 6th, 2002

November 7th, 2002

We are all overjoyed at this news!
The story of the medallion protecting the only DNA, filled my heart with joy!
I was bursting!
Little did the MacKay Bennett's Crew know that their love for this
Child Unknown, would shine through 90 years later. This is the power of love.

*Eino Viljami Panula*

I took the liberty of putting his name on his grave picture
(just the picture, not the tombstone at the cemetery)
just to see how it looks. I like it, I hope to see it there some day.


July 30th 2007!

I guess we now know why the name was never changed on the grave.
I must say I am shocked at this turn of events considering it is DNA evidence!

The Halifax Daily News
(Now out of business)

Titanic victim's identity corrected
'Unknown child' ID'd as 13-month-old Finn five years ago was English 19-month-old

CanWest News Service

Call it a titanic case of mistaken identity. Five years ago, a Canadian forensic team made international headlines when it announced that it had positively identified the body of the unknown child whose body was recovered from the wreck of the Titanic in 1912. That identification was wrong.

On May 4, 1912, the body recovered from the North Atlantic was buried with moving fanfare at Fairview Lawn cemetery in Halifax. A small tombstone erected "to the memory of an unknown child whose remains were recovered after the Titanic disaster" has marked the spot ever since.

Over the years, many speculated as to the child's identity. Only as DNA technology developed did researchers dare hope the mystery could be solved.

In 2001, Canadian scientists exhumed the unknown child's body, recovering three teeth and a six-centimetre fragment of bone.

Examination of the tiny teeth led a dental expert to suggest the child might  be about a year old, drastically narrowing the field of likely candidates.

Using DNA tracked down from suspected maternal relatives, tests conducted by Ryan Parr at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay quickly eliminated three of them.

Eino Panula

By elimination, the child was identified as 13-month-old Eino Panula, a Finnish infant who drowned with his parents in the disaster, which claimed 1,500 lives.

The findings, and Panula's identity, were announced the following year in a highly publicized television documentary, Secrets of the Dead: Titanic's Ghosts, produced by New York's Engel Brothers Media.

Panula's distant relatives in Finland travelled from Helsinki to visit the gravesite, where Allan Ruffman, a Halifax-based oceanographer and member of the research team, declared: "He is no longer an unknown child. He can have a name on his tombstone."

Now, according to a report in the latest issue of Voyage, the official journal of the Titanic International Society, the announcement five years ago was simply wrong.

In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, Ruffman acknowledged yesterday  the initial identification was too hasty.

"We were under pressure at the time by the U.S. television team doing the History Channel documentary to identify the child, and based on the evidence we had at the time, we did so," Ruffman said.

What the scientists didn't fully appreciate at the time is that there are two mitochondrial DNA molecules - HVS1 and HVS2. In 2002, they thought they needed to test only one of them, the HVS1.

Sidney Leslie Goodwin

The initial test matched many thousands of people across northern Europe, from Scandinavia to the British Isles, all descended from a single progenitor mother. But of the team's candidates, only Panula's family provided a match.

But after the TV show aired, later tests - this time on the unknown child's HVS2 - revealed that DNA did not match Panula's relatives.

The researchers revisited their list of candidates, this time focusing on 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin.

Goodwin was a third-class passenger, travelling from Fulham, England, with his parents and five brothers and sisters to Niagara Falls, N.Y. The entire Goodwin family died in the sinking.

But the researchers did manage to track down a descendant of Goodwin's maternal line.

New tests - this time on on both segments of mitochondrial DNA - positively confirmed the body is Goodwin's, not Panula's.

Additional evidence for the new identification also resurfaced: a pair of shoes taken from the body of the unknown child in 1912 by a souvenir hunter and kept by his family for almost 90 years were found to be too big for a 13-month-old like Panula.

The shoes were only recently donated to the Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, where they are now on display.


Titanic's 'unknown child' identified

HALIFAX (CP) - His identity had eluded Titanic buffs for years.

Buried in a small plot in a Halifax cemetery, the young boy was known simply as the unknown child - a poignant symbol of all the children who perished when the famed vessel went down in the North Atlantic in 1912.

So when researchers declared in 2002 that science proved the remains were those of a 13-month-old Finnish boy, the long-standing mystery seemed solved.

But now, five years after the Finnish boy's surviving relatives travelled to his graveside to be reunited with their lost loved one in a high-profile ceremony, researchers have admitted that they got it wrong.

The unknown child, a lead researcher said Tuesday, is in fact Sidney Leslie Goodwin, a 19-month-old English boy who died with his entire family as they were setting out for a new life in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

"It's very easy to say you got this wrong, but nevertheless that is how science works and you do change your ideas and you do change your theories," Ryan Parr, a lead researcher in the case, said from his office at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ont.

"The evidence was pretty conclusive at the time."

The research team began to question the conclusion shortly after making the announcement and conducting more tests on DNA evidence they had collected.

Parr and his colleague, Halifax-based historian Alan Ruffman, had earlier used samples of the child's DNA they had exhumed in 2001, including three teeth and a small portion of bone.

Based on the size of the teeth, they could narrow the field of candidates to children of a certain age, which experts indicated was most likely about a year old.

Parr then tried to match the child's DNA to any surviving female family members, narrowing it down to Goodwin and Eino Viljami Panula, who was travelling in third-class to the United States with his mother and four other brothers when they all perished.

They became sure of their theory that it was Panula when three dental experts said the teeth were that of a very young child.

"There were some aspects that made us a bit uncomfortable, even though that's what the teeth experts were telling us," he said. "So we pressed forward and did more DNA testing."

Using a second DNA test on the child's HVS1, a type of mitochondrial DNA molecule, the scientists' doubts were confirmed. The DNA didn't match the Panula family, setting the team off on a new hunt for the baby's real identity.

Parr said the team went back to the Goodwins and eventually found a surviving maternal relative who submitted DNA evidence. They conducted the two DNA tests and came up with a match.

Charles Haas of the Titanic International Society said news of the identity change only serves to show that scientific pursuits can be elusive and doesn't discredit the work being done to identify the victims.

"Science is a fluid thing, it's not set in concrete," he said from Randolph, N.J. "As additional information becomes available it becomes necessary to revise conclusions."

Panula's relatives were informed of the error at their homes in Helsinki, something Parr said must have come as a disappointment after they ventured overseas to the Fairview Cemetery in Halifax to visit what they believed were the remains of their famous family member.

At the time, Magda Schleifer knelt before the headstone of her great aunt's child with several family members and marvelled at the revelation that the little boy was a part of her lineage.

Parr said the Goodwins were also made aware of the connection, but it wasn't clear whether they had plans to visit the cemetery which holds some of the disaster's 1,500 victims.

It's believed that Goodwin, his parents and five siblings boarded the massive steamliner in Southampton, England, as third-class passengers. The father, an electrician, was headed to New York to work at a power plant.

Parr said he's working on having his research examined in a peer-reviewed study, likely out by the end of the year.

"This has been a very difficult project," he said. "It's almost like a detective story - just when you think you have your suspect, they sort of elude your grasp."

Sidney Leslie Goodwin
A great many folks all around the world have thought about you for almost
a century and some worked very hard to find out who you are.
Broken are our hearts to read of the loss of your entire family...

February 2008!

On February 9th, 2008 I received this letter.
Had a good cry of course! I sent her all my photographs.

9 Feb 08


My grandmother's brother and family were the Goodwins who perished on the Titanic. Sidney Leslie would have been my first cousin once removed (if I understand how they count relatives).

I was quite interested in your detailed account and photographs of the exhumation process. Some of the photographs did not come through, apparently the link was broken. It was quite informative.

Our family is planning a memorial service to honor all the young children who perished this summer. A Panula relative will join us.

Thank you for your loving concern,
Carol Goodwin Goroff


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