Archiver > SWITZERLAND > 2010-04 > 1270331372

From: "Wolf Seelentag" <>
Subject: [SWITZERLAND] "Theo, der Pipe Smoker" - a DNA research project
Date: Sat, 3 Apr 2010 23:58:24 +0200
In-Reply-To: <75823F54-CE8D-49FF-90C8-560FE3742E01@aol.com>

During a special exhibition in 2007 the Basel Natural History Museum invited
the population to join the search for the identity of a dead man. Background
of this unusual invitation were a skeleton, some 200 years old and with an
eye catching set of teeth, and several burial records of the church
St.Theodor in Kleinbasel. Nothing was known about the person, neither his
name nor his profession. Only his teeth indicated that he was an ardent pipe
smoker. Due to this he was given the fictitious name "Theo, der

Starting with 4334 historical persons, it was possible during 3 years of
intensive research to reduce the number of potential candidates for Theo to

Together with the THEO working group of the Genealogic-Heraldic Society of
the Basel Region, the family trees of these 12 Theo candidates were
compiled. These include 15 descendants, all born around 1900: the aim is now
to find living descendants of Theo, in order to determine the correct
identity of Theo, based on a DNA intercomparison.

This is an international project, trying to show that the interdisciplinary
cooperation between natural sciences and genealogy may help to find the true
identity of a, so far, anonymous skeleton. Furthermore, the results of this
interdisciplinary research will be incorporated in a publication,
intelligible to all, on the everyday life of an underclass person during the
early 19th century - a topic which is not yet well researched.

For further information (including links to the family trees mentioned
above) visit
(scroll down for the English version)
In the forum you are invited to publish your comments and/or questions: the
project leaders read this forum. Contributions in English are welcome - you
can read the forum as guest, but have to register (free of charge and
without any obligation) to post.

I wish you an enjoyable Easter Weekend, and send my best regards - Wolf
Wolf Seelentag, Ph.D.
Reherstr. 19
CH - 9016 St.Gallen
+41 (0) 71 - 288 51 21

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