Daniels-Higginbotham,J.; Gorden,E.M.; Farmer,S.K.; Spatola,B.; Damann,F.; Bellantoni,N.; Gagnon,K.S.; delaPuente,M.; Xavier,C.; Walsh,S.; Parson,W.; McMahon,T.P.; Marshall,C.;
In 1990 in Griswold, Connecticut, archaeologists excavated a burial found in a “skull and crossbones” orientation. The lid of the 19th century coffin had brass tacks that spelled “JB55”, the initials of the person lying there and age at death. JB55 had evidence of chronic pulmonary infection, perhaps tuberculosis. It is possible that JB55 was deemed a vampire due to his disease, and therefore had to be “killed” by mutilating his corpse. In an attempt to reveal the identity of JB55, DNA testing was performed. Ancestry informative single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis using the Precision ID Ancestry Panel indicated European ancestry. A full Y-chromosomal short tandem repeat (Y-STR) profile was obtained, belonging to haplogroup R1b. When the Y-STR profile was searched in the publicly accessible FamilyTreeDNA R1b Project website, the two closest matches had the surname “Barber”. A search of historical records led to a death notice mentioning John Barber, whose son Nathan Barber was buried in Griswold in 1826. The description of Nathan Barber closely fits the burial of “NB13,” found near JB55. By applying modern forensic DNA tools to a historical mystery, the identity of JB55 as John Barber, the 19th century Connecticut vampire, has been revealed.
Genes (Basel) 2019 10: