A New Zealand rancher, Brian Dunlop, has found his great-grandson who had long been missing from British records, thanks to new DNA techniques pioneered in Singapore.
Dunlop had been searching for his great-grandson Adrian Dunlop-Pommier, but was on the lookout for a potential match in the British records. When the head cowman came across a farm in Western Australia that looked similar to his late great-grandson’s on the website Queensland farms, he immediately knew.
What excited Dunlop even more is that Dunlop’s great-grandson was also descended from John and Gertrude Dunlop, one of the most important figures in Auckland’s cattle industry.
“I am absolutely staggered by the precision of the DNA technology being developed here in Singapore and this is just the beginning,” Dunlop told Auckland’s Stuff.
Dunlop spoke to Queensland farms’ director Michael Williams, who served as a researcher when he was a zoologist. Williams, who now specializes in using DNA technology to identify Australian descendants of extinct cattle species, was then able to help Dunlop search through the Australian Database of Airedales and Kiwis in New Zealand. “It took a lot of effort to figure out where he might be,” Williams told Newshub, commenting on Dunlop’s quest. “We scanned the geography, look at land records and then do the full search on the Airedale and Kiwi and present it to Brian.”
And after weeks of further research using the database, Dunlop discovered his New Zealand ranch had produced two more daughters, also named Carol and Lorraine. Dunlop believes that the DNA from each calf will help track down the year the family patriarch died.
The day Dunlop discovered his connection, he also attended the funeral of Bob Althees and John Laing, two of the founding members of Queensland farms, a trailblazing project in 1973 to provide land for commercial purposes to cattle farmers. “They are irreplaceable,” Dunlop said of the pioneering cattlemen. “I have been trying for three years to find my grandson, I am sharing their legacy of love for cows.”
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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