VIDEO: Smithsonian, St. Luke’s personnel talk bones buried beneath 17th century church
Published 3:12 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Smithsonian Institution personnel traveled to Isle of Wight County last week to exhume the remains of Anne Randall, a 17th century woman buried beneath St. Luke’s Church.
Smithsonian personnel had worked in 2007 with 12th-generation descendants of the late Col. Joseph Bridger, who died in 1686, to exhume and study his remains, but found only the top of Bridger’s skull, his jaw, and a few other bones.
The remaining 80% of Bridger’s remains weren’t three miles away at his former White Marsh plantation, where he’d originally been interred. Doug Owsley, a Smithsonian curator, believes the remaining bones may have been mistakenly interred with Randall, who may have been related by marriage to Bridger.
The Smithfield Times profiled the archeological dig on Jan. 23.