Swiss mummy identified as ancestor of British politician Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is related to an ancient mummified woman and the likeness is uncanny

The woman's body was found during renovations of the Barfuesser Church in the northwestern city of Basel in 1979. According to the channel, a DNA sample was taken and compared to living descendants of that line.

Local historians knew that members of Basel's wealthy families were buried in and around the Barf├╝sser Church.

Traces of mercury, a common treatment between the 15th and 19th century for syphilis, were found in the woman, leading researchers to believe she died of poisoning.

DNA extracted from the mummy's big toe gave an nearly certain probability she was Anna Catharina Bischoff of Basel born 1719, and died 1787.

A clergyman's wife, she "may have contracted syphilis while caring for patients with the sexually transmitted disease", says the BBC, explaining the mercury which preserved her body.

Newly discovered archives in 2017 led historians to suspect the mummy was of a well-established Basel family, the Bischoffs.




A syphilitic mummified corpse dating back to the 18th century has been identified as Anna Catharina Bischoff, the great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother of the foreign secretary.

She had seven children.

She married a church minister, and lived for much of her adult life in Strasbourg. Five generations of von Pfeffels later, and we find Marie Luise von Pfeffel marrying one Stanley Fred Williams.

Johnson once told the genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are that he was "the product of many countries" - and that he thought he was part Jewish, part French, part English, part American and part Turkish.

Ms Bischoff died in Basel in 1787 aged 68.

"This discovery means that Boris Johnson is not only distantly related, albeit very far removed, to the present Royal Family but also to all the royal houses of Europe, including the Swedish and Dutch royal families, as well as the Romanoffs", the BBC said at the time.

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