Mummified physique in Switzerland is Boris Johnson relative

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New analysis has found her identity: Anna Catharina Bischoff, an 18th-century clergyman's wife, and distant ancestor of UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

The preserved body, which was unearthed decades ago in Basel, Switzerland, has been given a definitive identity for the first time after extensive research.

At the time she was alive, doctors believed mercury could help treat syphilis, but it was much more likely to have hastened her death.

She's his great-great-great-great-great-great-great grand mummy.

Boris Johnson has yet to comment on the discovery of his long lost relative, but he is certainly aware of the von Pfeffel connections, having once told the BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are? that they were "posh toffs".

Another clue: her body was riddled with mercury - a standard treatment for syphilis from the late 15th to the 19th Century.

Unlike other bodies discovered the renovations of the church she had no record and no gravestone, meaning that scientists had little idea who she might be.

Experts suspected she came from a wealthy family as numerous city's richest residents were buried in churches like Barüsser.

The key to finding out who she was came in 2017, when Swiss archives were uncovered showing the body had been exhumed once before - in 1843.

Using the most up to date methods, scientists were able to extract DNA material from the mummy's big toe.

But over 40 years later, DNA experts have finally revealed the woman is Anna Catharina Bischoff - one of the UK's Foreign Secretary's ancestors.

Once her identity had been established, genealogists set to work tracing her family tree, which they found stretched as far afield as the US.

Anna Catharina had seven children, but only two survived childhood. Her only daughter was Anna, who married Christian Hubert Baron Pfeffel von Kriegelstein.

Skipping five generations of Pfeffel von Kreigelstein's, the historians discovered Marie Luise von Pfeffel married Stanley Fred Williams. Her body had very high mercury levels, which is why she was so well-preserved.

Johnson is related to Anna Bischoff through the lineage of his father, Stanley Johnson, according to the BBC.



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