Smithsonian Studies Shriver Family Ancestors in D.C.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For almost two centuries D.C.'s Congressional Cemetery has been the final resting place for people whose names can be found in the history books. The renovation of a tomb at risk of collapse uncovered remains of ancestors of the Shriver family. News4's Derrick Ward explains. (Published Wednesday, Jun 11, 2014)

    Anthropologists from the Smithsonian have been analyzing the remains of 16 ancestors buried in the 1800s who were related to the Shriver family that more recently included a sister to President John F. Kennedy.

    The human remains had been buried in a historic tomb at Washington's Congressional Cemetery that was in danger of collapse. They will be reinterred Wednesday in a renovated tomb after a memorial service with members of the Shriver family.

    “This is all a big discovery,” Anthony Paul Kennedy Shriver said. “My dad was a great historian of the family, but we as children did not know we had great-great-great-grandparents at the Congressional Cemetery. We didn’t even know this cemetery was here.”

    Smithsonian anthropologists plan to release their findings looking at what life was like for people in the nation's capital in the 19th century.

    The Shriver family ancestors are related to Sargent and Eunice Kennedy Shriver and their children including journalist and former California first lady Maria Shriver and Timothy Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics.