Helen Kramer claimed to be a survivor of the Titantic crash. She said that she was Lorraine Allison, who was two at the time of the crash.
Kramer came forward years after the crash to claim that she was Lorraine, and to try to be accepted into the Allison family, which is wealthy.
That claim has been sustained by Kramer’s own descendants following her death, reported the Daily Telegraph.
The campaign has turned bitter over the years, and includes restraining orders, accusations of harassment, and other actions.
But the Lorraine Allison Identification Project, established by a group of Titanic enthusiasts (known as Titanicologists), arranged for DNA from both the descendants of Kramer and the Allison family.
The DNA tests found that there was no genetic link.
The decades-long claim by the Kramer family is now being described as a hoax.
Lorraine was traveling with her parents Hudson and Bess, and her seven month old brother Trevor. All were thought to have perished in the crash.
Kramer’s claim included selling posters, mugs, and mats highlighting her argument that she belonged to the Allison family.
If it would have been established, she would have been eligible to inherit some of the family’s wealth.
David Allison, grandson of Hudson’s brother Percy Allison, told the Telegraph that though the Allisons never accepted the claim, it caused them stress. “
“It forced my ancestors to relive painful memories described to me as immeasurable sorrow and unending grief,” he said.
“I would like to thank Deanne Jennings and Sally Kirkelie for offering their DNA to stop this harassment. This was a courageous, selfless act, and I will remain forever indebted for their act of kindness.”
Tracy Oost, a forensic scientist at Laurentian University in Canada and a Titanic researcher, spearheaded the identification project. “It is good to have a resolution here, but we mustn’t forget that this is all about one of the more tragic of tales to come from the Titanic,” Oost said. “The only mystery that remains now is who was Helen Kramer.”