Announcing the Native American Haplogroup C DNA Project

Sitting Bull

Marie Rundquist and I would like to announce the formation of the Native American Haplogroup C project, titled Y-DNA Haplogroup C-P39 Project.

Native American males who descend from direct paternal ancestors who crossed the Bering land bridge from Asia some 10,000+ years ago fall into one of two haplogroups, or genetic clans.  One is haplogroup Q and the other is haplogroup C.

Since both haplogroup Q and haplogroup C are found among Asians, not everyone with these haplogroups in the Americas are Native Americans – only certain subgroups identified by specific mutations that occurred shortly before, during or shortly after the migration process.

In order to group Native American descendants together to better study these haplogroups and to coordinate their genealogies, we have created a haplogroup C project just for people who are Native American descendants.

Native Americans who carry haplogroup C are indeed quite rare and are identified by a special mutation, a SNP marker, known as P39, within haplogroup C.  This haplogroup subgroup is also known by the name C3b.

We would like to invite all men who are haplogroup C and carry mutation P39, or anyone who is haplogroup C and has a family history of paternal line Native ancestry to join the project.

You may recognize the names of the administrators.  If not, let me introduce them.

Marie Rundquist’s Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia Project has rewritten the history of the Native American’s who married into the Acadian families in Canada beginning in the 1600s and before the Acadian deportation and scattering in 1755.  I wrote about the extremely interesting Acadian Germain Doucet family who, it turns out, is haplogroup C3b.  In addition, Marie, an Acadian and Native descendant herself, is an author.  Her book, Finding Anne Marie details another discovery of a Native American ancestor in an Acadian family.

I too am a Native American descendant from several different genealogical lines, including, ironically, the Acadian Doucet line.  I have been involved with Native American genetic genealogy since dinosaurs roamed the earth.  Ok, not quite that long, but since this science was taking its first tentative steps, about 12 years now.  I manage and co-manage several DNA projects that involve or are dedicated to Native American heritage.  I, along with others, was a partner in the revolutionary 2010 Native American SNP discovery.

Genetic advances and discoveries relevant to Native history and genealogy are regularly covered on my blog,  It’s searchable, just enter the word “Native” into the search box.  In addition, I maintain a historical focus on the Native people through the Native Names project which is focused on extracting the earliest names of Native people found in colonial documents.  To date, they number over 30,000 individuals and over 8,000 surnames.  Adventures in this project and a wide range of Native history are discussed on my blog,

Both administrators come to you with years of genealogy and genetic experience.  We welcome project members as well as questions anyone might have.  We’re excited to be threads in the tapestry of unfolding history and hope you will join us.

26 thoughts on “Announcing the Native American Haplogroup C DNA Project

  1. I am really glad to see this happening. I would love for my brothers to test for my Spurlin family for the native American side we know must be but cannot prove. All of my research has been on my maternal side.

  2. Good morning, I wish there was a way that I could reconcile what the paper trails say may be in my line with what my dna test showed me. My paper trails show native american in both my parents lines. My mothers’ line also showed the possibilty of both Native American and African. My fathers mother, also has an Acadian ancestor from Quebec area. She was my 12 great grandmother. All along I have wanted to know what is in my dna lines. This is the reason that I took a dna test in the first place, that said, I was dissappointed in that I still do not know what I started out to know in the first place. I am disabled and the test was a hardship money wise and if you spent that money and still have not gotten the info that you wanted in the first place, then it was a waste of money. Understanding the scientific aspects of dna testing is hard for laymen to start with, but if I had the testing to do, knowing what I know now, I would not have done it.

    • You didn’t mention which tests you took. If you took the autosomal tests, you can download your raw data file and upload it to GedMatch (when it comes back online) and look for Native there. That is what my series “The Autsomal Me” is about – how to do that.

      • Thanks for answering. As I said, i have a disability that makes it hard to understand the science writing. I took the test for the least expensive marker test and then later did an upgrade to the next level. All I have ever wanted from the dna testing was to prove or disprove my Native American possibilities. My dna testing was on the Y gene, and it showed me that my dads line was from Lyme-Regis line of Humphreys, which was proved out in the early part of the 20th century, even before computers. My 2 aunts and a cousin also took the testing but they tested on the mitochondrial dna. These tests only showed European halpo groups. I don’t know if further tests would have found the native dna, but all we found out was what we already knew about ourselves and our European line. We wasted a lot of money to find out nothing more than we already knew. I don’t mean for this to sound like a gripe, but my expectations were certainly not met by this testing.

  3. For many years, It has been usual in my family, to be under the impression that there were several instances of native american marriages. If I am understanding this correctly, if there are no haplogroups of C or Q then this is not true that there were native americans in my family. Our haplogroups are T for the maternal dna and R1b for the paternal dna.

    • What this means Caroline is that these two specific lines, and only these two, were not Native. It only pertains to the direct line. So on the paternal line, the male line only, the father, his father, his father – it says nothing about their wives, so that line could well have Native ancestry – just not from the direct male in that line. Same for the mitochondrial line. Take a look at this blog posting to discuss the different types of DNA testing and how they pertain to Native ancestry.

  4. Why are you testing only males?
    I am a female whose mitochondrial DNA haplogroup is C4.
    My grandmother was a full blooded Lakota from Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. And yes I do have her government documented geneology chart going back to the early-mid 1800’s.

    • There is a mitochondrial C project as well. But there was not a Native American Y DNA haplogroup C project previously. Men with haplogroup C cannot join the mtdna C project and vice versa as they are different kinds of DNA.

  5. My grandpa is apache indian he served in the air force its documented that he was assigned for certain task because he is apache and speaked apache im his grandaughter from his first daughter i would like to know how i can get tested and get benefits

    • You need to contact the Apache tribe and ask about their tribal requirements for citizenship. DNA testing is not accepted to the best of my knowledge. Every tribe sets their own criteria.

  6. Hello,

    I’m of Native American descent but I guess I cannot belong to your group because I derive my Native American descent from my mother which is haplogroup C. I’m happy though that you started this project. I would like to know something though. Is it logical to perceive that if my ancestral mother was of haplogroup C, who came across the Bering Straight some 10,000 years ago, shouldn’t my ancestral father who came across with her also be of Haplogroup C? Certainly I had Native American fathers or I wouldn’t be writing this. Would like your thoughts. Richard

  7. Please help. I’m told my grandmas mom is full Lakota. I have pics of her riding horses til age 75. I’m said to be like her. Her name is Lizzie and the other side if my dad’s family denies there who be any Indian as they have a presidential document of my great great grand father johnathan cadwaletr hock fighting Indians in the Calvary . I feel lost. Please let me know how I can get a test. I was told Utah records would never show native heritage as it was a time of discrimination against natives.

  8. Hi: I joined the blog trying to understand my mtDNA haplogroup C results.
    16051G, 16223T, 16298C, 16325C, 16327T, 16335G, 16519C.
    It happens that my mothers side appears in Puerto Rico (Caribbean Islands) since 1850’s. The last woman I found was named Maria Eleuteria Fosis or Fossi. I found she was married to a man from Canary Island (Spain) named Jose Gutierrez Lozada. The surname Fosis is Italian. First I thought that we may have some native blood from Taino indians originals form Puerto Rico, but these group have mutations I do not share. My results a simple Haplogroup C. I’m trying to find people in America with only Haplogroup C as I read C is extremely rare in Europe – I have records from the rest of my family that I can trace directly to Europe (Spain, England, France and Italy) back to the America’s Discovery. As you may know – Spaniards were very good with records and give full information in each document up to grandparents and born place.

    If someone is from the C haplogroup, please contact me –

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  10. Mine came back as C4 Maternal like 26%. Does this mean on my moms side some one was full blooded Indian.

    • Mitochondrial DNA only applies to that one line, so you don’t get a percentage of mtDNA. Not sure where you got the percentage. If you are interested in a quick consult, I would be glad to do one for you.

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  13. My grandmother’s haplogroup was tested as C and we have a history of Native American. Is this group still looking people with haplo C? I’m about 6 yrs late in finding this article. Thank you.

    • This is an article for a male haplogroup. Please join the American Indian project at Family Tree DNA.

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