Analyzing the Native American Clovis Anzick Ancient Results

This ancient DNA truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Today, Felix Chandrakamur e-mailed me and told me that the Anzick results were not yet fully processed at Gedmatch when I performed a “compare to all.”  He knows this because he knows when he uploaded the results, and after they were finished, he ran the same compare and obtained vastly different results.  I am updating my original article to point to this one, so the data will be accurately reflected.

In fact, the results are utterly fascinating, take your breath away kind of fascinating.  Felix wrote an article about his findings, Clovis-Anzick-1 ancient DNA have matches with living people!

While finding what appear to be contemporary matches for the Anzick child may sound ho-hum, it’s not, and when you look at the results and the message they hold for us, it’s absolutely astounding.

Felix ran his comparison with default values of 7cM.  This is the threshold that is typically utilized as the line in the sand between “real” and IBS, matches – real meaning the results are and could be, if you could find your common ancestor, genealogically relevant.  In this case, that clearly isn’t true.

The exception to this rule is heavily admixed groups, such as Ashkenazi Jewish people who are related to every other Askhenazi Jewish person autosomally.  It seems, looking at these results, that this is the same situation we find with the 12,500 year old Anzick child and currently living people.  This population had to be painfully small for a very long time and the DNA had to exist in every person within that population group for it to be passed in segments this large to people living today.

After receiving Felix’s e-mail, of course, I had to go back and run the compares again.  In particular, I wanted to run the one to many, as he had.

I began at the 1cM level and noticed that I received exactly 1500 results, which seemed to me like a cutoff – not an actual number of matches.  So, I upped that threshold to 2, then 3, then 4, then 5, then 6, then finally to the default of 7.  It was only at 7, the IBS/IBD default, that the results were under the 1500 threshold, at 1466.

1466 current matches?????

This is absolutely amazing.  The Anzick child lived about 12,500 years ago in Montana.  How are 1466 matches to currently living people possible?

Many of these matches are to people from the southwest and Mexico today.  They are not, for the most part, from eastern Canada.

Let’s take a look at what we found.

In the 1466 results, as Felix mentioned, the closest matches match at current “cousin” levels to Anzick.  The highest 7 matches that show haplogroups are haplogroup Q1a3a.  Unfortunately, with the constant renaming of the haplogroups recently, it’s difficult to interpret the haplogroup exactly, which is why we’ve gone to SNP names.  Looking at some of the names and e-mails, several appear to carry Spanish surnames or be from Mexico or South America.

Of the 1466 results:

  • 2 were Y haplogroup C
  • 79 were Y haplogroup Q
  • 520 carried a mitochondrial DNA haplogroup of A, B, C, D, M or X
  • Of the 79 haplogroup Q carriers, 52 also carried a Native mitochondrial haplogroup.
  • A total 549 individuals out of 1466 carried at least one Native American haplogroup, or about 37.5%.  That’s amazingly high.

Of these closest matches who are Y haplogroup Q, they also all carry variant Native American mitochondrial DNA haplogroups as well, so these people may not be heavily admixed.  In other words, they may be almost “pure” Native American.

In order to test this theory, I entered the number of the kit that rated the highest in terms of total cM at 160.1 with the largest segment at 14.8.  You can click on the images to enlarge.


As you can see, this individual is very nearly 100% Native American.

The second individual on the list, who may be from Guatemala, also carries almost no admixture.


Of the highest 21 matches that listed any haplogroup information, all have either or both Native Y or mitochondrial DNA haplogroups.

Out of curiosity, I ran the first person on the list who had neither a Native American Y or mitochondrial haplogroup – both being European.

As you can see, below, they are still clearly heavily Native American, but clearly admixed.


I moved to the last person of the 1466 on this list whose DNA matched at a total of 7cM, who did not carry a Native haplogroup.  This individual, below, is more heavily admixed.

anzick 3.5

Lastly, I ran the same admixture tool on the last person, who had a total of 7cM matching that did have a Native American mitochondrial haplogroup.


Not surprisingly, the individual with almost no non-Native admixture is much more likely to carry the ancient segments in higher percentages than the individuals who are admixed.   This again strongly suggests that at one point, these segments were present in an entire group of Native people and may still be present in very high numbers in people who carry no admixture.

Out of curiosity, and assuming that these first two individuals are not known to be related to each other, I ran them against each other in a one to one comparison.

There were no matches at the default values, but by dropping them just a little, to 5cM and 500 SNPs, they match on 6 segments.


It looks like they should match on chromosome 17 at the 700 SNP/7 cM default threshold.

At 200 SNPs and 2cM, there were 67 segments.  These are clearly ancient in nature and size, but matching just the same.  By lowering the threshold to 100 SNPs and 1cM, they share a whopping 990 segments.

Indeed, these two men very clearly share a lot of population specific DNA from the ancient people of the New World, including that of Anzick male child who lived in Montana 12,500 years ago.



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155 thoughts on “Analyzing the Native American Clovis Anzick Ancient Results

  1. I have a gedmatch of 22 matching segments with the largest being 5.9 cm. my dna is 40% native american – all of it i presume recently anyway from peru. kit number M829890

    • MRCA means most recent common ancestor and 6 means an estimate of 6 generations. But estimates are just that, estimates and they can be wrong. They are seldom exactly right. I would strongly suggest that you contact Jennifer Zinck at and arrange for a one hour tutorial session so that she can help you learn about all the technical stuff so you can understand what you are seeing, and more importantly, what it means to you.

    • Not really. 7cM has a good chance of being a valid match, but may also be by chance. If you have living parents, or relatives, see if they match you and Anzick on the same segment.

      • My mom and I match on the 12 chromosome at 7cM, I also have a 2nd cousin who matches on the 17 chromosome at 7cM. If mom and child match, does that mean it’s a valid match?

        • No, it may just mean that you inherited that segment from her. It may have occurred in her by chance.

  2. So I ended up looking into ancient relatives and I am related to Clovis Montana and I used my raw dna data in the ancient calculator to determine how much dna we shared. It said 9.48% My ethinicity does not show native American on any dna sites but my biological grandmother and my birth mother have family records and connections.
    My question is since I share 9.48% with Clovis through dna, would this tie in with my mothers family ethinictiy issue

      • Is there a way to share the screenshot of the percentage of my DNA to his? I’m trying to understand what this even means if I share this.

      • I don’t know much of this how situation and I’m new to DNA but I used the ancient calculator selected Clovis and uploaded my raw data to compare and the total says 9.48%, if you have knowledge about this topic would you please email me so I can send you what I have, if you don’t mind. My email is and anyone can email me about this I’m just as curious lol

          • I went threw gedmatch, used the tool of ancient matches for fun came across Clovis Montana as a high match and I click learn more then used the tool ancient calculator from gedmatch

          • GedMatch shows the threshold at half a cM. Normally, anything less than 7cM is considered probably a match by chance, and not ancestral. Raise the threshold and see what you share. The Ancient Calculator you are referring to is not on GedMatch. You’ve clicked through to another site. I won’t download executable code onto my computer, but I can tell you that to share 9% of your DNA would make you between a first cousin and a first cousin once removed. That’s just not possible. Some people misinterpret decimal points too, so I don’t know what is happening, but I do know that what you are describing just isn’t possible.

          • Ok so how do I find out exactly what I share with him if this isn’t correct. I want to research this but I want to make sure I’m doing this correctly.

          • Compare the Anzick kit number on GedMatch to your kit, doing a one to one comparison. Leave the threshold at the default level. That will tell you if you have a reasonable match. If you don’t have a match at between 5 and 7cM then it’s likely that the matching is by chance. I don’t know what the Ancient Calculator, not found on the GedMatch site, is doing, but guaranteed you don’t share 9% of your DNA with Anzick. That would be between a first cousin and first cousin once removed. Even the closest living match today who is tribally enrolled and from a far northern tribe (or South American) meaning very little admixture doesn’t match that closely. The problem is with the Ancient Calculator. I dropped your threshold level using the kit in your e-mail to 3cM and 300 SNPs, which is extremely low and even at that threshold, you had no matches with Anzick. I’m sorry for this confusion, but I do understand why you were confused.

    • Hi Nicole, I found out that I am related {via gedmatch} to someone who is reported on American Indian research site as having actual clovis anzick 1. (A2e – Clovis (Anzick) specimen)
      The ancient calculator was created by Felix Immanuel, a man who know his stuff and has programs on Gedmatch.
      But there is certainly a bug in that program. It is showing me as 12.9.
      Since I have similar results that are 1.2, that is more likely.
      You can try the program Ancient Ancestry at the same site.
      Great site Roberta, I have learned so much from it!

      • Here is a better explanation from the Ancient DNA creator himself.
        “Felix explains, “The tool checks for small segments chunks within the DNA to see how much they are identical. You need to remove the genealogical perspective and put on the general idea that every human is 99.7% identical. This tool tells you how much of that 0.3 is identical. Instead of SNP by SNP, which mostly match each other by 60 to 70%, it checks smaller chunks of identical segments.”

  3. Wow, I did my maternal DNA with Ancestry. The results were “The Seafarers Haplogroup M.” I have been conducting family genealogy along with a cousin since 2002. However, I have been doing this for 40 years plus. When I met my cousin, he opened up deeper insight about my mother’s people. There is oral history about many of our family members being Native American Indians but I have yet to find concrete data to support this. However, prayerfully I believe my grandmother was Cherokee. I have a friend who turned out to be a cousin who kept saying I looked like her people not knowing for 4 years that she was indeed a distant cousin. Her family are Choctaw Indians.

    As for my father, (his paternal DNA The Artisans R1b) dad would tell me several times we were Blackfoot. I dunno. But I believe my Haplogroup M ancestors may have been Native American through the Bering Strait, my theory not proven yet.

    My son recently took the Ancestry DNA test and gifted me with the same for Christmas. I haven’t gotten my results back yet. But in looking his report, I believe it confirms both the maternal and paternal DNA test taken by myself and my brother. I sure would love to know the truth about my family DNA.

    I can be reached at The old email no longer exist.

    Thank you


  4. Clovis Anzick-1 shows 16.08% for me … used ancient calculator found on GedMatch. WHAT would be the TRUE amount shared? My heritage shows about 1% Siberian, Beringian about 0.87%, about 2.07% American Indian, Arctic American Indian about 0.56%. Lots of North Eastern Europe. Why do the results show 16.08? My Dad’s side was Polish (Jewish) and European mix. My Mother’s side had more records and I am registered in a tribe from the Eastern USA. Help please.

  5. Hi Roberta, I compared my DNA to Anzick Child on GedMatch and it showed MRCA = 5.1 and 1,113 SNPs at the default 7 cM. I am 40% Native American. The odd part is that I also compared my parents’ DNA with Anzick and they show no matches. DNA confirms they are my parents, so that is not the issue lol. Just wondering if you have seen this before or know what may be going on here? Thanks!

      • Yes I am in Family Tree DNA database, but didn’t see the Ancient DNA project listed. Is it because I only purchased the Autosomal? I will have to upgrade to see the “Ancient DNA” project?

          • Edwin used to be more closely related to the original Clovis, but he is still related to this version:

            Comparing Kit M174237 (Edwin Buffington) and F999919 (Clovis, Montana, 12.5ky)

            Minimum threshold size to be included in total = 500 SNPs
            Mismatch-bunching Limit = 250 SNPs
            Minimum segment cM to be included in total = 7.0 cM

            Chr Start Location End Location Centimorgans (cM) SNPs
            22 34,237,826 37,019,252 7.2 1,095
            Largest segment = 7.2 cM
            Total of segments > 7 cM = 7.2 cM
            1 matching segments
            Estimated number of generations to MRCA = 7.5

            844859 SNPs used for this comparison.

      • My haplogroup Mother’s side is T2C1b or T2C1d, Not common at all or helpful. Don’t know my Dad’s side, he and my brother have passed.

    • Thank you for the information, Roberta. Sorry just seeing your response now. I see that someone else responded on 4/15 appearing to be me, but that was not me and is kind of creepy! I am not on Family Tree DNA but will join and contact you. Thank you for your help!

      • I’m another Nancy… had questions new to this site. You can call me the Polish Nancy if that helps 🙂

  6. Hi Roberta, I’m wondering what would constitute IBS in dealing with ancient remains. I tested myself against Clovis Anzick, and got the following:

    Chr5: 3.7 cM (292 SNPs)
    Chr8: 3.6 cM (304 SNPs) and 3.9cM (466 SNPs)
    Chr15: 3.5cM (720 SNPs) and 3.3cM (291 SNPs)
    Chr17: 3cM (162 SNPs)
    Chr20: 3.1cM (157 SNPs)
    X: 3.1 cM (202 SNPs) and 3.1 cM (84 SNPs)

    Since these are several small segments, I’m wondering if this is more likely to be IBS rather than IBD?


  7. I admin my (adopted) friends dna family search. 2 years into this search.
    On ftdan, she tests at 140cm with Clovis Anzick. As a 2nd-3rd cousin!!! 11 largest block
    Clovis is her 8th highest match.
    And as an X-match, B2a1 maternal haplogroup.
    Y is unknown by also from New Mexico area.
    Oh, and she tests as:
    70% Native American on Ancestry
    64.7% NA on 23andme
    0% NA on myheritage ???
    All a big surprise since she is adopted. She is uploaded to ftdna, myheritage, gedmatch, genesis.
    What does this mean.. that her maternal line is almost pure?? Being she’s upto 70% Native, both parents obviously were very high.

  8. I’m trying to figure out whether my ancient DNA results are significant. I had my DNA done with Ancestry. I have uploaded to GEDMatch, as have several of my cousins.

    My DNA results don’t show any Native American or Black ancestry.

    I can’t see any numeric values on the “GEDmatch Archaic Matches” page, but I seem to have strong matches in all 22 segments on Clovis-Anzick and Ust-Ishim (as well as several Russian and European matches).

    We were told by my grandfather that one of my paternal great-grandmothers was “half Indian,” either Choctaw or Cherokee. (My grandfather didn’t know her personally, as she was his wife’s mother and had died young.) My father grew up with the story that his maternal grandmother was half Indian. He said all her children (his mother, aunts, and uncle) looked like they were part Indian.

    I have done a lot of traditional genealogy. The “Indian” great-grandmother was born in Mississippi. I have traced her parents to Alabama and Kentucky and one set of her grandparents to North Carolina. None of them have been documented as Indians.

    Does the Clovis match indicate I might indeed have Native American ancestors?

  9. I just found this and decided to try it… On the one to one I had to narrow it to 2 for it to show up.. Largest segment = 2.4 cM
    Total of segments > 2 cM = 2.4 cM
    1 matching segments

    Is that meaningless or does is mean small?

  10. My 1st cousin and I are MRCA 6.7 to Anzick child I have been working on our family tree for over 10 years and have been able to find and trace out our family connection to the late 1500’s in Mexico and New Mexico area. Our Y DNA is R-BY3483 My gedmatch QK9183563 and my cousin Richard Ramirez PJ3183330
    Thanks for all your hard work Roberta.

    Efrain Ramirez

    • as far as I can tell you and your cousin are related to me however, you have a heavy Northern European blood line as well and match to my Mother’s side (Non-Native side) however there is a line of Ramirez in my family tree out of Mexico and they do hold a Northern native blood line (USA being the Northern part) as Apaches we did not use the European/American borders and well our family stretch over most of the North American Continent. and I have seen the European YDNA marker R-BY3483 in quite a few Native family’s but more so from the mixed European lines.

  11. my grandson is 10 CM of clovis child and 25% native American. but no ideal if he can qualitfy as native American as we do not know what tribe to apply

    • Tribes do not accept DNA. You’ll need to do his genealogy. 25% Native American would be about one grandparent.

  12. Hi Roberta,
    Are you still answering questions on this thread? I just got my mtDNA results from FTDNA and joined the NA groups. But I have some questions about my haplogroup.

  13. Some of my admixtures(?) show less than 1% native, but my ancient DNA is almost completely absent of Neanderthal, even at 50 SNPs. But I show matches to a lot of ancient samples at 1cM to 4cM. My Clovis shows the following:

    Chr B37 Start Pos’n B37 End Pos’n Centimorgans (cM) SNPs
    2 131,112,330 133,342,529 3.1 220
    Chr B37 Start Pos’n B37 End Pos’n Centimorgans (cM) SNPs
    5 162,957,627 165,010,625 3.1 381
    Chr B37 Start Pos’n B37 End Pos’n Centimorgans (cM) SNPs
    16 17,437,934 19,161,210 3.5 198
    Chr B37 Start Pos’n B37 End Pos’n Centimorgans (cM) SNPs
    20 4,826,400 5,677,793 4.1 219
    20 6,873,246 8,220,069 3.5 329
    20 58,294,835 59,002,996 3 201

    Most of my European relatives came over between 1600 and 1700, and most were French immigrating to Canada. From Genealogy I already know I am connected to a lot of Metis families. I am finding at different sites that I have a lot of matches to Ancient DNA samples, and as above with the Clovis, they are bits and pieces of multiple chromosomes. I even show a slight match to Ust-Isham (45000 yr old sample) Chr 20 at 5cM. At what point does a match move from chance to probable?

    • With ancient samples, it has to be by population. Over 7 Cm but still it’s very dicey. We see IBC matches of more than 15 cM. Read my article about endogamy that I just published about how this happens.

  14. I am really confused, my kit has segment matches to F999919 & F999970 I think & my kit is A224297 according to the GedMatch Archaic Matches page? I have AmerIndian & Beringian in my chromosomes according to several of the charts on GedMatch to, I’m confused with all this, does this mean I had ancient ancestors that were Native??

    • Those are generally very small segment matches that are identical by chance. If the match is not over 7 cM, it’s likely not real.

    • Roberta is correct to a point; I do find that if the small matches are there it just incidental but if they exist in conjunction with large amounts then Yes. I further found by comparing my family’s DNA that I can now estimate the approximate amount of heritage by the total amount of cMs, (compared 139 relatives with known Heritage amounts)

  15. I have over a 5CM match with Clovis, but then noticed in this article you’re saying it’s likely an ancient DNA bottle-neck thing and so more likely IBC. However, then I noticed some of your comments saying that if you have parents/grandparents matching same segments, may not be IBC.

    For me, not sure what to make of my situation, as oddly, although no matches at 5CM for either parent, nor for my maternal grandfather, I DO match an entire segment with my paternal grandmother and has 5CM match level w/Clovis Montana boy. What’s interesting, is that the ‘segment’ that we share our match a good-sized segment with each other, is also on our last chromosome (so I think it’s the X chromosome). If that’s what it is, not sure if that means anything, so just curious what you think, and if still likely just some really coincidental case of IBC.

    Also, I don’t have any known Native American ancestors but it is not outside the realm of possibility, as most my family has been in the US since Colonial times, and we have branches with brick walls in areas with Native American populations since my family kept coming out West before court houses came West, and not a lot of people out where they were when they came there except Native Americans. So there’s that, plus my paternal grandmother’s 2nd great grandfather was also an Indian ‘sub-agent’ who got appointed by the main US Indian agent of the territory who was appointed to his position by the president of the US at the time. My 3rd great grandfather also spoke their language and had good relationship with them. I don’t know how he learned their language unless lots of contact over the years. So anyways, I thought this Clovis thing meant we also were part Native American as well and that we just haven’t found the particular ancestor passing down this DNA yet, but now I’m not so sure…it kind of sounds like it’s just one huge fluke.

    • The X chromosome match needs to be about twice as large as the other chromosomes to be relevant. So very likely IBC.

  16. Just read a very interesting article, Ancient and modern genomics of the Ohlone Indigenous population of California. Using autosomal DNA to prove the Ohlone tribe did not go extinct in the 1920’s. Link to the article: and supplementary information https://10.1073/pnas.2111533119 that includes a chart of haplogroups of the 8 individuals from the Síi Túupentak archaeological site, 6 individuals from the Rummey Ta Kuččuwiš Tiprectak site.

  17. The website where Felix had his paper isn’t responding. Might he have a new and improved site?

  18. I ran one of my son’s DNA through the GED Match Archaic Match tool @ 6cm and it showed he matched Clovis Man on 2 different segments. He is a little over 1/4 Native and an enrolled member of a remote federally recognized tribe here in WA state. I’m going to run his dad’s DNA through as he is exactly 1/2 Native. My late MIL (husband’s mom) was full blood. I think the DNA Match maybe strong with them as they were isolated from settlers until the early 1900’s and had little admixture until recently, with many members still being full blood Native.

  19. I recently ran my results in comparison to the Clovis Montana kit on GEDMATCH but I’m unsure about how to read the results and/or if they are significant. I matched on 2 segments.

    Chr 7: 9 cMs / 326 SNPs
    Chr 11: 7.2 cMs / 397 SNPs

    • It means it’s by chance. With the age of the remains, that’s the only option unless you know you’re positively Native American on those segments and then it would be a population based match.

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