Native American Haplogroup B2c Discovered in the Eastern US and Canada

Haplogroup B2 and subgroups are found among Native Americans and First Nations people in North, Central and South America.

However, occurrances of B2c, without a subgroup, are quite rare. In fact, outside of academic publications, I have only been able to find 4 individuals who are designed as haplogroup B2c that have been full sequence tested.  There are a few other candidates (at least two of which hail from the Chaco Canyon region,) but to confirm this haplogroup, one must test at the full sequence level at Family Tree DNA, the only testing company that tests the full mitochondria.

Haplogroup B2c

The second interesting part of this equation is that nearly all of haplogroup B2c with subgroups is found in the Southwest US or Mexico. However, three of the four instances of B2c (without subgroups) are NOT found in that region, but in the eastern US and Canada, as shown on the map above, where B2c (including subgroups) has never been previously found.

Individuals who will be designated as B2c at the full sequence level will be estimated as haplogroup B4’5 at the HVR1 or HVR1+HVR2 levels. The mutations that indicate B2c and other haplogroups downstream of B4’5 are found in the coding region, which is only tested by the full sequence test.

If you have only tested to the HVR1 or HVR2 level, and you match anyone with haplogroup B2c, please consider upgrading to the full sequence test. Your results could be both quite unique and very important to understanding the migration and settlement pattern of Native American ancestors.

I’ll be adding these findings to the haplogroup B2c group in the article, Native American Mitochondrial Haplogroups.

You can view more about haplogroup B2 at the Haplogroup B2 Project page here.



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37 thoughts on “Native American Haplogroup B2c Discovered in the Eastern US and Canada

    • I had my answer yesterday, as one of the B2c left a message in the French Heritage DNA Project. Her last known ancestress was born in 1640, so her line should have been there before French allies start to sell their prisoners of war as slaves, moving them from midwest into Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

  1. My husband, Eddie Garley – FTDNA project # 364475, is B4’5 based upon the HVR1-HVR2 test. He has two matches and both are B2. His maternal ancestors are from New Mexico. He thinks the cost of testing is high compared to meaningful results regarding both his ydna and mtdna results. But I may be able to convince him to upgrade to the full mtDNA when there is a good sale. Because we don’t know if his matches could be B2c, would it be useful for him to upgrade? Should he join the B group project? Thank you!

    • Haplogroup B requires the mutation (polymorphism) 16189C, B2 requires 16189C and 16217C. B2c requires 16189C, 16217C and 16182C. You can google a paper that explains this titled, A great diversity of Amerindian mitochondrial DNA ancestry is present in the Mexican mestizo population. Go to p. 697 and look for the Haplogroup B heading. If he’s B2, he is already First American/Native American. The area that B2 covers goes from the American southwest to South America. Knowing if you are B2c, might narrow the geography a bit, but studies about B2c seem to just be starting so it might be a few years before more is known. If you can afford the whole sequence, it will help add to the database if your husband knows where his native american ancestors were born.

  2. Completely off subject, but have you heard or have an idea of when MyOrigins 2.0 is coming out? Supposed to be this month, but could be later, I see quite a few anxious ftdna members waiting for this to be available on the ftdna forums. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  3. Thanks Roberta for this info. I am one of the people in the B2 project from Martin/Beaufort County, NC with the B2c haplogroup. I have been researching hoping to determine how my Native American grandmothers ended up in or near coastal North Carolina. I had no idea that this haplogroup was so rare. I guess that accounts for my very limited matches on Family Tree DNA. Thanks agan

  4. My Brother had his DNA Tested and he received Info indicating we are Native American by 45 Percent The Map he received shows we may have Originated all the way from Canada is This test good for all of the Family and if so How do I search for My Families Tribe?From what I was Told I am Apache I know there are different Bands so what can I do to start my search

  5. Why an mtDNA Hg B and X can’t be found in Northern Siberian and Alaska? Almost all of them (Chukchi, Siberian and Alaskan Inuit) have a lot of mtDNA Hg A (N Type), C and D (M Type), especially for Hg A? And why all of Native Americans (North and South) only have a Y Hg Q*-M242 and C3*-M217 and both of Y Haplogroups have quite distantly related. Q from Central Asia (descendants of the Middle Easterners Hg F*-M89 and K2*-M526) and C3 (descendants of Eurasian Adam Y Hg CT*-M168 and C*-M130) from Central China or some place in Northeast Asia, perhaps from around Lake Baikal or Amur River (Tunguska)?

  6. I just tested my DNA with 23andMe and my maternal haplogroup is B2c. I don’t know much about my mother’s side but I plan to figure it out in the upcoming future.

  7. I recently did full sequence testing with FamilyTree and found I belong to the Haplogroup B2c. My maternal ancestors were from New Mexico.

  8. Just had my DNA testing through 23andme and I am in Haplogroup B2c. I am still not clear what this means. Does this mean I am definitely Native American and potentially from the Southwest? Which tribes are in that area?

  9. Question:

    I was tested using 23 and Me with maternal haplogroup results of b2, but my son’s maternal haplogroup results came back as b2c. Could you please clarify why the differences in the haplogroup results…? Thank you.

    • It may have to do with when they were tested of locations that didn’t read. 23andMe is about 5 versions behind on their mtDNA tree. The only site that tests all of the locations is Family Tree DNA.

  10. Was tested by 23 & Me, just like my mother, and we have the B2c maternal haplogroup. After reading this article, it looks like one of your confirmed 4 cases of B2c is from the San Luis Potosi area of Mexico. That is where my maternal family is from. I would like to take the mtDNA test on, but not for $200.00 big ones. Maybe an arrangement could be made that lowers the cost for those with mtDNA which has research value – like a coupon code.

  11. Hi Roberta,
    I’m a B2c.
    I did the full sequencing test with family tree as did my niece. She did her test about two years ago. My mother was French Canadian and her maternal line are the Lescelles. She was born in the Ottawa valley. I had my daughter order the test so all the info came to her.(WHOOPS!) I haven’t been able to access the Adobe reader.

  12. I just got my results back from National Geographic (Helix) and they told me I am B2c, which completely amazes me, as I had no inkling I might have Native American ancestry. In doing my genealogy, my 5-greats grandmother in the all female line was Mary Holley (maiden name unknown), wife of Israel Holley. That couple moved from Orange County, New York to Greenbrier County, West Virginia (then Virginia) in the 1770s or 1780s. My “regional ancestry” according to Helix was all European, but I suppose if I had a Native American ancestor in the all female line who was Mary Holley’s great grandmother, any other Native American genes could have been completely swamped out by now.

  13. I just got back my 23andme results and it does show me as B2c. I suppose what got my attention is that it noted this to be uncommon unmoungst other 23andme customers. I’m now curious to know why this is?

    • I can’t really answer what that is at 23andMe, but I might speculate that they don’t have a lot of Native American results. If you take the full sequence mitochondrial DNA test at Family Tree DNA, you’ll receive a more specific haplogroup and you can join both the haplogroup B project, and the American Indian project, as well as any others that might be relevant for you.

  14. Both my son and I have done the full sequence mtDNA test at FTDNA and we are B2y, our earliest known ancestor is a Native American woman born in 1817 in Columbia County, WI. and died young c. 1836. These tribes were in WI at the time, Menominee, Ojibwe (Chippewa), Potawatomi, and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago). I just saw an article from 2018 about the Ancient Beringians and one of the infants found was haplogroup B2 (USR1). Wonder if there is a way to find out if more sequencing has been done to see if it is B2c or B2y?

  15. Hi I recently received 23andMe data showing my mtDNA haplogroup B2c which confirmed the documents and records of my Native American ancestors that my family already had. I would love to share the history and other data with you to discuss more!

  16. Hi, my child was tested through CRI genetics. His mDNA is U5b2a2c. His paternal haplo is J2. We know he has some indigenous ancestors, but don’t know how much. There were a few people identified from Columbia, Peru, Mexico and Puerto Rico from at least five generations back. We cannot rely on relatives to give us genealogical information I have heard that b and a and c can come from Europe as well. Is this specific combination indicative of native american ancestry? What is a good way (reasonably cost, or research study) to get more information on his native american background? We live in Ontario, Canada Thanks

    • Take the full mitochondrial sequence test at FamilyTree DNA. They provide a full haplogroup, matching and many tools.

  17. I just did the mtdna at family tree shows B2c. I have been working on my ancestry family tree and puts my family in Canada and the North East. The Native Indian I am showing in my tree are Wampanoag from Martha’s Vineyard or Neope as it was originally called and Metis this was from the Detroit River area when Canada still owned Michigan.

    This is some relief that my finding of Native Indian ancestry is correct given I B2c for Native Indian.

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