DNA for Native American Genealogy – Hot Off the Press!

Drum roll please…my new book, DNA for Native American Genealogy, was just released today, published by Genealogical.com.

I’m so excited! I expected publication around the holidays. What a pleasant surprise.

This 190-page book has been a labor of love, almost a year in the making. There’s a lot.

  • Vendor Tools – The book incorporates information about how to make the best use of the autosomal DNA tools offered by all 4 of the major testing vendors; FamilyTreeDNA, MyHeritage, Ancestry, and 23andMe.
  • Chromosome Painting – I’ve detailed how to use DNAPainter to identify which ancestor(s) your Native heritage descends from by painting your population/ethnicity segments provided by FamilyTreeDNA and 23andMe.
  • Y and Mitochondrial DNA – I’ve described how and when to utilize the important Y and mitochondrial DNA tests, for you and other family members.
  • Maps – Everyone wants to know about ancient DNA. I’ve included ancient DNA information complete with maps of ancient DNA sites by major Native haplogroups, gathered from many academic papers, as well as mapped contemporary DNA locations.
  • Haplogroups – Locations in the Americas, by haplogroup, where individual haplogroups and subgroups are found. Some haplogroups are regional in nature. If you happen to have one of these haplogroups, that’s a BIG HINT about where your ancestor lived.
  • Tribes – Want to know, by tribe, which haplogroups have been identified? Got you covered there too.
  • Checklist – I’ve provided a checklist type of roadmap for you to follow, along with an extensive glossary.
  • Questions – I’ve answered lots of frequently asked questions. For example – what about joining a tribe? I’ve explained how tribes work in the US and Canada, complete with links for relevant forms and further information.

But wait, there’s more…

New Revelations!!!

There is scientific evidence suggesting that two haplogroups not previously identified as Native are actually found in very low frequencies in the Native population. Not only do I describe these haplogroups, but I provide their locations on a map.

I hope other people will test and come forward with similar results in these same haplogroups to further solidify this finding.

It’s important to understand the criteria required for including these haplogroups as (potentially) Native. In general, they:

  • Must be found multiple times outside of a family group
  • Must be unexplained by any other scenario
  • Must be well-documented both genetically as well as using traditional genealogical records
  • Must be otherwise absent in the surrounding populations

This part of the research for the book was absolutely fascinating to me.


Here’s the book description at Genealogical.com:

DNA for Native American Genealogy is the first book to offer detailed information and advice specifically aimed at family historians interested in fleshing out their Native American family tree through DNA testing.

Figuring out how to incorporate DNA testing into your Native American genealogy research can be difficult and daunting. What types of DNA tests are available, and which vendors offer them? What other tools are available? How is Native American DNA determined or recognized in your DNA? What information about your Native American ancestors can DNA testing uncover? This book addresses those questions and much more.

Included are step-by-step instructions, with illustrations, on how to use DNA testing at the four major DNA testing companies to further your genealogy and confirm or identify your Native American ancestors. Among the many other topics covered are the following:

    • Tribes in the United States and First Nations in Canada
    • Ethnicity
    • Chromosome painting
    • Population Genetics and how ethnicity is assigned
    • Genetic groups and communities
    • Y DNA paternal direct line male testing for you and your family members
    • Mitochondrial DNA maternal direct line testing for you and your family members
    • Autosomal DNA matching and ethnicity comparisons
    • Creating a DNA pedigree chart
    • Native American haplogroups, by region and tribe
    • Ancient and contemporary Native American DNA

Special features include numerous charts and maps; a roadmap and checklist giving you clear instructions on how to proceed; and a glossary to help you decipher the technical language associated with DNA testing.

Purchase the Book and Participate

I’ve included answers to questions that I’ve received repeatedly for many years about Native American heritage and DNA. Why Native DNA might show in your DNA, why it might not – along with alternate ways to seek that information.

You can order DNA for Native American Genealogy, here.

For customers in Canada and outside the US, you can use the Amazon link, here, to reduce the high shipping/customs costs.

I hope you’ll use the information in the book to determine the appropriate tests for your situation and fully utilize the tools available to genealogists today to either confirm those family rumors, put them to rest – or maybe discover a previously unknown Native ancestor.

Please feel free to share this article with anyone who might be interested.



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41 thoughts on “DNA for Native American Genealogy – Hot Off the Press!

  1. Congrats Roberta!! I am hoping it goes to #1 on the bestseller list in it’s category.
    I am one of those people who heard those family stories of my maternal grandmother being Native American. I didn’t believe it as a child and dismissed it as an adult. Partly because my grandmother did not look anything like the Native Americans I saw on TV or in person.
    Fast forward to the advent of DNA. Although my grandmother has been deceased a long time, I did show as having a small percentage of Native DNA. I still dismissed it as “noise” until I DNA about 4 people with the same email address on Gedmatch. I contacted the person who couldn’t find me among their matches. Turns out I had fewer matches so I could see the distant matches. She was mostly European ancestry and her cM match list cutoff at 9 cM’s. She lowered the cM threshold and she found me matching the people I mentioned to her. Further, she explained that she was a licensed professional genealogist and that the area on the Chromosome where we matched, we triangulated and it was the Native American section. I had absolutely no idea and was not searching for that. She said this confirms I have Native American ancestry.

  2. CONGRATULATIONS BY X 10+!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’ll be ordering from your link the day before Thanksgiving when my SS ck clears, SO excited!

    Very pleased for you in many ways, of course.

  3. Hi Roberta, I love your email newsletters! I am interested in purchasing your book, but wanted to check to see if there would be something interesting or helpful for me. My MTDNA is C1d, Native American (test FTDNA full). My native American ancestor is my 6g-grandmother, so my overall share of Native American DNA is about 1 percent or less. Are there other pieces of my MTDNA or autosomal DNA that might be covered in your book? I was raised in white culture and am not looking to qualify for tribal status with such a distant, single ancestor. It is cool to explore, though, and to connect with my distant roots. Thank you.

  4. I have been advised that your publisher does not ship to Canada. Is there another way to obtain a copy of your book?

  5. Great !! I’ll order 2 – one for myself and one for the Seattle Library where others can learn from it. Maybe one day you can autograph my copy. 🙂

    My 1/2 of 1 % Native ancestry showed up only at 23andMe as only they give results of less than a percentage. But I confirmed it on chromosome 15, and that section according to the research I’ve read deals with immunity from disease. Which makes sense, given the harsh environment they lived through and exposure to European diseases allowing those with better immunity to survive and reproduce. The sickly could not.

    Since the test, I found through tracing Quebec records my 8th great-grandmother, Marie-Olivier Manitouabeouich, an Algonquin girl who married Quebec immigrant Martin Prevost.

    So I’d suggest testing at all major companies and compare.

    • How very kind of you to donate one to the library! And I’d love to autograph your copy if we can ever manage to be in the same place at the same time.

  6. Thank you – looking forward to my copy arriving. You (Roberta Estes) and I share a maternal haplogroup, but, although I have Native American DNA, I haven’t been able to find my connection.

    • Hi Nancy. So good to hear from you. Thank you for your kind support. You never know when someone will have a question and library books provide answers for many.

  7. For anyone ordering from outside the US, Genealogical.com does not ship to Canada because of the high shipping and customs costs. However, you can order directly from any Ingram bookstore or from this Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3olW3ag

    Genealogical.com does printing in the US, Europe and Australia, so ordering from there is not an issue. Anyplace else is best to use the Amazon link: https://amzn.to/3olW3ag

  8. I received my book from Amazon yesterday. The cover looks great BUT —– the published has put YOUR COVER ON A WORD PUZZLE BOOK. I was so disappointed and now I have to deal with returning it. I sure hope the publisher gives you a discount for printing a bunch of junk.

    • Nancy, you don’t need to go through the aggravation of returning the book. I am reaching out to you via email if you have included an email in your comment, as soon as I can get to a computer. (I’m not at home.) Otherwise, please reach out to me at Roberta@dnaexplain.com. I will fix this.

  9. I ordered the book on I believe Nov 13 when you posted to one of the facebook groups. I received notification that they received the order and it was taken from my checking via PayPal on Nov 15. I have not received notification that the book has shipped nor have I received it. How long does it usually take to receive the book. I am looking forward to receiving it.

    • I don’t have my copy either, but some people have received theirs. Have you contacted the publishing company? I know that I’m some cases they have provided a USPS tracking number but the USPS hasn’t shown any movement if the parcel.

  10. Congratulations! I want to purchase but am confused by the publisher’s website – is it download only through them, or can I get a real shelvable book?

      • If you are interested, I have a group who would love to hear your presentation about DNA and your book. I have had authors speak via Zoom about their books which are mainly on Texas history and Spanish mission documents. Most presenters talk about 30 minutes and then we have a question and answer. I find so many people don’t always understand DNA, me included, but take the test to learn more about themselves and their genetic ancestry.

        If interested, you can email me at president@1718sanantonio.org


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  12. Hi Roberta, I’m finding your book extremely useful. Are there any plans to make this available on kindle or other e-book format? That would help in having it available as a reference anywhere/anytime.

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