Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project

The Acadians – settlers, pioneers in a new land allied with and intermarried into the Native population of seaboard Nova Scotia beginning in 1603. They lived in harmony, developing their farms and then, roughly 150 years or 6 generations later, in 1755, they found themselves evicted, ruthlessly and forcibly deported, losing absolutely everything. They became landless refugees, living off of the benevolence of strangers…or dying. The Acadian diaspora was born. You can view a timeline here.

Marie Rundquist, Acadian and Native descendant, genetic genealogist, researcher and founder of the original AmerIndian project visited the Acadian homeland this past summer and is graciously sharing her experience through some of her photography and narrative.

Courtesy Marie Rundquist

Marie Rundquist:

This cross, located on the beach near Grand Pre where the Acadians were herded onto ships, is a priceless icon of our Acadian ancestry and represents all of our ancestors who were forcibly removed from their lands – marched on to the awaiting boats at gunpoint – and who left their footprints on this beach. Their last footprints in the land into which their effort and blood had been poured for 150 years.  This cross is very symbolic and meaningful to all who look at it.

Courtesy Marie Rundquist

This photo was taken at Waterfront Park in the town of Wolfville which borders the Minas Basin and the historic Acadian dykelands our ancestors once farmed. The area is known for the spectacular tides that rush into the basin bordering the park, totally changing its landscape.

Courtesy Marie Rundquist

Sabots, the wooden shoes pictured above were worn by Acadian ancestors who farmed the wet, marshy dykelands and were also worn on boats.  Wolfville is within a short distance of the Grand Pre UNESCO Historic Site where my husband and I stayed while attending the 2017 Acadian Mi’kmaq Celebration of Peace and Reconciliation this past August.

If you have Acadian ancestors, these pictures probably caused you to catch your breath.  Your ancestors walked here, stood here and the blood in their veins ran thick with fear, here, as they boarded the ships that would disrupt their lives forever, destroying what they had built over a century and a half.

Focus on the Homeland

Marie has recently begun a new chapter in her life which allows her to focus more directly on the Acadian and AmerIndian homelands and communities. She has been preparing for this transition for years, and all Acadian and AmerIndian researchers will be beneficiaries.

Marie initially founded the AmerIndian out of Acadia project in 2006 to sort out the relationships between the various Acadian and Native families both in Nova Scotia, and wherever their descendants have dispersed since “Le Grand Derangement,” their forced removal in 1755. The story of the Acadians didn’t end in 1755, it began anew in different locations throughout the world, the Acadian diaspora.

Through traditional genealogy research paired with genetic genealogy, we are breathing life into those ancestors once again, honoring their memory and sacrifices, and along the way, getting to know them better and finding unexpected surprises as well.

This is an exciting time in genetic genealogy for descendants of Acadians and those with American Indian roots in eastern Canada and the northeastern portion of the US.

The Acadian homeland is located in the easternmost portion of Canada, Nova Scotia.

By Mikmaq – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1351882

Many, if not most, Acadians were admixed with the Native population in the 150 years that the French colonists lived in harmony with the Native Mi’kmaq (also referenced as Micmac) people on the Atlantic coastline of Nova Scotia. It’s impossible to study one without studying the other. Their fates, genealogies and DNA are inextricably interwoven.

Having Acadian and Native ancestors as well, and after several years of working together on other projects, I joined Marie as a co-administrator of this project in early 2017.

Today, Marie and I have several exciting announcements to make, the first of which is the renaming of the project to more accurately reflect a new, expanded, focus.

The Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project

You might have noticed that the AmerIndian project was renamed a few months ago as the Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project to reflect our expanded goals. Specifically, our goal is to create a one-stop location in which to discover Acadian genetic roots. While the Acadia – Metis Mothers and Mothers of Acadian DNA projects have existed for several years to document proven matrilineal Acadian lines, nothing of the same nature existed for Y DNA for paternal surname lineages, or for those who want to connect with their Acadian roots through autosomal DNA.

After weighing various options, Marie and I, in conjunction with Family Tree DNA, decided that the best option was to expand the existing AmerIndian project to include Y, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA of the entire Acadian population into our existing project which already has over 1000 members.

In a word, our new project focus is FAMILY!

In Marie’s words:

Primary project goal: Through genetic genealogy research techniques combined with advanced Y DNA testing, it is our goal to add to and develop Y DNA signatures for male descendants of our legacy Acadian ancestors that may be referenced by others in verifying genealogies.

We want to assure that in our surname studies we are informed by Y DNA results primarily but take into account the mtDNA Full Mitochondrial Sequence results when considering the spouse, and Family Finder (autosomal) DNA results when researching all who may share ancestry.

Surname variants and dit names are of particular interest and factor into our development of a database of surname signatures as related to Acadian genealogies.

We encourage all who have tested and have the surname lineages listed in our project profile to join our project as their combined DNA results help us see through the genealogy brick walls and help us find answers to our genealogy questions.

We want to let new and existing members know how their results have contributed to our ability to develop and verify Acadian genealogies – and for the men in particular, the attainment of Y DNA “signatures” for surname lineages against which all may compare their own Y DNA results – and reference in genealogy research. Adoptees with matching Y DNA results for Acadian surnames (as we already have a number of these) are welcome to join and participate. Our team is expert in the areas of Y DNA testing and analysis, including the latest Big Y DNA tests only through years of practical experience with geographical and haplogroup-related DNA projects.  Both Marie and Roberta have extensive project administration experience and both are affiliate researchers with The Genographic Project.

Introducing Deadre Doucet Bourke

Marie and I realized that we needed assistance, so we are very pleased to welcome our new co-administrator, Deadre Doucet Bourke. Many Acadian researchers already know Deadre, a long-time genealogist and contributor from within the project, so adding her expertise as a project administrator is a natural progression. Deadre will be focused on communicating with people regarding their genealogy and utilizing social media.

You can read the bios of our administrators here.

Welcome Deadre!!!

The DNA Focus

The Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project is primarily focused on Y DNA and autosomal DNA. While we aren’t competing with the two mitochondrial DNA projects, we certainly welcome those with direct mitochondrial lineages to join this project as well. We encourage researchers to combine all of the DNA that makes us family to confirm our Acadian heritage and connect to our ancestors.

Acadian researchers struggle with the inability to find their Acadian ancestor’s Y DNA signatures gathered together in one place. Marie and I decided to fix that problem, hence, the redesign of the project.

The Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project welcomes everyone with Acadian heritage!

If you descend from a particular line, but aren’t male or don’t carry the surname today, you’ll be able to discover information about your ancestors from the Y DNA, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA carried by other project members. Genetic genealogy is all about collaboration and sharing and finding all types of results in one project location makes that search much easier!

Who Should Join the Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project?

  • If you have an ACADIAN SURNAME in your family lines, as listed in the project profile or on the surname list later in this article, and you’ve had the Y DNA, mtDNA or Family Finder test, you are qualified to join this project.
  • If you are a MALE with an ACADIAN SURNAME, please join the Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project by ordering (minimally) a Y Chromosome 37 marker test.
  • If you are either male or female and have Acadian MATRILINEAL ANCESTRY (your mother’s mother’s mother’s line) that leads to a Native and/or an Acadian grandmother through all females, please join the Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project by ordering the mtFull Sequence mitochondrial DNA test.
  • If you have Acadian or Native American ancestors from the Acadian region of Canada or diaspora regions where Acadian families settled after the 1755 deportation, and would like to discover new leads for ancestry research and close, immediate and distant cousins, please join the project by ordering a Family Finder test.
  • If you have Acadian ancestry and have already taken the Y or mitochondrial DNA test at Family Tree DNA, please click here to sign in to your account and order a Family Finder test by clicking on the “Upgrade” button on the top right of your personal page.
  • If you have already tested and have Y DNA, mtDNA, or Family Finder matches with members of the Acadian Amerindian Ancestry project and are researching your ancestry, you are welcome to join this project.
  • If you have already tested your DNA at Family Tree DNA, but are not yet a project member, please click on the Project tab at the top left of your personal page to select a project to join. If the Acadian AmerIndian Ancestors project is not showing on your list, just type “Acadian” into the search box and click on the “Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry” link to join the project.
  • If you have tested your autosomal DNA at either Ancestry or 23andMe, but not at Family Tree DNA, you can download your autosomal results into the Family Tree DNA data base and use many tools for free – including the ability to join projects. You can read more about this here.

Not sure which kinds of DNA you can test for, and the difference between the different tests, please read 4 Kinds of DNA for Genetic Genealogy.

Questions? Just ask!

Saving Money by Joining the Acadian AmerIndian Project

Please note that DNA testing discounts are available through our project site for people who have never ordered a test from Family Tree DNA previously.

First, click here to go to the Family Tree DNA webpage. Scroll down, then, type the word Acadian into the search box, as shown below. This search process works for surnames as well.

Then, when the results are returned, select the Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project and click that link, shown below, to see DNA testing prices available to project members, example shown below.

You’ll need to scroll down to see test prices. The screen shot below only shows a portion of what is available.

DNA testing prices through the project are less than ordering the same test without joining a project.

As A Project Member

Of course, the point of DNA testing and projects is to share.  Family Tree DNA has provided several tools to help genealogists do just that.  We would ask that project members complete the following four easy steps, unless for some reason, you can’t.  For example, adoptees may not have this information.  Just do the best you can.

First, please upload a tree of at least your direct line ancestors at Family Tree DNA.

Just sign in to your personal page and click on “My Family Tree” to get started.

DNA and family trees are extremely powerful tools together – the genetic and genealogy parts of genetic genealogy.

Second, please complete the name and location of your earliest known direct matrilineal ancestor (your mother’s mother’s mother’s line) and your direct patrilineal line (your father’s father’s father’s line) by clicking on the orange “Manage Personal Information” link below your profile photo on the left side of your personal page.

Then, click on the Genealogy Tab, and then click on Earliest Known Ancestors. Please note that you can click on any image to enlarge.

You’ll need to complete:

  • Both Earliest Known Ancestor fields on the left side of the page.
  • Both Ancestral Locations by clicking on the orange “update location” for the patrilineal AND matrilineal ancestor on the right side.

Be sure to click “Save” at the bottom of the page when you’re finished.

Third, under the Privacy and Sharing tab, please consider allowing your Y and mitochondrial DNA results to show on the public page of the project.

When Acadian descendants are searching for projects to join, or information about their ancestral lines, the public project display is often what they find and how they decide if participation or DNA testing is worth their time.

Here is what our public Y DNA project page displays and here is what our mtDNA project page displays.  There is also an option for administrators to display the participants surname, but we do not have this field enabled at this time.  Other projects that you may have joined probably do have this field enabled, and your selection affects all projects of which you are a member.

Under “My Profile,” you’ll see an option to “Share my Earliest Known Ancestor with other people in the projects I’ve joined.”  If you don’t have this option enabled, only a blank space will appear, which doesn’t help anyone determine if you share a common ancestor.

A second option on this page under “My DNA Results is “Make my mtDNA and Y DNA public” which allows your results to show on the public project page.  If you select “project only” then only project members will be able to see your results when logged in to their account. Your results will no show on the public project page unless you select the public option.

Remember to click “save.”

Fourth, if your mitochondrial line (mother’s mother’s mother’s line) is Acadian or Native, you’ll need to provide the project administrators with the ability to see the coding region of your mitochondrial DNA so that your mitochondrial DNA can be properly grouped within the project.  If your direct matrilineal line does NOT pertain to Acadian or Native ancestry, then you’re done.

If your matrilineal line is Native or Acadian, on the Privacy and Sharing page, under “Account Access,” please click on the “Only You” answer to “Who can view my mtDNA Coding Region mutations.”

You will then see a drop down list of the projects you have joined.  You can select any of the projects by clicking the box beside the project.  Only the administrators of the projects you’ve selected can see your coding region results, and you can change this at any time. In my personal account, I’ve selected all of the projects that my mtDNA is relevant to.

Your coding region results are NEVER displayed publicly and no one other than project administrators can see those results.  Family Tree DNA does not offer the option of displaying coding regions in any project.

Again, don’t forget to click “save,” or you haven’t.

Need Help?

Need help? Just ask. We’re here to help.

Project administrators can help you by completing some fields, like most distant ancestor, with your permission, but Privacy and Sharing fields can’t be changed or edited by administrators for everyone’s security.  However, we’d be glad to step you through the process, as would Family Tree DNA customer support.  You can call or contact customer support by scrolling down to the very bottom of your personal page.

Acadian Surnames

Courtesy Marie Rundquist

I compiled the following list of Acadian surnames along with dit names (surname nicknames) from the following Acadian website where you can view which ancestral families were recorded in various census documents including 1671, 1686, 1714 and a deportation list from 1755.

Brenda Dunn’s list was prepared for the Canadian National Parks Service for the Grand Pre National Historic site.

Variant spellings were retrieved from this site and may not be inclusive.

Surname Various Spellings Source
Abbadie, de Saint-Castin d’ Brenda Dunn
Allain Alain, Alin, Allain, Halain, Halin Brenda Dunn
Allard Alard, Allard, Allart, Halard, Hallard Acadian-Cajun.com
Amirault dit Tourangeau Amireau, Amireault, Mero, Miraud, Mirau, Miraux, Mireau, Mireault, Moreau Brenda Dunn
Angou dit Choisy Brenda Dunn
Apart Brenda Dunn
Arcement Brenda Dunn
Arnaud Arnaud, Arnault Brenda Dunn
Arosteguy Brenda Dunn
Arseneau Brenda Dunn
Aubin Aubain, Aubin, Obin Acadian-Cajun.com
Aubois Brenda Dunn
Aucoin Aucoin, Coin, Ocoin Brenda Dunn
Ayor Brenda Dunn
Babin Babain, Babin Brenda Dunn
Babineau dit Deslauriers Babinau, Babineau, Babineaux, Babino, Babinot Brenda Dunn
Barillot Brenda Dunn
Barnabe Acadian-Cajun.com
Barriault Bariau, Bariault, Barieau, Barillault, Barrillaut, Barillon, Barillot, Bario, Barrio Acadian-Cajun.com
Bastarache dit (Le) Basque Brenda Dunn
Bastien Baptien, Basquien, Bastien, Vasquais Brenda Dunn
Beaulieu Baulieu, Baulieux, Beaulieu, Beaulieux Acadian-Cajun.com
Beaumont Beaumon, Beaumont Acadian-Cajun.com
Belisle Belisle, Bellisle, de Bellisle Acadian-Cajun.com
Bellefontaine Bellefontaine, Bellefontenne Acadian-Cajun.com
Belleville Beliveau Brenda Dunn
Belliveau dit Bideau Beliveau Brenda Dunn
Belliveau dit Blondin Brenda Dunn
Belou Brenda Dunn
Benoit dit Labriere Benois, Benoist, Benoit Brenda Dunn
Bergereau Brenda Dunn
Bergeron d’Amboise Brenda Dunn
Bergeron dit Nantes Bargeron, Bergeon, Bergeron, Berjeron Brenda Dunn
Bernard Bernar, Bernard Brenda Dunn
Berrier dit Machefer Brenda Dunn
Bertaud dit Montaury Brenda Dunn
Bertrand Bartrand, Berterand, Bertran, Bertrand, Bertrant Brenda Dunn
Bezier dit Lariviere Brenda Dunn
Bezier dit Touin Brenda Dunn
Bideau Acadian-Cajun.com
Blanchard dit Gentilhomme Blanchar, Blanchard, Blanchart Brenda Dunn
Blondin Blondain, Blondin Acadian-Cajun.com
Blou Acadian-Cajun.com
Bodard Brenda Dunn
Boisseau dit Blondin Boissau, Boisseau, Boisseaux Brenda Dunn
Bonnevie dit Beaumont Brenda Dunn
Borel Brenda Dunn
Boucher dit Desroches Bouché, Boucher, Bouchez Brenda Dunn
Boudreau Boudrau, Boudraut, Boudreau, Boudro, Boudrot Acadian-Cajun.com
Boudrot Brenda Dunn
Bourg Bourc, Bourg, Bourgue, Bourk, Bourque Brenda Dunn
Bourgeois Bourgeois, Bourgois, Bourjois Brenda Dunn
Boutin Boudin, Boutain, Boutin, Bouttain, Bouttin Brenda Dunn
Brassaud Brenda Dunn
Brasseur dit Mathieu Brasseur, Brasseux Brenda Dunn
Breau Brenda Dunn
Breton Berton, Breton, Lebreton Acadian-Cajun.com
Brossard Brosard, Brossar, Brossard, Brossart, Broussard Brenda Dunn
Brun Brun, Lebrun Brenda Dunn
Bugaret Brenda Dunn
Bugeaud Brenda Dunn
Buisson Buisson, Busson, Dubuisson Brenda Dunn
Buote Brenda Dunn
Buteau Butau, Butaud, Buteau, Buteux, Buto, Butteau Brenda Dunn
Cadet Caddé, Cadet, Cadette Acadian-Cajun.com
Caissy dit Roger Brenda Dunn
Calve dit Laforge Brenda Dunn
Carre Caray, Caré, Caret, Carr, Carré, Carret Brenda Dunn
Cassy dit Roger Brenda Dunn
Celestin dit Bellemere Brenda Dunn
Cellier dit Normand Brenda Dunn
Champagne Champagne, Champaigne Acadian-Cajun.com
Chauvert Acadian-Cajun.com
Chauvet Chauvet, Chauvette, Chovet Brenda Dunn
Chenet dit Dubreuil Chenay, Chenet, Chenette, Chesnay Brenda Dunn
Chesnay dit Lagarene Brenda Dunn
Chiasson dit La Vallee Chiasson, Giasson Brenda Dunn
Chouteau dit Manseau Brenda Dunn
Clemenceau Brenda Dunn
Cloustre Brenda Dunn
Cochu Cochu, Cochus Acadian-Cajun.com
Cognac Cognac, Coignac Brenda Dunn
Comeau Brenda Dunn
Cormier dit Bossigaol Cormié, Cormier, Cornier Brenda Dunn
Cormier dit Thierry Brenda Dunn
Cornelier Brenda Dunn
Corporon Brenda Dunn
Cosse Acadian-Cajun.com
Cosset Cosset, Cossette Brenda Dunn
Coste Brenda Dunn
Cottard Brenda Dunn
Cousineau Brenda Dunn
Crepeau Crepau, Crepaux, Crepeau, Crepeaux, Crepos, Crespau, Crespeau, Crespel Brenda Dunn
Creysac dit Toulouse Brenda Dunn
Cyr Cir, Cire, Cyr, Cyre, Sir, Sire, Siree, Syr, Syre Brenda Dunn
Daigle Daigle. Daigles, Dehegue Acadian-Cajun.com
Daigre Brenda Dunn
Damboue Acadian-Cajun.com
D’Amours de Chauffours Brenda Dunn
D’Amours de Clignancour Brenda Dunn
D’Amours de Freneuse Brenda Dunn
D’Amours de Louviere Brenda Dunn
D’Amours de Plaine Brenda Dunn
Daniel Daniel, Daniele, Danielle, Deniel Brenda Dunn
Darois Brenda Dunn
David dit Pontif Davi, David, Davit, Davy Brenda Dunn
Debreuil Acadian-Cajun.com
Delatour Delatour, Latour Acadian-Cajun.com
Delisle Delile, Delille, Delisle, Delisles, Brenda Dunn
Denis Deni, Denis, Dennis, Denys Brenda Dunn
D’Entremont Acadian-Cajun.com
Denys de Fronsac Brenda Dunn
Depeux Acadian-Cajun.com
Derayer Brenda Dunn
Desaulniers Desaulnier, Desaulniers, Desaunié, Desaunier, Desauniers Acadian-Cajun.com
Deschamps dit Cloche Dechamp, Dechamps, Dechant, Deschamps Brenda Dunn
Desgoutins Brenda Dunn
Desmoulins Demoulin, Desmoulin, Desmoulins, Dumoulin Brenda Dunn
Desorcis Acadian-Cajun.com
Després Depre, Depres, Despre, Despres, Desprez Brenda Dunn
Devaux Acadian-Cajun.com
Deveau dit Dauphine Devau, Devaux, Deveau, Deveaux, Devot, Devots Brenda Dunn
Dingle Brenda Dunn
Doiron Doiron, Douairon, Doueron Brenda Dunn
Domine dit Saint-Sauveur Brenda Dunn
Donat Acadian-Cajun.com
Douaron Acadian-Cajun.com
Doucet dit Laverdure Doucet, Doucette Brenda Dunn
Doucet dit Lirlandois Brenda Dunn
Doucet dit Mayard Brenda Dunn
Druce Brenda Dunn
Dubois dit Dumont Debois, Desbois, Dubois, Duboy Brenda Dunn
Dufault Dufau, Dufault, Dufaut, Dufaux, Duffault, Duffaut, Duffaux, Dufo, Dufos, Duphaut Brenda Dunn
Dugas Duga, Dugas, Dugast, Dugat Brenda Dunn
Duguay Dugai, Dugaie, Dugay, Duguay, Dugué Brenda Dunn
Dumont Dumon, Dumond, Dumont Acadian-Cajun.com
Duon dit Lyonnais Brenda Dunn
Dupeux Acadian-Cajun.com
Duplessis Duplaissy, Duplassis, Duplassy, Duplecy, Duplesis, Duplessis, Duplessy, Placy Brenda Dunn
Dupuis Dupui, Dupuis, Dupuit, Dupuits, Dupuy, Dupuys Brenda Dunn
Egan Brenda Dunn
Emmanuel Acadian-Cajun.com
Esperance Lespérance, Lesperence Acadian-Cajun.com
Fardel Acadian-Cajun.com
Flan Brenda Dunn
Fontaine dit Beaulieu Delafontaine, Fonteine, Lafontaine, Lafonteine, Lafonteinne Brenda Dunn
Forest Fores, Forêt, Laforêt, Laforest Brenda Dunn
Foret Forest Acadian-Cajun.com
Forton Brenda Dunn
Fougere Brenda Dunn
Fournier Fournié, Lefournier Brenda Dunn
Froiquingont Brenda Dunn
Gadrau Brenda Dunn
Galerne Brenda Dunn
Galle Brenda Dunn
Garceau dit Boutin Garco, Garso, Garsot Brenda Dunn
Garceau dit Richard Brenda Dunn
Garceau dit Tranchemontagne Brenda Dunn
Gardet Gardai, Garday, Gardé Brenda Dunn
Gareau Garau, Garaud Brenda Dunn
Gaudet Gaudais, Gaudé, Gaudette, Godé, Godet, Godete, Godette Acadian-Cajun.com
Gauterot Brenda Dunn
Gauthier Gaultier, Gautier, Gotier Brenda Dunn
Gentil Brenda Dunn
Giboire Duverge dit Lamotte Brenda Dunn
Girouard Geroir, Gerroir, Giouard, Giroir, Girroir, Jirouard Brenda Dunn
Gise Brenda Dunn
Godin Boisjoli Brenda Dunn
Godin dit Beausejour Gaudain, Gauden, Gaudin, Godain, Goddin, Godin Brenda Dunn
Godin dit Bellefeuille Brenda Dunn
Godin dit Bellefontaine Brenda Dunn
Godin dit Catalogne Brenda Dunn
Godin dit Chatillon Brenda Dunn
Godin dit Lincour Brenda Dunn
Godin dit Preville Brenda Dunn
Godin dit Valcour Brenda Dunn
Godon Gandon, Gaudon, Godon Brenda Dunn
Gosselin Gaucelin, Gauscelin, Gausselin, Goscelin, Gosselain Brenda Dunn
Goudreau Gaudrau, Gaudrault, Gaudreau, Gaudreault, Gaudro, Godereau, Godrault, Godreault, Godro, Godrot, Goodrow Brenda Dunn
Gougeon Gougeon, Gougon, Goujon, Goujou Acadian-Cajun.com
Gourdeau Acadian-Cajun.com
Gousille Acadian-Cajun.com
Gousman Brenda Dunn
Gouzille Brenda Dunn
Grandmaison Degrandmaison Brenda Dunn
Granger Brenda Dunn
Gravois Brenda Dunn
Grosvalet Brenda Dunn
Guedry dit Labine Brenda Dunn
Guedry dit Labrador Brenda Dunn
Guedry dit Laverdure Brenda Dunn
Guedry Grivois Guidry, Guildry Brenda Dunn
Gueguen Brenda Dunn
Guenard Brenda Dunn
Guerin dit LaForge Guerrin Brenda Dunn
Guilbault Guibau, Guibaut, Guibeau, Guibo, Guilbau, Guilbaud, Guilbaux, Guilbeau, Guillebault, Guillbeau, Guilbaut Acadian-Cajun.com
Guilbeau Brenda Dunn
Guillot Brenda Dunn
Guy dit Tintamarre Degui, Deguy, Gui Brenda Dunn
Guyon Dion, Dionne, Gion, Guillon, Guion, Gyon, Yon Brenda Dunn
Hache dit Gallant Brenda Dunn
Hamel Amel, Amell, Emmel, Hamell, Hamelle, Hornel Brenda Dunn
Hamet Brenda Dunn
Hamon Brenda Dunn
Hébert dit Manuel Abaire, Abare, Abbot, Ebart, Éber, Ébert, Heber, Heberd, Hébere, Herber, Herbert, Hesbert, Hibbart, Hubert Brenda Dunn
Helys dit Nouvelle Brenda Dunn
Henry dit Robert Henri Brenda Dunn
Hensaule Brenda Dunn
Heon Brenda Dunn
Herpin Arpin, Guertin, Harpin, Hertin Acadian-Cajun.com
Heuse Brenda Dunn
Hugon Brenda Dunn
Jasmin Jassemin Acadian-Cajun.com
Jeanson Jeansonne Brenda Dunn
Joseph Brenda Dunn
Kimine Brenda Dunn
Labarre Delabarre, Labar, Labard Brenda Dunn
Labat, dit Le Marguis, de Labatte Brenda Dunn
LaBauve Brenda Dunn
Lachaume Delachaume Brenda Dunn
Lacroix Delacroix Brenda Dunn
Lafond Lafon, Lafont Acadian-Cajun.com
Lafont Acadian-Cajun.com
Lagasse Lagace, Lagacee, Lagassee, Lagassees, Lagasset Acadian-Cajun.com
Lalande dit Bonnappetit Delalande, Lalande Brenda Dunn
Laliberte Laliberte, Liberte Acadian-Cajun.com
Lambert Lamber, Lembert Brenda Dunn
Lambourt Brenda Dunn
Lamontagne Delamontagne, Montagne Acadian-Cajun.com
Landrom Brenda Dunn
Landry Landri, Landrie, Landril, Landrille, Lendry Brenda Dunn
Langlois Anglais, Anglois, Langlais, Langloi, Langlouois Brenda Dunn
Lanoue Brenda Dunn
Lapierre dit LaRoche Delapierre, Lapeer, Pierre Brenda Dunn
Latour Acadian-Cajun.com
Laurier Lauriere,Lorier Acadian-Cajun.com
LaVache Brenda Dunn
Lavallée Lavale, Lavalee, Vale, Valee, Valle, Vallee Acadian-Cajun.com
Lavergne Laverne Brenda Dunn
Lavigne Delavigne Brenda Dunn
Lebasque Acadian-Cajun.com
Lebert dit Jolycoeur Abare, Hébert, Labare, LeBear, Leber, Leberre, Libest Brenda Dunn
Leblanc dit Jasmin Blanc, Leblan, Lebland, Leblant Brenda Dunn
LeBorgne dit Belisle Brenda Dunn
Lebreton Berton, Beurton Acadian-Cajun.com
Leclerc dit Laverdure Clair, Claire, Clerc, Leclair, Leclaire, Lecler, Leclerq Brenda Dunn
Lecul Brenda Dunn
Lefebvre Febur, Febvre, Lefaivre, Lefebre, Lefebur, Lefeuvre, Lefevre Acadian-Cajun.com
Leger dit La Rozette Legere, Legey, St-Leger Brenda Dunn
Lejeune dit Briard Jeune, Lejeunne Brenda Dunn
LeJuge Brenda Dunn
Lemaistre Acadian-Cajun.com
LeMarquis dit Clermont Brenda Dunn
Lemire Lemir, Lemirre, Lemyre, Lemyrre, Mire Brenda Dunn
LeNeuf de Beaubassin Lenef, Leneuf Brenda Dunn
LeNeuf de Boisneuf Brenda Dunn
LeNeuf de LaValliere Brenda Dunn
L’Enfant Brenda Dunn
LePoupet de Saint-Aubin Brenda Dunn
LePrieur dit Dubois Brenda Dunn
LePrince Brenda Dunn
Leroy Leroi, Roi, Roy Brenda Dunn
L’Eschevin dit Billy Brenda Dunn
Lespérance Delesperance, Lesperence Acadian-Cajun.com
Lessoile Acadian-Cajun.com
LeVanier dit Langevin Brenda Dunn
LeVasseur dit Chamberlange Brenda Dunn
Leveille Leveiller, Leveillez, Leveillie, Leveillier Brenda Dunn
Levron dit Nantois Leveron Brenda Dunn
Loiseau Laiseau, Laizeau, Loisau, Loisseau, Loizeau, Loseau, Loyseau, Lozeau Brenda Dunn
Long Brenda Dunn
Longuepee Brenda Dunn
Loppinot Brenda Dunn
Lord dit Montagne Lore Brenda Dunn
Lort Acadian-Cajun.com
Lucas Luca Brenda Dunn
Lyonnais Acadian-Cajun.com
Maffier Brenda Dunn
Maillard Acadian-Cajun.com
Maillet Brenda Dunn
Maisonnat dit Baptiste Brenda Dunn
Malboeuf Malbeuf Brenda Dunn
Mangeant dit Saint Germain Brenda Dunn
Manseau Manceau, Mansau Acadian-Cajun.com
Marcadet Brenda Dunn
Marchand dit Poitiers Marchan, Marchant Brenda Dunn
Marres dit LaSonde Brenda Dunn
Martel Martelle Brenda Dunn
Martil Acadian-Cajun.com
Martin dit Barnabe Martain Brenda Dunn
Massé Macé, Macés, Masset, Massey Brenda Dunn
Massie Brenda Dunn
Mathieu Mathieux, Matthieux Brenda Dunn
Maucaire Brenda Dunn
Mazerolle dit Saint Louis Brenda Dunn
Melanson dit LaRamee
Melanson dit Laverdure Melanson, Melençon, Melenson, Menançon Brenda Dunn
Mercier dit Caudebec Lemercier, Mersier Brenda Dunn
Messaguay Brenda Dunn
Meunier Megné, Menié, Mesnier, Meusnier, Munier, Musnier Brenda Dunn
Michaud Michau, Michault, Michaut, Michaux, Micheau Acadian-Cajun.com
Michel dit LaRuine Bichel, Miché, Michelle, Micher Brenda Dunn
Migneau dit Aubin Mignau, Mignaud, Mignault, Mignaux, Migneaux, Mignot, Migneau Brenda Dunn
Mignier dit Lagasse Brenda Dunn
Mignot Mignau, Mignaud, Mignault, Mignaux, Migneaux, Mignot Brenda Dunn
Mirande Brenda Dunn
Mius d’Azit Miusse, Mousse Brenda Dunn
Mius de Entremont de Plemarais Miusse, Mousse Brenda Dunn
Monmellian dit Saint Germain Brenda Dunn
Mordant Brenda Dunn
Morin dit Boucher Maurain, Maurin, Morrin Brenda Dunn
Morpain Brenda Dunn
Moulaison dit Recontre Brenda Dunn
Mouton Brenda Dunn
Moyse dit Latreille Brenda Dunn
Muis de Entremont de Pobomcoup Miusse, Mousse Brenda Dunn
NaQuin dit L’Etoile Brenda Dunn
Nogues Brenda Dunn
Nuirat Brenda Dunn
Olivier Oliver, Olivie, Ollivier Brenda Dunn
Ondy Acadian-Cajun.com
Onel O’Neale Brenda Dunn
Orillon dit Champagne Aurillon, Aurion, Orion, Oriont Brenda Dunn
Oudy Brenda Dunn
Ozelet Brenda Dunn
Paris Deparis, Parisis, Parisse, Pary Acadian-Cajun.com
Parisien Leparisien, Parisiens, Parizien Acadian-Cajun.com
Part Brenda Dunn
Pellerin Pelerin, Pelrin Brenda Dunn
Pesseley Acadian-Cajun.com
Petitot dit Saint Sceine Brenda Dunn
Petitpas Brenda Dunn
Pichot Brenda Dunn
Picot Brenda Dunn
Pincer Brenda Dunn
Pinet Brenda Dunn
Pitre dit Marc Lepitre, Pistre, Piter, Pittre Brenda Dunn
Poirier Poerier, Poirie, Poiriers, Poirrier, Porier, Poyrie, Poyrier Brenda Dunn
Poitevin dit Cadieux Lapoitevin, Paudevin, Poidevin, Poitvin, Potdevin, Potevin, Potvin Brenda Dunn
Poitevin dit Parisien Lapoitevin, Paudevin, Poidevin, Poitvin, Potdevin, Potevin, Potvin Brenda Dunn
Poitier Brenda Dunn
Porlier Brenda Dunn
Pothier Pauthier, Pautier, Poitié, Poitier, Poitiers, Potier, Potiers, Pottier Acadian-Cajun.com
Poujet dit Lapierre Brenda Dunn
Poulet Acadian-Cajun.com
Poupard Poupar, Poupare, Poupart Brenda Dunn
Prejean dit LeBreton Pregeant, Pregent, Prejan Brenda Dunn
Pretieux Brenda Dunn
Pugnant dit Destouches Brenda Dunn
Racois dit Desrosiers Brenda Dunn
Raymond Raimon, Raimond, Raymont, Raymon, Remond, Remont Brenda Dunn
Renaud dit Provencal Rainaud, Raynaud, Raynalt, Regnault, Regneault, Renau, Renauld, Renault, Renaut, Renaux, Reneau, Reneault, Renaux, Renod Brenda Dunn
Richard dit Beaupri Richar, Richart Brenda Dunn
Richard dit Boutin Richar, Richart Brenda Dunn
Richard dit Lafont Richar, Richart Brenda Dunn
Richard dit Sancoucy Richar, Richart Brenda Dunn
Rimbeau Rimbaut Brenda Dunn
Rivet Rivais, Rive, Rivest, Rivette, Rivez Brenda Dunn
Robichaud dit Cades Robichau Brenda Dunn
Robichaud dit Niganne Robichau Brenda Dunn
Robichaud dit Prudent Robichau Brenda Dunn
Rodoham Brenda Dunn
Rodrigue dit DeFonds Rodrigues, Rodriguez Brenda Dunn
Rossette Roucet, Roucette, Rouset, Rousette Acadian-Cajun.com
Rousse dit Languedoc Leroux, Rousse, Roux Brenda Dunn
Roy dit Laliberte Leroi, Roi, Roy Brenda Dunn
Rullier Brenda Dunn
Saindon Brenda Dunn
Saint Etienne de La Tour, de Brenda Dunn
Saint Julien de La Chaussee, de Brenda Dunn
Saint Scene Acadian-Cajun.com
Samson Sanson Brenda Dunn
Saulnier Saunier Brenda Dunn
Sauvage dit Chrystophe Sauvages, Sauvagesse, Sauvaget, Savage Brenda Dunn
Sauvage dit Forgeron Sauvages, Sauvagesse, Sauvaget, Savage Brenda Dunn
Savary Brenda Dunn
Savoie Brenda Dunn
Semer Brenda Dunn
Sereau Serot, Serreau Brenda Dunn
Serreau de Saint-Aubin Brenda Dunn
Simon dit Boucher Cimon Acadian-Cajun.com
Simoneau Simonau,   Simonaud, Simoneaux, Simonneau, Simono, Acadian-Cajun.com
Soulard Soular, Soulard, Soulart, Soullard Brenda Dunn
Soulevent Brenda Dunn
Surette Brenda Dunn
Tandau Brenda Dunn
Teriot Teriau, Teriaut, Teriot, Terriau, Terriaux, Terriau, Terriaux, Terriot, Theriault, Theriaux, Therieau Brenda Dunn
Testard dit Parish Testar, Testard, Tetard, Tetart Brenda Dunn
Thebeau Brenda Dunn
Thibault Brenda Dunn
Thibeau Acadian-Cajun.com
Thibodeau Brenda Dunn
Tillard Brenda Dunn
Tourangeau Tourangeau, Tourangeaux Acadian-Cajun.com
Tourneur Brenda Dunn
Toussaint dit Lajeunesse Tousain, Toussain, Toussaint, Toussin, Touzin Brenda Dunn
Trahan Brenda Dunn
Triel dit LaPerriere Brenda Dunn
Turcot Brenda Dunn
Turpin dit LaGiroflee Brenda Dunn
Vallois Brenda Dunn
Veco Acadian-Cajun.com
Vescot Brenda Dunn
Viger Brenda Dunn
Vigneau dit Maurice Vignau, Vignault, Vignaux, Vigneau, Vigneaux Brenda Dunn
Villatte Vilatte Brenda Dunn
Vincent dit Clement Vincant, Vincent Brenda Dunn
Voyer Brenda Dunn
Yvon Acadian-Cajun.com

 Additional Resources

In addition to the resources utilized to compile the Acadian surnames listed above, we recommend the following resources for genealogical research:

  • View the Acadian family tree contributed and maintained by genealogist Karen Theriot Reader at this link.
  • The Acadian Rootsweb list hosted by Paul LeBlanc provides an invaluable resource for sharing information.  To subscribe to the list, please send an email to ACADIAN-request@rootsweb.com with the word ‘subscribe’ without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message.  If you are not already a member, you can browse the archives here or you can search the Acadian list archives for keywords like surnames by utilizing the search engine here.
  • Please visit the Family Heritage Research Community to read exciting articles about how real people like you discovered their roots by way of DNA testing.

Additional projects administered by Roberta Estes and Marie Rundquist that may be relevant to Acadian descendants include:

Thank You

We want to extend a big thank you to the incredible members of the Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project for recruiting new members, for their individual research, and for sharing so willingly. A project is only as strong as the members!

We hope you’ll be joining us soon!

Photography Credit

The location photos used in this article were taken this summer at the Annapolis Royal Historic Site, Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens and the Grand Pre UNESCO World Heritage Site by Marie Rundquist. Thanks to Marie for being our project ambassador, for permission to use her photography here and on the Acadian AmerIndian Ancestry Project page as well.

______________________________________________________________________

Standard Disclosure

This standard disclosure appears at the bottom of every article in compliance with the FTC Guidelines.

Hot links are provided to Family Tree DNA, where appropriate. If you wish to purchase one of their products, and you click through one of the links in an article to Family Tree DNA, or on the sidebar of this blog, I receive a small contribution if you make a purchase. Clicking through the link does not affect the price you pay. This affiliate relationship helps to keep this publication, with more than 850 articles about all aspects of genetic genealogy, free for everyone.

I do not accept sponsorship for this blog, nor do I write paid articles, nor do I accept contributions of any type from any vendor in order to review any product, etc. In fact, I pay a premium price to prevent ads from appearing on this blog.

When reviewing products, in most cases, I pay the same price and order in the same way as any other consumer. If not, I state very clearly in the article any special consideration received. In other words, you are reading my opinions as a long-time consumer and consultant in the genetic genealogy field.

I will never link to a product about which I have reservations or qualms, either about the product or about the company offering the product. I only recommend products that I use myself and bring value to the genetic genealogy community. If you wonder why there aren’t more links, that’s why and that’s my commitment to you.

Thank you for your readership, your ongoing support and for purchasing through the affiliate link if you are interested in making a purchase at Family Tree DNA.

Ancestral DNA Percentages – How Much of Them is in You?

One of the most common questions I receive, especially in light of the interest in ethnicity testing, is how much of an ancestor’s DNA someone “should” share.

The chart above shows how much of a particular generation of ancestors’ DNA you would inherit if each generation between you and that ancestor inherited exactly 50% of that ancestor’s DNA from their parent. This means, on the average, you will carry less than 1% of each of your 5 times great-grandparents DNA, shown in generation 7, in total. You’ll carry about 1.56% of each of your 6 times great-grandparents, and so forth.

As you can see, if you’re looking for a Native American ancestor, for example, who is 7 generations back in your tree, if you carry the average amount of DNA from that ancestor, it will be less than 1% which will be under the noise threshold for detection – and that’s assuming they were 100% Native at that time.

Everyone inherits 50% of their DNA from their parents, but not everyone inherits half of each of their ancestors’ DNA from a parent. Sometimes, the child will inherit all of a segment of DNA from an ancestor, and in other cases, the child will inherit none. In some cases, they will inherit half or a portion of the DNA from an ancestor. In reality, the DNA segments are very seldom divided exactly in half, but all we can deal with are averages when discussing how much DNA you “should” receive from an ancestor, based on where they are in your tree.

The generational relationship chart above represents the average that you will inherit from each of those ancestors. Of course, few people are actually average, and you may not be either. In other words, your ancestor’s DNA may not be detectible at 5, 6 or 7 generations, because it was lost in generations between them and you, while another ancestor’s DNA is still present in detectable amounts at 8 or 9 generations.

How Does Inheritance of Ancestral Segments Actually Work?

For you to inherit a particular segment from one GGGGG-grandparent, the inheritance might look something like this. “You” are at the bottom of the tree. You can click on any graphic to enlarge.

In the above example, you inherited one tenth of the segment from your GGGGG-grandparent which was one third of the DNA that your parent carried in that segment from that ancestor.

A second example is every bit as likely, shown below.

In this second scenario, you inherited nothing of that segment from your GGGGG-grandparent.

A third scenario is also a possibility.

In this third scenario, you inherited all of the DNA from that ancestor as your parent.

Now, think of these three scenarios as three different siblings inheriting from the same parent, and you’ll understand why siblings carry different amounts of DNA from their ancestors.

Of course, the child can only inherit what the parent has inherited from that ancestor, and if that particular segment was gone in the parent’s generation, or generations before the parent, the child certainly can’t inherit the segment. There is no such thing as “skipping generations.”

In this fourth scenario, the parent didn’t receive any of the segment from the GGGGG-grandparent, but maybe their brother or sister did, which is why you want to test aunts and uncles. Testing everyone in your family available from the oldest generation is absolutely critical.

This, of course, is exactly why we test as many relatives as we can. Everyone inherits different amounts of segments of DNA from our common ancestors. This is also why we map our matching segments to those ancestors by triangulating with cousins – to identify which pieces of our DNA came from which ancestor.

Seeing examples of how inheritance works helps us understand that there is no “one answer” to the question we want to know about each ancestor – “How much of you is in me?” The answer is, “it depends” and the actual amount would be different for every ancestor except your parents, where the answer is always 50%.

______________________________________________________________________

Standard Disclosure

This standard disclosure will now appear at the bottom of every article in compliance with the FTC Guidelines.

Hot links are provided to Family Tree DNA, where appropriate. If you wish to purchase one of their products, and you click through one of the links in an article to Family Tree DNA, or on the sidebar of this blog, I receive a small contribution if you make a purchase. Clicking through the link does not affect the price you pay. This affiliate relationship helps to keep this publication, with more than 850 articles about all aspects of genetic genealogy, free for everyone.

I do not accept sponsorship for this blog, nor do I write paid articles, nor do I accept contributions of any type from any vendor in order to review any product, etc. In fact, I pay a premium price to prevent ads from appearing on this blog.

When reviewing products, in most cases, I pay the same price and order in the same way as any other consumer. If not, I state very clearly in the article any special consideration received. In other words, you are reading my opinions as a long-time consumer and consultant in the genetic genealogy field.

I will never link to a product about which I have reservations or qualms, either about the product or about the company offering the product. I only recommend products that I use myself and bring value to the genetic genealogy community. If you wonder why there aren’t more links, that’s why and that’s my commitment to you.

Thank you for your readership, your ongoing support and for purchasing through the affiliate link if you are interested in making a purchase at Family Tree DNA.

Native American Y Haplogroup C-P39 Sprouts Branches!

I am extremely pleased to provide an update on the Haplogroup C-P39 Native American Y DNA project. Marie Rundquist and I as co-administrators have exciting discoveries to share.

As it so happens, this announcement comes almost exactly on the 4th anniversary of the founding of this project at Family Tree DNA. We couldn’t celebrate in a better way!

Native American Y DNA Haplogroups

Haplogroup C is one of two core Native American male haplogroups. Of the two, haplogroup Q is much more prevalent, while haplogroup C is rare. Only some branches of both haplogroup Q and haplogroup C are Native American, with other branches of both haplogroups being Asian and European.

C-P39 is the Native American branch of haplogroup C, and because of its rarity, until now, very little was known. There were no known branches.

In February 2016, Marie Rundquist created a focused project testing plan to upgrade at least one man from each family line to the full 111 markers along with a Big Y test in order to determine if further differentiation could be achieved in the C-P39 haplogroup lineage.

Haplogroup C-P39 Sprouts Branches

In November 2016, Marie presented preliminary research findings at the International Genetic Genealogy Conference in Houston, Texas, with a final evaluation being completed and submitted to Family Tree DNA for review in March 2017. As a result, Marie provides the following press release:

April 29, 2017: Based on a recent “Big Y” DNA novel variant submission from the C-P39 Y DNA project, the Y Tree has been updated by Family Tree DNA scientists. With this latest update, in addition to the C-P39 SNP that distinguishes this haplogroup, there are now new, long-awaited, downstream SNPs and subclades, as reflected in the Y Tree that offer new avenues for research by members of this rare, Native American haplogroup. A summary of new C-P39 Y DNA project subclades follows:

  • North American Appalachian Region: C-P39+ C-BY1360+
  • North American Canada – Multiple Surnames: C-P39+ C-Z30765+
  • North American Canada – Multiple Surnames: C-P39+ C-Z30750+
  • North American Canada: Acadia (Nova Scotia): C-P39+ C-Z30750+
  • North American Canada: Acadia (Nova Scotia): C-P39+ C-Z30754+
  • North American Southwest Region: CP39+ C-Z30747+

The following SNP (BY18405+) was found to have been shared only by two C-P39 project members in the entire Big Y system, as reported here:

  • North American Canada Newfoundland: C-P39+ C-BY18405+
  • North American Canada: Gaspe, QC: C-P39+ C-BY18405+

The ancestors of two families represented in the study, one in the Pacific Northwest and another in the North American Southwest did not experience any mutations in the New World and Big Y results are within the current genetic boundaries of the C-P39 SNP haplogroup as noted.

The Family Tree DNA C-P39 Y DNA Project is managed by Roberta Estes, Administrator, Marie Rundquist, Co-Administrator, and Dr. David Pike, Project Advisor. The “Big Y” DNA test is a product of Family Tree DNA.

Reference: https://www.familytreedna.com/public/ydna_C-P39

The New Tree

The new C-P39 tree at Family Tree DNA is shown, below, including all the new SNPs below P39, a grand total of eight new branches on the C-P39 tree.

It’s just so beautiful to see this in black and white – well, green, black and white. It’s really an amazing accomplishment for citizen scientists to be contributing at this level to the field of genetics.

Beneath C-P39, several sub-branches develop.

  • BY1360 which is represented by a gentleman from Appalachia.
  • BY736 which is represented by two downstream SNPs that include the surnames of both King and Brooms from Canada.
  • Z30747 which is represented by a Garcia from the southwest US, following by downstream subgroup Z30750 represented by a Canadian gentleman, and SNP Z30754 represented by the Acadian Doucette family from Nova Scotia.

This haplotree suggests that the SNP carried by the gentleman from Appalachia is the oldest, with the other sub-branches descending from their common ancient lineage. As you might guess, this isn’t exactly what we had anticipated, but therein lies the thrill of discovery and the promise of science.

The Next Step

Just like with traditional genealogy, this discovery begets more questions. Now, testing needs to be done on additional individuals to see if we can further tease apart relationships and perhaps identify patterns to suggest a migration path. This testing will come, in part, from STR marker testing along with Big Y testing for some lines not yet tested at that level.

We’re also hopeful, of course, that anyone who carries haplogroup C-P39 or any downstream branch will join the C-P39 project. Collaboration is key to discovery.

Contributing

If you would like to donate to the C-P39 project general fund to play a critical role in the next steps of discovery, we would be eternally grateful. At this point, we need to fund at least 4 additional Big Y tests, plus several 111 marker upgrades, totaling about $3000. You can contribute to the project general fund at this link:

https://www.familytreedna.com/group-general-fund-contribution.aspx?g=Y-DNAC-P39

Thank you in advance – every little bit helps!

Kudos

I want to personally congratulate Marie for her hard work and dedication over the past year to bring this monumental discovery and tree update to fruition. It’s truly an incredible accomplishment representing countless hours of behind the scenes work.

Marie and I would both like to thank all of our participants, individuals who contributed funds to the testing, Dr. David Pike as a project advisor and, of course, Family Tree DNA, without whom none of this would be possible.

DNA Testing for Native Heritage

If you are male and have not yet Y DNA tested, but believe that you have a Native ancestor on your direct paternal (surname) line, please order at least the 37 marker test at Family Tree DNA. Your results and who you match will tell that story!

People with Native heritage on any ancestral line are encouraged to join the American Indian Project at Family Tree DNA. If you have tested elsewhere, you can download your results to Family Tree DNA for free.

For additional information about DNA testing for Native American heritage, please read Proving Native American Ancestry Using DNA.

Concepts – Percentage of Ancestors’ DNA

A very common question is, “How much DNA of an ancestor do I carry and how does that affect my ethnicity results?”

This question is particularly relevant for people who are seeking evidence of a particular ethnicity of an ancestor several generations back in time. I see this issue raise its head consistently when people take an ethnicity test and expect that their “full blood” Native American great-great-grandmother will show up in their results.

Let’s take a look at how DNA inheritance works – and why they might – or might not find the Native DNA they seek, assuming that great-great-grandma actually was Native.

Inheritance

Every child inherits exactly 50% of their autosomal DNA from each parent (except for the X chromosome in males.) However, and this is a really important however, the child does NOT inherit exactly half of the DNA of each ancestor who lived before the parents. How can this be, you ask?

Let’s step through this logically.

The number of ancestors you have doubles in each generation, going back in time.

This chart provides a summary of how many ancestors you have in each generation, an approximate year they were born using a 25 year generation and a 30 year generation, respectively, and how much of their DNA, on average, you could expect to carry, today. You’ll notice that by the time you’re in the 7th generation, you can be expected, on average, to carry 0.78% meaning less than 1% of that GGGGG-grandparent’s DNA.

Looking at the chart, you can see that you reach the 1% level at about the 6th generation with an ancestor probably born in the late 1700s or early 1800s.

It’s also worth noting here that generations can be counted differently. In some instances, you are counted as generation one, so your GGGGG-grandparent would be generation 8.

In general, DNA showing ethnicity below about 5% is viewed as somewhat questionable and below 2% is often considered to be “noise.” Clearly, that isn’t always the case, especially if you are dealing with continental level breakdowns, as opposed to within Europe, for example. Intra-continental (regional) ethnicity breakdowns are particularly difficult and unreliable, but continental level differences are easier to discern and are considered to be more reliable, comparatively.

If you want to learn more about how ethnicity calculations are derived and what they mean, please read the article Ethnicity Testing – A Conundrum.

On Average May Not Mean You

On average, each child receives half of the DNA of each ancestor from their parent.

The words “on average” are crucial to this discussion, because the average assumes that in fact each generation between your GGGGG-grandmother and you inherited exactly half of the DNA in each generation from their parent that was contributed by that GGGGG-grandmother.

Unfortunately, while averages are all that we have to work with, that’s not always how ancestral DNA is passed in each generation.

Let’s say that your GGGGG-grandmother was indeed full Native, meaning no admixture at all.

You can click to enlarge images.

Using the chart above, you can see that your GGGGG-grandmother was full native on all 20 “pieces” or segments of DNA used for this illustration. Those segments are colored red. The other 10 segments, with no color, were contributed by the father.

Let’s say she married a person who was not Native, and in every generation since, there were no additional Native ancestors.

Her child, generation 6, inherited exactly 50% of her DNA, shown in red – meaning 10 segments..

Generation 5, her grandchild, inherited exactly half of her DNA that was carried by the parent, shown in red – meaning 5 segments..

However, in the next generation, generation 4, that child inherited more than half of the Native DNA from their parent. They inherited half of their parent’s DNA, but the half that was randomly received included 3 Native segments out of a possible 5 Native segments that the parent carried.

In generation 3, that child inherited 2 of the possible 3 segments that their parent carried.

In generation 2, that person inherited all of the Native DNA that their parent carried.

In generation 1, your parent inherited half of the DNA that their parent carried, meaning one of 2 segments of Native DNA carried by your grandparent.

And you will either receive all of that one segment, part of that one segment, or none of that one segment.

In the case of our example, you did not inherit that segment, which is why you show no Native admixture, even though your GGGGG-grandmother was indeed fully Native..

Of course, even if you had inherited that Native segment, and that segment isn’t something the population reference models recognize as “Native,” you still won’t show as carrying any Native at all. It could also be that if you had inherited the red segment, it would have been too small and been interpreted as noise.

The “Received” column at the right shows how much of the ancestral DNA the current generation received from their parent.

The “% of Original” column shows how the percentage of GGGGG-grandmother’s DNA is reduced in each generation.

The “Expected” column shows how much DNA, “on average” we would expect to see in each generation, as compared to the “% of Original” which is how much they actually carry.

I intentionally made the chart, above, reflect a scenario close to what we could expect, on average. However, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility to see something like the following scenario, as well.

In the second example, above, neither you nor your parent or grandparent inherited any of the Native segments.

It’s also possible to see a third example, below, where 4 generations in a row, including you, inherited the full amount of Native DNA segments carried by the GG-grandparent.

Testing Other Relatives

Every child of every couple inherits different DNA from their parents. The 50% of their parents’ DNA that they inherit is not all the same. The three example charts above could easily represent three children of the GG-Grandparent and their descendants.

The pedigree chart below shows the three different examples, above.  The great-great-grandparent in the 4th generation who inherited 3 Native DNA segments is shown first, then the inheritance of the Native segments through all 3 children to the current generation.

Therefore, you may not have inherited the red segment of GGGGG-grandmother’s Native DNA, but your sibling might, or vice versa. As you can see in the chart above, one of your third cousins received 3 native segments from GGGGG-grandmother. but your other third cousin received none.

You can see why people are always encouraged to test their parents and grandparents as well as siblings. You never know where your ancestor’s DNA will turn up, and each person will carry a different amount, and different segments of DNA from your common ancestors.

In other words, your great-aunt and great-uncle’s DNA is every bit as important to you as your own grandparent’s DNA – so test everyone in older generations while you can, and their children if they are no longer available.

Back to Great-Great-Grandma

Going back to great-great-grandma and her Native heritage. You may not show Native ethnicity when you expected to see Native, but you may have other resources and recourses. Don’t give up!

Reason Resources and Comments
She really wasn’t Native. Genealogical research will help and mitochondrial DNA testing of an appropriate descendant will point the way to her true ethnic heritage, at least on her mother’s side.
She was Native, but the ethnicity test doesn’t show that I am. Test relatives and find someone descended from her through all females to take a mitochondrial test. The mitochondrial test will answer the question for her matrilineal line unquestionably.
She was partly, but not fully Native. This would mean that she had less Native DNA than you thought, which would mean the percentage coming to you is lower on average than anticipated. Mitochondrial DNA testing someone descended from her through all females to the current generation, which can be male, would reveal whether her mother was Native from her mother’s line.
She was Native, but several generations back in time. You or your siblings may show small percentages of Native or other locations considered to be a component of Native admixture in the absence of any other logical explanation for their presence, such as Siberian or Eastern Asian.

Using Y and Mitochondrial DNA Testing to Supplement Ethnicity Testing

When in doubt about ethnicity results, find an appropriately descended person to take a Y DNA test (males only, for direct paternal lineage) or a mitochondrial DNA test, for direct matrilineal results. These tests will yield haplogroup information and haplogroups are associated with specific world regions and ethnicities, providing a more definitive answer regarding the heritage of that specific line.

Y DNA reflects the direct male line, shown in blue above, and mitochondrial DNA reflects the direct matrilineal line, shown in red. Only males carry Y DNA, but both genders carry mitochondrial DNA.

For a short article about the different kinds of DNA and how they can help genealogists, please read 4 Kinds of DNA for Genetic Genealogy.

Ethnicity testing is available from any of the 3 major vendors, meaning Family Tree DNA, Ancestry or 23andMe. Base haplogroups are provided with 23andMe results, but detailed testing for Y and mitochondrial DNA is only available from Family Tree DNA.

To read about the difference between the two types of testing utilized for deriving haplogroups between 23andMe and Family Tree DNA, please read Haplogroup Comparisons between Family Tree DNA and 23andMe.

For more information on haplogroups, please read What is a Haplogroup?

For a discussion about testing family members, please read Concepts – Why DNA Testing the Oldest Family Members is Critically Important.

If you’d like to read a more detailed explanation of how inheritance works, please read Concepts – How Your Autosomal DNA Identifies Your Ancestors.

Jessica Biel – A Follow-up: DNA, Native Heritage and Lies

Jessica Biel’s episode aired on Who Do You Think You Are on Sunday, April 2nd. I wanted to write a follow-up article since I couldn’t reveal Jessica’s Native results before the show aired.

The first family story about Jessica’s Biel line being German proved to be erroneous. In total, Jessica had three family stories she wanted to follow, so the second family legend Jessica set out to research was her Native American heritage.

I was very pleased to see a DNA test involved, but I was dismayed that the impression was left with the viewing audience that the ethnicity results disproved Jessica’s Native heritage. They didn’t.

Jessica’s Ethnicity Reveal

Jessica was excited about her DNA test and opened her results during the episode to view her ethnicity percentages.

Courtesy TLC

The locations shown below and the percentages, above, show no Native ethnicity.

Courtesy TLC

Jessica was understandably disappointed to discover that her DNA did not reflect any Native heritage – conflicting with her family story. I feel for you Jessica.  Been there, done that.

Courtesy TLC

Jessica had the same reaction of many of us. “Lies, lies,” she said, in frustration.

Well Jessica, maybe not.

Let’s talk about Jessica’s DNA results.

Native or Lies?

I’ve written about the challenges with ethnicity testing repeatedly. At the end of this article, I’ll provide a reading resource list.

Right now, I want to talk about the misperception that because Jessica’s DNA ethnicity results showed no Native, that her family story about Native heritage is false. Even worse, Jessica perceived those stories to be lies. Ouch, that’s painful.

In my world view, a lie is an intentional misrepresentation of the truth. Let’s say that Jessica really didn’t have Native heritage. That doesn’t mean someone intentionally lied. People might have been confused. Maybe they made assumptions. Sometimes facts are misremembered or misquoted. I always give my ancestors the benefit of the doubt unless there is direct evidence of an intentional lie. And if then, I would like to try to understand what prompted that behavior. For example, discrimination encouraged many people of mixed ethnicity to “pass” for white as soon as possible.

That’s certainly a forgivable “lie.”

Ok, Back to DNA

Autosomal DNA testing can only reliably pick up to about the 1% level of minority DNA admixture successfully – minority meaning a small amount relative to your overall ancestry.

Everyone inherits DNA from ancestors differently, in different amounts, in each generation. Remember, you receive half of your DNA from each parent, but which half of their DNA you receive is random. That holds true for every generation between the ancestor in question and Jessica today.  Ultimately, more or less than 50% of any ancestor’s DNA can be passed in any generation.

However, if Jessica inherited the average amount of DNA from each generation, being 50% of the DNA from the ancestor that the parent had, the following chart would represent the amount of DNA Jessica carried from each ancestor in each generation.

This chart shows the amount of DNA of each ancestor, by generation, that an individual testing today can expect to inherit, if they inherit exactly 50% of that ancestor’s DNA from the previous generation. That’s not exactly how it works, as we’ll see in a minute, because sometimes you inherit more or less than 50% of a particular ancestor’s DNA.

Utilizing this chart, in the 4th generation, Jessica has 16 ancestors, all great-great-grandparents. On average, she can expect to inherit 6.25% of the DNA of each of those ancestors.

In the rightmost column, I’ve shown Jessica’s relationship to her Jewish great-great-grandparents, shown in the episode, Morris and Ottilia Biel.

Jessica has two great-great-grandparents who are both Jewish, so the amount of Jewish DNA that Jessica would be expected to carry would be 6.25% times two, or 12.50%. But that’s not how much Jewish DNA Jessica received, according to Ancestry’s ethnicity estimates. Jessica received only 8% Jewish ethnicity, 36% less than average for having two Jewish great-great-grandparents.

Courtesy TLC

Now we know that Jessica carries less Jewish DNA that we would expect based on her proven genealogy.  That’s the nature of random recombination and how autosomal DNA works.

Now let’s look at the oral history of Jessica’s Native heritage.

Native Heritage

The intro didn’t tell us much about Jessica’s Native heritage, except that it was on her mother’s mother’s side. We also know that the fully Native ancestor wasn’t her mother or grandmother, because those are the two women who were discussing which potential tribe the ancestor was affiliated with.

We can also safely say that it also wasn’t Jessica’s great-grandmother, because if her great-grandmother had been a member of any tribe, her grandmother would have known that. I’d also wager that it wasn’t Jessica’s great-great-grandmother either, because most people would know if their grandmother was a tribal member, and Jessica’s grandmother didn’t know that. Barring a young death, most people know their grandmother. Utilizing this logic, we can probably safely say that Jessica’s Native ancestor was not found in the preceding 4 generations, as shown on the chart below.

On this expanded chart, I’ve included the estimated birth year of the ancestor in that particular generation, using 25 years as the average generation length.

If we use the logic that the fully Native ancestor was not between Jessica and her great-great-grandmother, that takes us back through an ancestor born in about 1882.

The next 2 generations back in time would have been born in 1857 and 1832, respectively, and both of those generations would have been reflected as Indian on the 1850 and/or 1860 census. Apparently, they weren’t or the genealogists working on the program would have picked up on that easy tip.

If Jessica’s Native ancestor was born in the 7th generation, in about 1807, and lived to the 1850 census, they would have been recorded in that census as Native at about 43 years of age. Now, it’s certainly possible that Jessica had a Native ancestor that might have been born about 1807 and didn’t live until the 1850 census, and whose half-Native children were not enumerated as Indian.

So, let’s go with that scenario for a minute.

If that was the case, the 7th generation born in 1807 contributed approximately 0.78% DNA to Jessica, IF Jessica inherited 50% in each generation. At 0.78%, that’s below the 1% level. Small amounts of trace DNA are reported as <1%, but at some point the amount is too miniscule to pick up or may have washed out entirely.

Let’s add to that scenario. Let’s say that Jessica’s ancestor in the 7th generation was already admixed with some European. Traders were well known to marry into tribes. If Jessica’s “Native” ancestor in the 7th generation was already admixed, that means Jessica today would carry even less than 0.78%.

You can easily see why this heritage, if it exists, might not show up in Jessica’s DNA results.

No Native DNA Does NOT Equal No Native Heritage

However, the fact that Jessica’s DNA ethnicity results don’t indicate Native American DNA doesn’t necessarily mean that Jessica doesn’t have a Native ancestor.

It might mean that Jessica doesn’t have a Native ancestor. But it might also mean that Jessica’s DNA can’t reliably disclose or identify Native ancestry that far back in time – both because of the genetic distance and also because Jessica may not have inherited exactly half of her ancestor’s Native DNA. Jessica’s 8% Jewish DNA is the perfect example of the variance in how DNA is actually passed versus the 50% average per generation that we have to utilize when calculating expected estimates.

Furthermore, keep in mind that all ethnicity tools are imprecise.  It’s a new field and the reference panels, especially for Native heritage, are not as robust as other groups.

Does Jessica Have Native Heritage?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but here’s what I do know.

  • You can’t conclude that because the ethnicity portion of a DNA test doesn’t show Native ancestry that there isn’t any.
  • You can probably say that any fully Native ancestor is not with in the past 6 generations, give or take a generation or so.
  • You can probably say that any Native ancestor is probably prior to 1825 or so.
  • You can look at the census records to confirm or eliminate Native ancestors in many or most lines within the past 6 or 7 generations.
  • You can utilize geographic location to potentially eliminate some ancestors from being Native, especially if you have a potential tribal affiliation. Let’s face it, Cherokees are not found in Maine, for example.
  • You can potentially utilize Y and mitochondrial DNA to reach further back in time, beyond what autosomal DNA can tell you.
  • If autosomal DNA does indicate Native heritage, you can utilize traditional genealogy research in combination with both Y and mitochondrial DNA to prove which line or lines the Native heritage came from.

Mitochondrial and Y DNA Testing

While autosomal DNA is constrained to 5 or 6 generations reasonably, Y and mitochondrial DNA is not.

Of course, Ancestry, who sponsors the Who Do You Think You Are series, doesn’t sell Y or mitochondrial DNA tests, so they certainly aren’t going to introduce that topic.

Y and mitochondrial DNA tests reach back time without the constraint of generations, because neither Y nor mitochondrial DNA are admixed with the other parent.

The Y DNA follows the direct paternal line for males, and mitochondrial DNA follows the direct matrilineal line for both males and females.

In the Concepts – Who To Test article, I discussed all three types of testing and who one can test to discover their heritage, through haplogroups, of each family line.  Every single one of your ancestors carried and had the opportunity to pass on either Y or mitochondrial DNA to their descendants.  Males pass the Y chromosome to male children, only, and females pass mitochondrial DNA to both genders of their children, but only females pass it on.

I don’t want to repeat myself about who carries which kind of DNA, but I do want to say that in Jessica’s case, based on what is known about her family, she could probably narrow the source of the potential Native ancestor significantly.

In the above example, if Jessica is the daughter – let’s say that we think the Native ancestor was the mother of the maternal great-grandmother. She is the furthest right on the chart, above. The pink coloring indicates that the pink maternal great grandmother carries the mitochondrial DNA and passed it on to the maternal grandmother who passed it to the mother who passed it to both Jessica and her siblings.

Therefore, Jessica or her mother, either one, could take a mitochondrial DNA test to see if there is deeper Native ancestry than an autosomal test can reveal.

When Y and mitochondrial DNA is tested, a haplogroup is assigned, and Native American haplogroups fall into subgroups of Y haplogroups C and Q, and subgroups of mitochondrial haplogroups A, B, C, D, X and probably M.

With a bit of genealogy work and then DNA testing the appropriate descendants of Jessica’s ancestors, she might still be able to discern whether or not she has Native heritage. All is not lost and Jessica’s Native ancestry has NOT been disproven – even though that’s certainly the impression left with viewers.

Y and Mitochondrial DNA Tests

If you’d like to order a Y or mitochondrial DNA test, I’d recommend the Full Mitochondrial Sequence test or the 37 marker Y DNA test, to begin with. You will receive a full haplogroup designation from the mitochondrial test, plus matching and other tools, and a haplogroup estimate with the Y DNA test, plus matching and other tools.

You can click here to order the mitochondrial DNA, the Y DNA or the Family Finder test which includes ethnicity estimates from Family Tree DNA. Family Tree DNA is the only DNA testing company that performs the Y and mitochondrial DNA tests.

Further Reading:

If you’d like to read more about ethnicity estimates, I’d specifically recommend “DNA Ethnicity Testing – A Conundrum.

If you’d like more information on how to figure out what your ethnicity estimates should be, I’d recommend Concepts – Calculating Ethnicity Percentages.

You can also search on the word “ethnicity” in the search box in the upper right hand corner of the main page of this blog.

If you’d like to read more about Native American heritage and DNA testing, I’d  recommend the following articles. You can also search for “Native” in the search box as well.

How Much Indian Do I Have In Me?

Proving Native American Ancestry Using DNA

Finding Your American Indian Tribe Using DNA

Native American Mitochondrial Haplogroups

New Native American Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroups

At the November 2016 Family Tree DNA International Conference on Genetic Genealogy, I was invited to give a presentation about my Native American research findings utilizing the Genographic Project data base in addition to other resources. I was very pleased to be offered the opportunity, especially given that the 2016 conference marked the one year anniversary of the Genographic Project Affiliate Researcher program.

The results of this collaborative research effort have produced an amazing number of newly identified Native American mitochondrial haplogroups. Previously, 145 Native American mitochondrial haplogroups had been identified. This research project increased that number by 79% added another 114 haplogroups, raising the total to 259 Native American haplogroups.

Guilt by Genetic Association

Bennett Greenspan, President of Family Tree DNA, gave a presentation several years ago wherein he described genetic genealogy as “guilt by genetic association.” This description of genetic genealogy is one of the best I have ever heard, especially as it pertains to the identification of ancestral populations by Y and mitochondrial DNA.

As DNA testing has become more mainstream, many people want to see if they have Native ancestry. While autosomal DNA can only measure back in time relative to ethnicity reliably about 5 or 6 generations, Y and mitochondrial DNA due to their unique inheritance paths and the fact that they do not mix with the other parent’s DNA can peer directly back in time thousands of years.

Native American Mitochondrial DNA

Native American mitochondrial DNA consists of five base haplogroups, A, B, C, D and X. Within those five major haplogroups are found many Native as well as non-Native sub-haplogroups. Over the last 15 years, researchers have been documenting haplogroups found within the Native community although progress has been slow for various reasons, including but not limited to the lack of participants with proven Native heritage on the relevant matrilineal genealogical line.

In the paper, “Large scale mitochondrial sequencing in Mexican Americans suggests a reappraisal of Native American origins,” published in 2011, Kumar et al state the following:

For mtDNA variation, some studies have measured Native American, European and African contributions to Mexican and Mexican American populations, revealing 85 to 90% of mtDNA lineages are of Native American origin, with the remainder having European (5-7%) or African ancestry (3-5%). Thus the observed frequency of Native American mtDNA in Mexican/Mexican Americans is higher than was expected on the basis of autosomal estimates of Native American admixture for these populations i.e. ~ 30-46%. The difference is indicative of directional mating involving preferentially immigrant men and Native American women.

The actual Native mtDNA rate in their study of 384 completely sequenced Mexican genomes was 83.3% with 3.1% being African and 13.6% European.

This means that Mexican Americans and those south of the US in Mesoamerica provide a virtually untapped resource for Native American mitochondrial DNA.

The Genographic Project Affiliate Researcher Program

At the Family Tree DNA International Conference in November 2015, Dr. Miguel Vilar announced that the Genographic Project data base would be made available for qualified affiliate researchers outside of academia. There is, of course, an application process and aspiring affiliate researchers are required to submit a research project plan for consideration.

I don’t know if I was the first applicant, but if not, I was certainly one of the first because I wasted absolutely no time in submitting my application. In fact, my proposal likely arrived in Washington DC before Dr. Vilar did!

One of my original personal goals for genetic genealogy was to identify my Native American ancestors. It didn’t take long before I realized that one of the aspects of genetic genealogy where we desperately needed additional research was relative to Native people, specifically within Native language groups or tribes and from individuals who unquestionably know their ancestry and can document that their direct Y or mtDNA ancestors were Native.

Additionally, we needed DNA from pre-European-contact burials to ascertain whether haplogroups found in Europe and Africa were introduced into the Native population post-contact or existed within the Native population as a result of a previously unknown/undocumented contact. Some of both of these types of research has occurred, but not enough.

Slowly, over the years, additional sub-haplogroups have been added for both the Y and mitochondrial Native DNA. In 2007, Tamm et al published the first comprehensive paper providing an overview of the migration pathways and haplogroups in their landmark paper, “Beringian Standstill and the Spread of Native American Founders.” Other research papers have added to that baseline over the years.

beringia map

“Beringian Standstill and the Spread of Native American Founders” by Tamm et al

In essence, whether you are an advocate of one migration or multiple migration waves, the dates of 10,000 to 25,000 years ago are a safe range for migration from Asia, across the then-present land-mass, Beringia, into the Americas. Recently another alternative suggesting that the migration may have occurred by water, in multiple waves, following coastlines, has been proposed as well – but following the same basic pathway. It makes little difference whether the transportation method was foot or kayak, or both, or one or more migration events. Our interest lies in identifying which haplogroups arrived with the Asians who became the indigenous people of the Americas.

Haplogroups

To date, proven base Native haplogroups are:

Y DNA:

  • Q
  • C

Mitochondrial DNA

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • X

Given that the Native, First Nations or aboriginal people, by whatever name you call them, descended from Asia, across the Beringian land bridge sometime between roughly 10,000 and 25,000 years ago, depending on which academic model you choose to embrace, none of the base haplogroups shown above are entirely Native. Only portions, meaning specific subgroups, are known to be Native, while other subgroups are Asian and often European as well. The descendants of the base haplogroups, all born in Asia, expanded North, South, East and West across the globe. Therefore, today, it’s imperative to test mitochondrial DNA to the full sequence level and undergo SNP testing for Y DNA to determine subgroups in order to be able to determine with certainty if your Y or mtDNA ancestor was Native.

And herein lies the rub.

Certainty is relative, pardon the pun.

We know unquestionably that some haplogroups, as defined by Y SNPs and mtDNA full sequence testing, ARE Native, and we know that some haplogroups have never (to date) been found in a Native population, but there are other haplogroup subgroups that are ambiguous and are either found in both Asia/Europe and the Americas, or their origin is uncertain. One by one, as more people test and we obtain additional data, we solve these mysteries.

Let’s look at a recent example.

Haplogroup X2b4

Haplogroup X2b4 was found in the descendants of Radegonde Lambert, an Acadian woman born sometime in the 1620s and found in Acadia (present day Nova Scotia) married to Jean Blanchard as an adult. It was widely believed that she was the daughter of Jean Lambert and his Native wife. However, some years later, a conflicting record arose in which the husband of Radegonde’s great-granddaughter gave a deposition in which he stated that Radegonde came from France with her husband.

Which scenario was true? For years, no one else tested with haplogroup X2b4 that had any information as to the genesis of their ancestors, although several participants tested who descended from Radegonde.

Finally, in 2016, we were able to solve this mystery once and for all. I had formed the X2b4 project with Marie Rundquist and Tom Glad, hoping to attract people with haplogroup X2b4. Two pivotal events happened.

  • Additional people tested at Family Tree DNA and joined the X2b4 project.
  • Genographic Project records became available to me as an affiliate researcher.

At Family Tree DNA, we found other occurrences of X2b4 in:

  • The Czech Republic
  • Devon in the UK
  • Birmingham in the UK

Was it possible that X2b4 could be both European and Native, meaning that some descendants had migrated east and crossed the Beringia land bridge, and some has migrated westward into Europe?

Dr. Doron Behar in the supplement to his publication, “A Copernican” Reassessment of the Human Mitochondrial DNA Tree from its Root” provides the creation dates for haplogroup X through X2b4 as follows:

native-mt-x2b4

These dates would read 31,718 years ago plus or minus 11,709 (eliminating the numbers after the decimal point) which would give us a range for the birth of haplogroup X from 43,427 years ago to 20,009 years ago, with 31,718 being the most likely date.

Given that X2b4 was “born” between 2,992 and 8,186 years ago, the answer has to be no, X2b4 cannot be found both in the Native population and European population since at the oldest date, 8,100 years ago, the Native people had already been in the Americas between 2,000 and 18,000 years.

Of course, all kinds of speculation could be (and has been) offered, about Native people being taken to Europe, although that speculation is a tad bit difficult to rationalize in the Czech Republic.

The next logical question is if there are documented instances of X2b4 in the Native population in the Americas?

I turned to the Genographic Project where I found no instances of X2b4 in the Native population and the following instances of X2b4 in Europe.

  • Ireland
  • Czech
  • Serbia
  • Germany (6)
  • France (2)
  • Denmark
  • Switzerland
  • Russia
  • Warsaw, Poland
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • England (2)
  • Slovakia
  • Scotland (2)

The conclusion relative to X2b4 is clearly that X2b4 is European, and not aboriginally Native.

The Genographic Project Data Base

As a researcher, I was absolutely thrilled to have access to another 700,000+ results, over 475,000 of which are mitochondrial.

The Genographic Project tests people whose identity remains anonymous. One of the benefits to researchers is that individuals in the public participation portion of the project can contribute their own information anonymously for research by answering a series of questions.

I was very pleased to see that one of the questions asked is the location of the birth of the participant’s most distant matrilineal ancestor.

Tabulation and analysis should be a piece of cake, right? Just look at that “most distant ancestor” response, or better yet, utilize the Genographic data base search features, sort, count, and there you go…

Well, guess again, because one trait that is universal, apparently, between people is that they don’t follow instructions well, if at all.

The Genographic Project, whether by design or happy accident, has safeguards built in, to some extent, because they ask respondents for the same or similar information in a number of ways. In any case, this technique provides researchers multiple opportunities to either obtain the answer directly or to put 2+2 together in order to obtain the answer indirectly.

Individuals are identified in the data base by an assigned numeric ID. Fields that provide information that could be relevant to ascertaining mitochondrial ethnicity and ancestral location are:

native-mt-geno-categories

I utilized these fields in reverse order, giving preference to the earliest maternal ancestor (green) fields first, then maternal grandmother (teal), then mother (yellow), then the tester’s place of birth (grey) supplemented by their location, language and ethnicity if applicable.

Since I was looking for very specific information, such as information that would tell me directly or suggest that the participant was or could be Native, versus someone who very clearly wasn’t, this approach was quite useful.

It also allowed me to compare answers to make sure they made sense. In some cases, people obviously confused answers or didn’t understand the questions, because the three earliest ancestor answers cannot contain information that directly contradict each other. For example, the earliest ancestor place of birth cannot be Ireland and the language be German and the ethnicity be Cherokee. In situations like this, I omitted the entire record from the results because there was no reliable way to resolve the conflicting information.

In other cases, it was obvious that if the maternal grandmother and mother and tester were all born in China, that their earliest maternal ancestor was not very likely to be Native American, so I counted that answer as “China” even though the respondent did not directly answer the earliest maternal ancestor questions.

Unfortunately, that means that every response had to be individually evaluated and tabulated. There was no sort and go! The analysis took several weeks in the fall of 2016.

By Haplogroup – Master and Summary Tables

For each sub-haplogroup, I compiled, minimally, the following information shown as an example for haplogroup A with no subgroup:

native-mt-master-chart

The “Previously Proven Native” link is to my article titled Native American Mitochondrial Haplogroups where I maintain an updated list of haplogroups proven or suspected Native, along with the source(s), generally academic papers, for that information.

In some cases, to resolve ambiguity if any remained, I also referenced Phylotree, mtDNA Community and/or GenBank.

For each haplogroup or subgroup within haplogroup, I evaluated and listed the locations for the Genographic “earliest maternal ancestor place of birth” locations, but in the case of the haplogroup A example above, with 4198 responses, the results did not fit into the field so I added the information as supplemental.

By analyzing this information after completing a master tablet for each major haplogroup and subgroups, meaning A, B, C, D and X, I created summary tables provided in the haplogroup sections in this paper.

Family Tree DNA Projects

Another source of haplogroup information is the various mitochondrial DNA projects at Family Tree DNA.

Each project is managed differently, by volunteers, and displays or includes different information publicly. While different information displayed and lack of standardization does present challenges, there is still valuable information available from the public webpages for each mitochondrial haplogroup referenced.

Challenges

The first challenge is haplogroup naming. For those “old enough” to remember when Y DNA haplogroups used to be called by names such as R1b1c and then R1b1a2, as opposed to the current R-M269 – mitochondrial DNA is having the same issue. In other words, when a new branch needs to be added to the tree, or an entire branch needs to be moved someplace else, the haplogroup names can and do change.

In October and November 2016 when I extracted Genographic project data, Family Tree DNA was on Phylotree version 14 and the Genographic Project was on version 16. The information provided in various academic papers often references earlier versions of the phylotree, and the papers seldom indicate which phylotree version they are using. Phylotree is the official name for the mitochondrial DNA haplogroup tree.

Generally, between Phylotree versions, the haplogroup versions, meaning names, such as A1a, remain fairly consistent and the majority of the changes are refinements in haplogroup names where subgroups are added and all or part of A1a becomes A1a1 or A1a2, for example. However, that’s not always true. When new versions are released, some haplogroup names remain entirely unchanged (A1a), some people fall into updated haplogroups as in the example above, and some find themselves in entirely different haplogroups, generally within the same main haplogroup. For example, in Phylotree version 17, all of haplogroup A4 is obsoleted, renamed and shifted elsewhere in the haplogroup A tree.

The good news is that both Family Tree DNA and the Genographic project plan to update to Phylotree V17 in 2017. After that occurs, I plan to “equalize” the results, hopefully “upgrading” the information from academic papers to current haplogroup terminology as well if the authors provided us with the information as to the haplogroup defining mutations that they utilized at publication along with the entire list of sample mutations.

A second challenge is that not all haplogroup projects are created equal. In fact, some are entirely closed to the public, although I have no idea why a haplogroup project would be closed. Other projects show only the map. Some show surnames but not the oldest ancestor or location. There was no consistency between projects, so the project information is clearly incomplete, although I utilized both the public project pages and maps together to compile as much information as possible.

A third challenge is that not every participant enters their most distant ancestor (correctly) nor their ancestral location, which reduces the relevance of results, whether inside of projects, meaning matches to individual testers, or outside of projects.

A fourth challenge is that not every participant enables public project sharing nor do they allow the project administrators to view their coding region results, which makes participant classification within projects difficult and often impossible.

A fifth challenge is that in Family Tree DNA mitochondrial projects, not everyone has tested to the full sequence level, so some people who are noted as base haplogroup “A,” for example, would have a more fully defined haplogroup is they tested further. On the other hand, for some people, haplogroup A is their complete haplogroup designation, so not all designations of haplogroup A are created equal.

A sixth challenge is that in the Genographic Project, everyone has been tested via probes, meaning that haplogroup defining mutation locations are tested to determine full haplogroups, but not all mitochondrial locations are not tested. This removes the possibility of defining additional haplogroups by grouping participants by common mutations outside of haplogroup defining mutations.

A seventh challenge is that some resources for mitochondrial DNA list haplogroup mutations utilizing the CRS (Cambridge Reference Sequence) model and some utilize the RSRS (Reconstructed Sapiens Reference Sequence) model, meaning that the information needs to be converted to be useful.

Resources

Let’s look at the resources available for each resource type utilized to gather information.

native-mt-resources

The table above summarizes the differences between the various sources of information regarding mitochondrial haplogroups.

Before we look at each Native American haplogroup, let’s look at common myths, family stories and what constitutes proof of Native ancestry.

Family Stories

In the US, especially in families with roots in Appalachia, many families have the “Cherokee” or “Indian Princess” story. The oral history is often that “grandma” was an “Indian princess” and most often, Cherokee as well. That was universally the story in my family, and although it wasn’t grandma, it was great-grandma and every single line of the family carried this same story. The trouble was, it proved to be untrue.

Not only did the mitochondrial DNA disprove this story, the genealogy also disproved it, once I stopped looking frantically for any hint of this family line on the Cherokee rolls and started following where the genealogy research indicated. Now, of course this isn’t to say there is no Native IN that line, but it is to say that great-grandma’s direct matrilineal (mitochondrial) line is NOT Native as the family story suggests. Of course family stories can be misconstrued, mis-repeated and embellished, intentionally or otherwise with retelling.

Family stories and myths are often cherished, having been handed down for generations, and die hard.

In fact, today, some unscrupulous individuals attempt to utilize the family myths of those who “self-identify” their ancestor as “Cherokee” and present the myths and resulting non-Native DNA haplogrouip results as evidence that European and African haplogroups are Native American. Utilizing this methodology, they confirm, of course, that everyone with a myth and a European/African haplogroup is really Native after all!

As the project administrator of several projects including the American Indian and Cherokee projects, I can tell you that I have yet to find anyone who has a documented, as in proven lineage, to a Native tribe on a matrilineal line that does not have a Native American haplogroup. However, it’s going to happen one day, because adoptions of females into tribes did occur, and those adopted females were considered to be full tribal members. In this circumstance, your ancestor would be considered a tribal member, even if their DNA was not Native.

Given the Native tribal adoption culture, tribal membership of an individual who has a non-Native haplogroup would not be proof that the haplogroup itself was aboriginally Native – meaning came from Asia with the other Native people and not from Europe or Africa with post-Columbus contact. However, documenting tribal membership and generational connectivity via proven documentation for every generation between that tribally enrolled ancestor and the tester would be a first step in consideration of other haplogroups as potentially Native.

In Canada, the typical story is French-Canadian or metis, although that’s often not a myth and can often be proven true. We rely on the mtDNA in conjunction with other records to indicate whether or not the direct matrilineal ancestor was French/European or aboriginal Canadian.

In Mexico, the Caribbean and points south, “Spain” in the prevalent family story, probably because the surnames are predominantly Spanish, even when the mtDNA very clearly says “Native.” Many family legends also include the Canary Islands, a stopping point in the journey from Europe to the Caribbean.

Cultural Pressures

It’s worth noting that culturally there were benefits in the US to being Native (as opposed to mixed blood African) and sometimes as opposed to entirely white. Specifically, the Native people received head-right land payments in the 1890s and early 1900s if they could prove tribal descent by blood. Tribal lands, specifically those in Oklahoma owned by the 5 Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole) which had been previously held by the tribe were to be divided and allotted to individual tribal members and could then be sold. Suddenly, many families “remembered” that they were of Native descent, whether they were or not.

Culturally and socially, there may have been benefits to being Spanish over Native in some areas as well.

It’s also easy to see how one could assume that Spain was the genesis of the family if Spanish was the spoken language – so care had to be exercised when interpreting some Genographic answers. Chinese can be interpreted to mean “China” or at least Asia, meaning, in this case, “not Native,” but Spanish in Mexico or south of the US cannot be interpreted to mean Spain without other correlating information.

Language does not (always) equal origins. Speaking English does not mean your ancestors came from England, speaking Spanish does not mean your ancestors came from Spain and speaking French does not mean your ancestors came from France.

However, if your ancestors lived in a country where the predominant language was English, Spanish or French, and your ancestor lived in a location with other Native people and spoke a Native language or dialect, that’s a very compelling piece of evidence – especially in conjunction with a Native DNA haplogroup.

What Constitutes Proof?

What academic papers use as “proof” of Native ancestry varies widely. In many cases, the researchers don’t make a case for what they use as proof, they simply state that they had one instance of A2x from Mexico, for example. In other cases, they include tribal information, if known. When stated in the papers, I’ve included that information on the Native American Mitochondrial Haplogroups page.

Methodology

I have adopted a similar methodology, tempered by the “guilt by genetic association” guideline, keeping in mind that both FTDNA projects and Genographic project public participants all provide their own genealogy and self-identify. In other words, no researcher traveled to Guatemala and took a cheek swab or blood sample. The academic samples and samples taken by the Genographic Project in the field are not included in the Genographic public data base available to researchers.

However, if the participant and their ancestors noted were all born in Guatemala, there is no reason to doubt that their ancestors were also found in the Guatemala region.

Unfortunately, not everything was that straightforward.

Examples:

  • If there were multiple data base results as subsets of base haplogroups previously known to be Native from Mexico and none from anyplace else in the world, I’m comfortable calling the results “Native.”
  • If there are 3 results from Mexico, and 10 from Europe, especially if the European results are NOT from Spain or Portugal, I’m NOT comfortable identifying that haplogroup as Native. I would identify it as European so long as the oldest date in the date ranges identifying when the haplogroup was born is AFTER the youngest migration date. For example, if the haplogroup was born 5,000 years ago and the last known Beringia migration date is 10,000 years ago, people with the same haplogroup cannot be found both in Europe and the Americas indigenously. If the haplogroup birth date is 20,000 years ago and the migration date is 10,000 years ago, clearly the haplogroup CAN potentially be found on both continents as indigenous.
  • In some cases, we have the reverse situation where the majority of results are from south of the US border, but one or two claim Spanish or Portuguese ancestry, which I suspect is incorrect. In this case, I will call the results Native so long as there are a significant number of results that do NOT claim Spanish or Portuguese ancestry AND none of the actual testers were born in Spain or Portugal.
  • In a few cases, the FTDNA project and/or Genographic data refute or at least challenge previous data from academic papers. Future information may do the same with this information today, especially where the data sample is small.

Because of ambiguity, in the master data table (not provided in this paper) for each base haplogroup, I have listed every one of the sub-haplogroups and all the locations for the oldest ancestors, plus any other information provided when relevant in the actual extracted data.

When in doubt, I have NOT counted a result as Native. When the data itself is questionable or unreliable, I removed the result from the data and count entirely.

I intentionally included all of the information, Native and non-Native, in my master extracted data tables so that others can judge for themselves, although I am only providing summary tables here. Detailed information will be provided in a series of articles or in an academic paper after both the Family Tree DNA data base and the Genographic data base are upgraded to Phylotree V17.

The Haplogroup Summary Table

The summary table format used for each haplogroup includes the following columns and labels:

  • Hap = Haplogroup as listed at Family Tree DNA, in academic papers and in the Genographic project.
  • Previous Academic Proven = Previously proven or cited as Native American, generally in Academic papers. A list of these haplogroups and papers is provided in the article, Native American Mitochondrial Haplogroups.
  • Academic Confirmed = Academic paper haplogroup assignments confirmed by the Genographic Project and/or Family Tree DNA Projects.
  • Previous Suspected = Not academically proven or cited at Native, but suspected through any number of sources. The reasons each haplogroup is suspected is also noted in the article, Native American Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroups.
  • Suspected Confirmed = Suspected Native haplogroups confirmed as Native.
  • FTDNA Project Proven = Mitochondrial haplogroup proven or confirmed through FTDNA project(s).
  • Geno Confirmed = Mitochondrial haplogroup proven or confirmed through the Genographic Project data base.

Color Legend:

native-mt-color-legend

Additional Information:

  • Possibly, probably or uncertain indicates that the data is not clear on whether the haplogroup is Native and additional results are needed before a definitive assignment is made.
  • No data means that there was no data for this haplogroup through this source.
  • Hap not listed means that the original haplogroup is not listed in the Genographic data base indicating the original haplogroup has been obsoleted and the haplogroup has been renamed.

The following table shows only the A haplogroups that have now been proven Native, omitting haplogroups proven not to be Native through this process, although the original master data table (not included here) includes all information extracted including for haplogroups that are not Native. Summary tables show only Native or potentially Native results.

Let’s look at the summary results grouped by major haplogroup.

Haplogroup A

Haplogroup A is the largest Native American haplogroup.

native-mt-hap-a-pie

More than 43% of the individuals who carry Native American mitochondrial DNA fall into a subgroup of A.

Like the other Native American haplogroups, the base haplogroup was formed in Asia.

Family Tree DNA individual participant pages provide participants with both a Haplogroup Frequency Map, shown above, and a Haplogroup Migration Map, shown below.

native-mt-migration

The Genographic project provides heat maps showing the distribution of major haplogroups on a continental level. You can see that, according to this heat map from when the Genographic Project was created, the majority of haplogroup A is found in the northern portion of the Americas.

native-mt-hap-a-heat

Additionally, the Genographic Project data base also provides a nice tree structure for each haplogroup, beginning with Mitochondrial Eve, in Africa, noted as the root, and progressing to the current day haplogroups.

native-mt-hap-a-tree-root

native-mt-hap-a-tree

Haplogroup A Projects

I enjoy the added benefit of being one of the administrators, along with Marie Rundquist, of the haplogroup A project at Family Tree DNA, as well as the A10, A2 and A4 projects. However, in this paper, I only included information available on the projects’ public pages and not information participants sent to the administrators privately.

The Haplogroup A Project at Family Tree DNA is a public project, meaning available for anyone with haplogroup A to join, and fully publicly viewable with the exception of the participant’s surname, since that is meaningless when the surname traditionally changes with every generation. However, both the results, complete with the Maternal Ancestor Name, and the map, are visible. HVR1 and HVR2 results are displayed, but coding region results are never available to be shown in projects, by design.

native-mt-hap-a-project

The map below shows all participants for the entire project who have entered a geographic location. The three markers in the Middle East appear to be mis-located, a result of erroneous user geographic location input. The geographic locations are selected by participants indicating the location of their most distant mitochondrial ancestor. All 3 are Spanish surnames and one is supposed to be in Mexico. Please disregard those 3 Middle Eastern pins on the map below.

native-mt-hap-a-project-map

Haplogroup A Summary Table

The subgroups of haplogroup A and the resulting summary data are shown in the table below.

native-mt-hap-a-chart-1

native-mt-hap-a-chart-2

native-mt-hap-a-chart-3

  • Total haplogroups Native – 75
  • Total haplogroups uncertain – 1
  • Total haplogroups probable – 1
  • Total new Native haplogroups – 38, 1 probable.
  • Total new Native haplogroups proven by FTDNA Projects – 9, 1 possibly
  • Total new Native haplogroups proven by Genographic Project – 35, 1 probable

Haplogroup B

Haplogroup B is the second largest Native American haplogroup, with 23.53% of Native participants falling into this haplogroup.

native-mt-hap-b-pie

The Genographic project provides the following heat map for haplogroup B4, which includes B2, the primary Native subgroup.

native-mt-hap-b-heat

The haplogroup B tree looks like this:

native-mt-hap-b-tree-root

native-mt-hap-b-tree

native-mt-hap-b-tree-2

B4 and B5 are main branches.

You will note below that B2 falls underneath B4b.

native-mt-hap-b-tree-3

Haplogroup B Projects

At Family Tree DNA, there is no haplogroup B project, but there is a haplogroup B2 project, which is where the majority of the Native results fall. Haplogroup B Project administrators have included a full project display, along with a map. All of the project participants are shown on the map below.

native-mt-hap-b-project-map

Please note that the pins colored other than violet (haplogroup B) should not be shown in this project. Only haplogroup B pins are violet.

Haplogroup B Summary Table

native-mt-hap-b-chart-1

native-mt-hap-b-chart-2

  • Total haplogroups Native – 63
  • Total haplogroups refuted – 1
  • Total new Native haplogroups – 43
  • Total new Native haplogroups proven by Family Tree DNA projects – 12
  • Total new Native haplogroups proven by Genographic Project – 41

Haplogroup C

Haplogroup C is the third largest Native haplogroup with 22.99% of the Native population falling into this haplogroup.

native-mt-hap-c-pie

Haplogroup C is primarily found in Asia per the Genographic heat map.

native-mt-hap-c-heat

The haplogroup C tree is as follows:

native-mt-hap-c-root

native-mt-hap-c-tree-1

native-mt-hap-c-tree-2

Haplogroup C Project

Unfortunately, at Family Tree DNA, the haplogroup C project has not enabled their project pages, even for project members.

When I first began compiling this data, the Haplogroup C project map was viewable.

native-mt-hap-c-project-map-world

Haplogroup C Summary Table

native-mt-hap-c-chart-1

native-mt-hap-c-chart-2

  • Total haplogroups Native – 61
  • Total haplogroups refuted – 2
  • Total haplogroups possible – 1
  • Total haplogroups probable – 1
  • Total new Native haplogroups – 8
  • Total new Native haplogroups proven by Family Tree DNA projects – 6
  • Total new Native haplogroups proven by Genographic Project – 5, 1 possible, 1 probable

Haplogroup D

Haplogroup D is the 4th largest, or 2nd smallest Native haplogroup, depending on your point of view, with 6.38% of Native participants falling into this haplogroup.

native-mt-hap-d-pie

Haplogroup D is found throughout Asia, into Europe and throughout the Americas.

native-mt-hap-d-heat

Haplogroups D1 and D2 are the two subgroups primarily found in the New World.

native-mt-hap-d-heat-d1

The haplogroup D1 heat map is shown above and D2 is shown below.

native-mt-hap-d-heat-d2

The Tree for haplogroup D is a subset of M.

native-mt-hap-d-tree-root

Haplogroup D begins as a subhaplogroup of M80..

native-mt-hap-d-tree-2

Haplogroup D Projects

D is publicly viewable, but shows testers last name, no ancestor information and no location, so I utilized maps once again.

native-mt-hap-d-project-map

Haplogroup D Summary Table

native-hap-d-chart-1

native-hap-d-chart-2

  • Total haplogroups Native – 50
  • Total haplogroups possibly both – 3
  • Total haplogroups uncertain – 2
  • Total haplogroups probable – 1
  • Total haplogroups refuted – 3
  • Total new Native Haplogroups – 25
  • Total new Native haplogroups proven by Family Tree DNA projects – 2
  • Total new Native haplogroups proven by Genographic Project – 22, 1 probably

Haplogroup X

Haplogroup X is the smallest of the known Native base haplogroups.

native-mt-hap-x-pie

Just over 3% of the Native population falls into haplogroup X.

The heat map for haplogroup X looks very different than haplogroups A-D.

native-mt-hap-x-heat

The tree for haplogroup X shows that it too is also a subgroup of M and N.

native-mt-hap-x-root

native-mt-hap-x-tree

Haplogroup X Project

At Family Tree DNA, the Haplogroup X project is visible, but with no ancestral locations displayed. I utilized the map, which was visible.

native-mt-hap-x-project-map

This map of the entire haplogroup X project tells you immediately that the migration route for Native X was not primarily southward, but east. Haplogroup X is found primarily in the US and in the eastern half of Canada.

Haplogroup X Summary Table

native-mt-hap-x-chart

  • Total haplogroups Native – 10
  • Total haplogroups uncertain, possible or possible both Native and other – 8
  • Total New Native haplogroups – 0

Haplogroup M

Haplogroup M, a very large, old haplogroup with many subgroups, is not typically considered a Native haplogroup.

The Genographic project shows the following heat map for haplogroup M.

native-mt-hap-m-heat

The heat map for haplogroup M includes both North and South America, but according to Dr. Miguel Vilar, Science Manager for the Genographic Project, this is because both haplogroups C and D are subsets of M.

native-mt-hap-m-migration

The haplogroup M migration map from the Genographic Project shows haplogroup M expanding across southern Asia.

native-mt-hap-m-root

The tree for haplogroup M, above, is abbreviated, without the various subgroups being expanded.

native-mt-hap-m1-tree

The M1 and M1a1e haplogroups shown above are discussed in the following section, as is M18b, below.

native-mt-hap-m18b-tree

The Haplogroup M Project

The haplogroup M project at Family Tree DNA shows the worldwide presence of haplogroup M and subgroups.

native-mt-hap-m-project-map

Native Presence

Haplogroup M was originally reported in two Native burials in the Americas. Dr. Ripan Malhi reported haplogroup M (excluding M7, M8 and M9) from two separate skeletons from the same burial in China Lake, British Columbia, Canada, about 150 miles north of the Washington State border, dating from about 5000 years ago. Both skeletons were sequenced separately in 2007, with identical results and are believed to be related.

While some researchers are suspicious of these findings as being incomplete, a subsequent paper in 2013, Ancient DNA-Analysis of Mid-Holocene Individuals from the Northwest Coast of North America Reveals Different Evolutionary Paths for Mitogenomes, which included Mahli as a co-author states the following:

Two individuals from China Lake, British Columbia, found in the same burial with a radiocarbon date of 4950+/−170 years BP were determined to belong to a form of macrohaplogroup M that has yet to be identified in any extant Native American population [24], [26]. The China Lake study suggests that individuals in the early to mid-Holocene may exhibit mitogenomes that have since gone extinct in a specific geographic region or in all of the Americas.

Haplogroup M Summary Table

native-mt-hap-m-chart

One additional source for haplogroup M was found in GenBank noted as M1a1e “USA”, but there were also several Eurasian submissions for M1a1e as well. However, Doron Behar’s dates for M1a1e indicate that the haplogroup was born about 9,813 years ago, plus or minus 4,022 years, giving it a range of 5,971 to 13,835 years ago, meaning that M1a1e could reasonably be found in both Asia and the Americas. There were no Genographic results for M1a1e. At this point, M1a1e cannot be classified as Native, but remains on the radar.

Hapologroup M1 was founded 23,679 years ago +-4377 years. It is found in the Genographic Project in Cuba, Venezuela and is noted as Native in the Midwest US. M1 is also found in Colorado and Missouri in the haplogroup M project at Family Tree DNA, but the individuals did not have full sequence tests nor was additional family information available in the public project.

The following information is from the master data table for haplogroup M potentially Native haplogroups.

Haplogroup M Master Data Table for Potentially Native Haplogroups

The complete master data tables includes all subhaplogroups of M, the partial table below show only the Native haplogroups.

native-mt-hap-m-chart-1

native-mt-hap-m-master-data-chart-2

Haplogroup M18b is somewhat different in that two individuals with this haplogroup at Family Tree DNA have no other matches.  They both have a proven connection to Native families from interrelated regions in North Carolina.

I initiated communications with both individuals who tested at Family Tree DNA who subsequently provided their genealogical information. Both family histories reach back into the late 1700s, one in the location where the Waccamaw were shown on maps in in the early 1700s, and one near the border of Virginia and NC. One participant is a member of the Waccamaw tribe today. A family migration pattern exists between the NC/VA border region and families to the Waccamaw region as well. An affidavit exists wherein the family of the individual from the NC/VA border region is sworn to be “mixed” but with no negro blood.

In summary:

  • Haplogroups M and M1 could easily be both Native as well as Asian/European, given the birth age of the haplogroup.
  • Haplogroup M1a1e needs additional results.
  • Haplogroup M18b appears to be Native, but could also be found elsewhere given the range of the haplogroup birth age. Additional proven Native results could bolster this evidence.
  • In addition to the two individuals with ancestors from North Carolina, M18b is also reported in a Sioux individuals with mixed race ethnicity

The Dark Horse Late Arrival – Haplogroup F

I debated whether I should include this information, because it’s tenuous at best.

The American Indian project at Family Tree DNA includes a sample of F1a1 full sequence result whose most distant matrilineal ancestor is found in Mexico.

Haplogroup F is an Asian haplogroup, not found in Europe or in the Americas.

native-mt-hap-f-heat

native-mt-hap-f-migration

Haplogroup F, according to the Genographic Project, expands across central and southern Asia.

native-mt-hap-f-root

native-mt-hap-f1a1-tree

According to Doron Behar, F1a1 was born about 10,863 years ago +- 2990 years, giving it a range of 7,873 – 13,853.

Is this Mexican F1a1 family Native? If not, how did F1a1 arrive in Mexico, and when? F1a1 is not found in either Europe or Africa.

In August, 2015, an article published in Science, Genomic evidence for the Pleistocene and recent population history of Native Americans by Raghaven et al suggested that a secondary migration occurred from further south in Asia, specifically the Australo-Melanesians, as shown in the diagram below from the paper. If accurate, this East Asian migration originating further south could explain both the haplogroup M and F results.

native-mt-nature-map

A second paper, published in Nature in September 2015 titled Genetic evidence for two founding populations of the Americas by Skoglund et al says that South Americans share ancestry with Australasian populations that is not seen in Mesoamericans or North Americans.

The Genographic project has no results for F1a1 outside of Asia.

I have not yet extracted the balance of haplogroup F in the Genographic project to look for other indications of haplogroups that could potentially be Native.

Haplogroup F Project

The haplogroup F project at Family Tree DNA shows no participants in the Americas, but several in Asia, as far south as Indonesia and also into southern Europe and Russia.

native-mt-hap-f-project-map

Haplogroup F Summary Table

native-mt-hap-f-chart

Haplogroup F1a1 deserves additional attention as more people test and additional samples become available.

Native Mitochondrial Haplogroup Summary

Research in partnership with the Genographic Project as well as the publicly available portions of the projects at Family Tree DNA has been very productive. In total, we now have 259 proven Native haplogroups. This research project has identified 114 new Native haplogroups, or 44% of the total known haplogroups being newly discovered within the Genographic Project and the Family Tree DNA projects.

native-mt-hap-summary

Acknowledgements

800 Articles Strong

800-strong

Today is something of a red-letter day. This is the 801st article published on this blog.

This blog, DNA-Explained, was christened on July 11, 2012 and will soon be 5 years old, as hard as that is to believe. In some ways, it feels like this blog has been around “forever” and in other ways, it feels like it’s very new, because there is always some interesting topic to write about.

Truthfully, I can’t believe I’ve written 800 articles. No wonder some of the letters are worn off of my keyboard. And it’s my second keyboard!

My original goal was one article per week, which would have been about 235 articles by now. I wasn’t sure I could accomplish that. It’s amazing what inspiration can do! I love genetic genealogy every bit as much today as I did then, if not more. What an incredibly exciting time to be alive with an unbelievable opportunity to participate in an unfolding field with new discoveries being made on an almost daily basis.

I had been considering a DNA blog when Spencer Wells, then Scientist in Residence at the National Geographic Society, suggested that I SHOULD author a blog. That encouragement was all it took to motivate me. Thanks so much Spencer for that final nudge!!!

spencer and me

Just 12 days after DNA-Explained’s launch, the Genographic 2.0 product was introduced and I was privileged to participate in that announcement.

I started writing articles in self-defense, truthfully, because I was receiving the same questions over and over again. I figured if I could write the answer once, I could then just point the next person with that same question to an answer that included graphics and illustrations and was a much better answer than I could provide in an e-mail.

Plus, repetitively recreating the same answer was a time-waster – and blogging to share publicly with the goal of helping lots of people learn seemed the perfect solution.

I had no idea, and I mean none, that DNA testing in the direct to consumer marketplace would explode like it has. I’m glad I started writing when I did, because there are ever-more people asking questions. That’s a good thing, because it means people are testing and learning what messages their DNA has for them.

Our DNA is the most personal record of our ancestors that we’ll ever have – and today more and more tools exist to interpret what those ancestors are telling us. We are still panning for gold on the frontier of science although we know infinitely more than we did a decade or 5 years ago, and we know less than we will 5 or 10 years from now. We are still learning every single day. That’s what makes this field so exciting, and infinitely personal.

Here’s part of what I said in my introductory article:

Genetic genealogy is a world full of promise, but it changes rapidly and can be confusing. People need to understand how to use the numerous tools available to us to unravel our ancestral history.

People also love to share stories. We become inspired by the successes of others, and ideas are often forthcoming that we would not have otherwise thought of.

In light of that, I’ve tried to include a wide variety of articles at every level so that there is something for everyone. I hope I’ve managed to make genetics interesting and shared some of my enthusiasm with you over the years.

In Celebration

To celebrate this 800 article-versary, I’m going to share a few things.

  • Article organization and how to find what you want
  • The 10 most popular articles of those 800
  • Two things people can do to help themselves
  • Articles I wish people would read
  • Questions asked most frequently

Then, I’m going to ask you what you’d like for me to write about in the future.

Articles Organization aka How To Find What You Want

Blogs allow you to group articles by both categories and tags, two ways of organizing your articles so that people and search engines can find them.

Each article is identified by categories. You can click on any of the categories, below, to see which articles fall into that category. These are also some of the keywords for the blog search feature.

I’ve also grouped articles by tags as shown on the sidebar of the blog. The larger text indicates tags with more articles.

800-tags

You can click on any of those as well (on the actual blog page) to view all the articles that fall into that tag group.

For example, one of my 52 Ancestor Stories would be tagged with “52 Weeks of Ancestors” but if it discussed Y DNA, that would be one of the categories selected.

At the end of every blog article, you can see the category or categories the article is posted under, tags and other pertinent information about that article.

800-end-of-article

The Top 10 Articles

  1. Proving Native American Ancestry Using DNA
  2. 4 Kinds of DNA for Genetic Genealogy
  3. Ethnicity Results – True or Not?
  4. Mythbusting – Women, Fathers and DNA
  5. Genealogy and Ethnicity DNA Testing – 3 Legitimate Companies
  6. How Much Indian Do I Have in Me???
  7. What is a Haplogroup?
  8. Thick Hair, Small Boobs, Shovel Shaped Teeth and More
  9. Ethnicity Testing and Results
  10. 23andMe, Ancestry and Selling Your DNA Information

The Two Things People Can Do To Help Themselves

  1. Search first.

Before asking a question, I wish people would try searching my blog for the answer. Using the search box in the upper right hand corner, the blog is fully key word searchable.

800-search

Furthermore, even if you can’t figure out the right key word to search, you can also find articles on my blog by searching for phrases using google.

2. Upload GEDCOM files.

Your DNA testing is only as good as the comparisons you can make, and the ancestors and ancestral links you can find. Please, please, PLEASE upload GEDCOM files to Family Tree DNA and GedMatch. If you don’t have a tree, you can create one at Family Tree DNA. Link your tree to your DNA results on Ancestry and share your results. 23andMe has no tree ability at this time.

The Articles I Wish People Would Read

In addition to some of the articles already listed in the top 10, I wish people would read:

Questions Asked Most Frequently

  • Questions relating to Native American heritage and testing.
  • Questions relating to ethnicity, especially when the results are unexpected or don’t seem to align with what is known or family oral history.
  • Overwhelmed newbies who receive results and don’t have any idea how to interpret what they’ve received, which is why I created the Help page.

The Future – What Articles Would You Like to See?

It’s your turn.

What topics would you like to see me cover in upcoming articles? Is there something in particular that you find confusing, or enticing, or exciting?

I’m not promising that I’ll write about every topic, and some may be combined, but articles are often prompted by questions and suggestions from readers.

And speaking of readers…

Thank You

A very big thank you to all of my subscribers and followers for making DNA-Explained so popular and such a success. You folks are amazing, infinitely giving and helpful. We really are a community!

thank-you