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  • American Indian ancestor

    My cousin's 37 marker test results just came in. There is a persistent tradition in our family that we have American Indian blood in us. Not much, but some. Would this Y-DNA test show this? If so, under what catagory? Or would I have to track down a female, direct descendant (of the Indian) for her mtDNA?

  • #2
    JNorstedt,

    Was your cousin told which Y-DNA haplogroup he belongs to? Was it Native American or European? If it was European or something other than Native American then, no, it wouldn't show up on that test. The Y-DNA test only tests the direct male line of the person who took the test (your cousin's father's father's father and so on). Do you know exactly who the American Indian was in your family? Male or female? That's what would determine who would take which test to find that DNA.

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    • #3
      The Ydna test determines the dna of the person's father's father's father ... going back. Similarly the mtdna test determines the dna of the persons mother's mother's mother etc. No dna outside of these lines is determined by the two tests.

      So, particularly if you a only a small part Native American, it is unlikely to be represented in these two tests.

      There are tests, not done by FTDNA, which test recombitant dna and return percentages of geographic/ethnic groups. They are not very accurate and do not do a satisfactory job, in my opinion, of determining small percentages. I would not recommend one of these tests but by all means do some research and make up your own mind,

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      • #4
        A direct descendant of the American Indian could take a test to see if it revealed a Native American haplogroup. If the American Indian was a female, it would be the mtDNA test. But it would have to be her female descendants (daughter’s daughter’s daughter and so on). If the American Indian was a male, then his male line could take the Y-DNA test (his son’s son’s son’s son). But that would only work if both of the American Indian’s parents had been Native American.

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        • #5
          Hey All, I am American Indian and my mtDNA showed up as European K haplogroup. Surprised me. However, my People were known for including outsiders into the Tribe by various means. I guess my learning is that your family stories of having Indian blood may be totally accurate but don't bet the farm that haplogroups A B C D or X will show up :-) Thanks, Bob

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          • #6
            I can relate. Sort of. I had the opposite experience. I was told that I was European but my mtDNA haplogroup turned out to be Native American. On top of that, my Ancestry By DNA test showed more Native American than anything. I guess my grandparents wandered away from the tribe.

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            • #7
              As far as my maternal grandmother knew, all her family was Canarian. They even look it.

              But surprise surprise- Haplogroup A!

              Which was NOT present in the original American Indian population of the New World colony her family moved to!

              But it has shown up in more than one person in the Canary Island, plus several in mainland Spain. Back migrations are the simplest explanation- but I will never know.

              I consider myself European American. There is just no getting around my fine head hair, plenty body hair, deep eye sockets, narrow palate, high nose bridge, and light skin (not that the last one is all that good an indicator).

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              • #8
                Eternitat,

                How interesting. I have read that Native Americans were taken to Spain and other parts of Europe as slaves. Have you heard of Squanto? He was taken to England. There’s a movie about him. Maybe one of your ancestors was one of the ones who was taken. It’s just a guess. I think someone else mentioned earlier that Europeans took their Native American wives and kids back to Europe with them. Either way, if it was one ancestor hundreds of years ago, you’re probably right about being mostly European.

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                • #9
                  Yes, you are correct. American Indians were captured and sold into slavery en masse long before the wholesale African slave trade began. Many of our People were sent to England and many found themselves in the West Indes as slaves. Not much is written of this outside of academic circles. Squanto was indeed an American Indian slave eventually returned to America where he did become the one who taught the Puritans to survive in the New World. Incidentally, when Squanto returned he found his home village had been completely wiped out by smallpox; a disease unknown in America before European contact. Thanks...Bob

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                  • #10
                    very interesting stuff.
                    Last edited by M.O'Connor; 21 December 2005, 06:07 PM.

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                    • #11
                      American Indian was female

                      Thanks to all who responded to my question. I understand this testing better now. What has confused me is that since everyone carries half of their mothers genes and half of their fathers genes, why can't a test be done to trace both in any given person (female)? I consider myself part Bohemian and Irish (with the American Indian female) on my fathers side, and "English" on my mothers. But, only my mtDNA from my mother can be tested. I still have Irish and Bohemian genes in there somewhere, and the American Indian. This has to show up somewhere.

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                      • #12
                        Hi There. I have similiar challenges like you do. I am going to have my autosomal DNA test done. I understand that our autosomal DNA makes up the majority of who we are. The test looks at (175?) different SNPs from both sides of your lineage and can give you a look at other ancestry lines. The mtDNA and Y-DNA looks at the sex chromosomes while the autosomal test looks at everything else. At least this is how I understand it. GeneTree and Ancestry by DNA offer this test. Why not? Peace...Bob

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                        • #13
                          If I had money, I would get my autosomal DNA analyzed to see my exact ethnic breakdown.

                          But I don't have that kind of money at the moment.

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                          • #14
                            Well, payday is coming up :-) Guess I'll put off a few bills. I would really like to have more understanding about this if I can. BTW- I am a "card carrying" Cherokee from the southeastern US.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bob Swinea
                              Well, payday is coming up :-) Guess I'll put off a few bills. I would really like to have more understanding about this if I can. BTW- I am a "card carrying" Cherokee from the southeastern US.
                              Bob Swinea,

                              Will you let us know the results of your test? I'm curious to know what the percentages are of a card carrying Cherokee Indian. I got 60 percent NA on my test. I have light skin and brown hair. I go to all the local powwows and alot of people there look like me.

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