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  • Confused on which test for Native American

    I've been researching for over 10 years and am having trouble finding where the Native American comes in my grandfather's line. He & his siblings are visibly native american and the lead we have is that it was his grandmother but her last name was Smith...obviously giving me a huge headache.

    My grandfather wants to take part in this test if it will give us an answer but I'm confused by the information presented. Since it was his grandmother's line (most likely) will it show up in his DNA test? And if it would show up then what test would we need to get an answer? I had assumed the 12 marker test would show it but after rereading the information I'm lost.

    Thank you in advance!

    Tara Barrett

  • #2
    Re: Confused on which test for Native American

    Originally posted by deah
    I've been researching for over 10 years and am having trouble finding where the Native American comes in my grandfather's line. He & his siblings are visibly native american and the lead we have is that it was his grandmother but her last name was Smith...obviously giving me a huge headache.

    My grandfather wants to take part in this test if it will give us an answer but I'm confused by the information presented. Since it was his grandmother's line (most likely) will it show up in his DNA test? And if it would show up then what test would we need to get an answer? I had assumed the 12 marker test would show it but after rereading the information I'm lost.

    Thank you in advance!

    Tara Barrett
    Hi,

    To start off, the best test to use would be the mt DNA test. If the Native American is in his mothers line, then the Y-chromosome marker test won't show it.

    If the Native American was from your grandfathers maternal line (ie. his mother & her mother & her mother etc) ancestors, then the mtDNA test will be the first test to use.
    Both daughters and sons get their mtDNA from their mothers only (but only the daughters pass it down to their children).

    If the haplotype comes back as a European one, then that might mean that the native American ancestor wasn't on the strict maternal line (ie mothers mothers mothers mother etc..) & might have been from his mothers mothers father instead. So if that happens I would then order the DNA print test (if you can) to see if that measures any Native American ancestry (but be aware that in some people the Native American comes up as "East Asian" instead).

    Hope this helps,

    Angela.

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    • #3
      Thanks for your reply This was his father's mother so would the Y test work with that? It appears it wouldn't since it wouldn't be passed from his father to him but rather only passed down in his father's sisters lines.
      Last edited by deah; 28 February 2004, 03:43 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by deah
        This was his father's mother.
        In that case, the DNA print would be the only useful test to use. The DNA print test is offered by "ancestry by DNA". Up until recently Family tree DNA also acted as an agent for the test, but I notice on the website they are no-longer doing so.

        http://www.ancestrybydna.com/

        If your grand father is greater than 25% Native American the test should be of help, but if the result is less than than it should be interpreted with caution (the test margin of error can be up to about 8%).

        Angela.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by deah
          Thanks for your reply This was his father's mother so would the Y test work with that?
          The Y chromosome test works the opposite way to the mtDNA test - its only inherited along the paternal line, so you are right, the Y-chromosome marker test won't be of use.

          Yes - If you can find a female line descendant of a sister of his father, then they could have their mtDNA tested...

          Angela.

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          • #6
            Deah,

            You have to think about what question you are asking.

            The best person to test would be your grandfather.

            The Y-DNA test would effectively test only one person, your granfather's father's father's father's ... etc.

            Similarly the mtDNA test (which males can take) effectively tests only one person, your grandfather's mother' mother's mother's ... etc.

            The other test, DNAPrint, which FamilyTreeDNA no longers offers but is available elsewhere, tests DNA which originated from both his parents (and their parents etc.). BUT the results are presented as percentages of the participant's racial makeup. Since you say he and his siblings look Native American is it really going to help to know he is, say, 34% Native American.

            No test currently available, and I am confident in saying available in the forseeable future, is able to pinpoint DNA from particular ancestors (except for the above special cases), for example your grandfather's mother's mother's father's father.

            All the best,

            Bob

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