Dna Test Native American Ancestry – Does your Native DNA show any Native American heritage in your results? Find out the reasons why your Native American roots may not show up in your ancestry results in this post.
But what does it mean if your results show 0% Native American DNA if you’re sure you’re of Native American descent?
Dna Test Native American Ancestry
A while ago I was trying to help an elderly African-American friend understand why his DNA results weren’t showing up for Native American ancestry. Family stories told to him by his father indicated that his grandfather came from the Ho-chunk people of Wisconsin.
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Genealogical records seemed to confirm his family stories. We tracked down documents to learn more about his grandfather’s ancestry, which showed he was born on land owned by Native Americans.
What the hell was going on? Why isn’t his Native American DNA shown? My friend was very disappointed to say the least.
Why is no evidence of your Native American or Native American ancestry showing in your Native DNA results? There are some simple explanations for this phenomenon.
Our DNA doesn’t exactly match our family tree, which means our DNA results don’t show the ancestors we know. There are many reasons for that.
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Below are three key explanations we can turn to if our ancestral DNA results don’t show Native Americans when we expect them to.
The most common reason someone with Native American ancestry won’t see this in their Native DNA results is because they didn’t inherit Native American DNA. This can happen even if the ancestor was actually Native American.
According to Ancestral DNA, after about seven generations, we only share about 1% of our DNA with a particular great-great-great-great-great-grandparent. Plus, there’s about a 5% chance that we don’t share some of those 5th grandparents.
A person inherits 50% of their mother’s DNA and 50% of their father’s DNA. The correct 50% of each parent is randomly selected through a process called recombination.
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Much of the DNA we inherit from our parents can be linked to regions in Native DNA testing, such as Native American.
If we imagine this process happening every generation, essentially 50% of a person’s DNA goes “behind” (not leaving), we can easily imagine a scenario where someone does not inherit DNA from their Native American ancestor.
But what if your grandfather or great-grandmother was Native American? How can we explain that your results do not contain DNA from this region?
It is possible and even possible that your most recently known Native American ancestor had ancestors from other parts of the world. In other words, your Native American ancestors may have recent or distant ancestors from Europe, Africa, or Asia.
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For more than five hundred years people from Europe, Africa and Asia have lived in North and South America. When groups of people live close together, mixing between individual members of the groups is inevitable.
The validity of such “mixing” and what groups of people belong to depends on where your ancestors came from. Researching the history and migration patterns of where your family lived can provide useful insight into our ethnic estimates, especially when they reveal surprises.
A friend of mine from Wisconsin who is of Native American descent can trace his grandfather whom I mentioned at the beginning of this post to about 1860. His grandfather, born 226 years after the first European arrived in the area, was a French explorer named Jean Nicolette.
In 1846, about twenty years before my friend’s ancestor was born, Wisconsin had a population of about 155,000. Most of them were farmers, descendants of European immigrants or immigrants.
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In short, the Native American ancestors of my friend’s great-grandfather probably had ancestors from Europe. We know he got the DNA from his great grandfather, but my friend may have gotten the DNA, but not from Indians.
Is this the source of his significant percentage of his racial ratings matching the Irish? Only a careful construction of a family tree can lead us to the truth.
For tips and instructions on creating a family tree, see my book, available as a softcover or e-book download on Amazon.
Sometimes the explanation for Native Americans not showing up in Native American results is that we don’t have Native American ancestors with Native ancestry. Our ancestors may have identified as members of a Native American tribe or group, but shared no genetic heritage with members of their community.
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This can be a very frustrating feeling for some, especially if one has identified as Native American or Native American ancestry throughout their life. However, that does not mean that the ancestor was not necessarily Native American.
For example, there are many examples of African or African American individuals who lived with Native American tribes, sometimes because they were enslaved by the tribe or because the community protected them from slavery. These people may have adopted the culture and traditions of the place where they live, even though they have no direct line of descent.
To a lesser extent, there are also some accounts of people of mostly European descent living with tribes. A famous story is about Herman Lehmann, who lived with the Apache and Comanche people in Texas.
I hope this post helped you understand more about how your Native American ancestry may not show up in your Native DNA results.
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If you have any questions about anything you’ve read in this post or would like to share your own experience of not getting the results you were hoping for, I’d love to hear from you in the discussion below.
I got my results back a few days ago, but my results don’t show cherokee or walla walla.. my great grandmother was full cherokee, my grandmother was full cherokee, my mother’s mother was walla walla. I don’t understand how all this works so I wonder why both of them didn’t show up? Thank you!
Where can I get more information about my great-grandmother and her Cherokee roots that didn’t show up in my DNA test or my sister’s DNA test conducted by two different groups. Thank you.
My great grandmother is 100 0/0 Lakota (Hunkpapa & Oglala) and it is not in the DNA. Very disappointing. He was from Colorado, but left before the first census was taken, and school and birth records for the town were lost in a major fire. Native Americans have told me that they are very wary of having their blood drawn, etc., and that Native DNA is not readily available. Is that possible?
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Ancestry.com can only provide results based on their own comparison samples. We couldn’t get a detailed answer from them regarding the amount and diversity of Native American DNA in their comparative database. I assume they have very few, if any, samples. I live on a Rez, no one I know has to use their services, and I doubt people would voluntarily donate their DNA to Ancestry. Just my thoughts….
All my life I was led to believe that my father was African American, descended from slaves and Native Americans, but it didn’t show up in my DNA test, mainly because I was Native American at a young age and I was confused. , those 300,000 customers learned more about their family history – their deep ancestral lineage and their genetic relatives.
As it turns out, AncestryDNA has learned a lot from our customers. We’ve found some interesting statistics about racial estimates that will help you learn more about your own family history – and we’ll share them with you in this blog post.
At AncestryDNA, we estimate a client’s genetic ethnicity as a series of percentages across 26 regions around the world. See the map of these areas below.
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We estimate the amount of DNA a client may have from each of these regions by comparing a client’s DNA to a reference set of DNA samples – with associated documented family trees. For a deeper dive into the science of breed judging, check out my previous blog post on the subject.
Below is an example of an Indigenous DNA ethnic assessment. In this post, we explore what AncestryDNA’s ethnicity estimates look like for all of our clients — specifically, how many regions are represented in any of these 26 region estimates?
The primary regions from which you may have DNA (the regions in the image above, the regions you see when you first look at your genetic test);
When examining the combined genetic results of clients who have opted for scientific research, we have some fun facts
Native American Archives
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