Monday, November 17, 2014

Where is this Native American DNA coming from? Part 1

My dad has trace Native American (NA)DNA in every ethnicity test I run his DNA through, from AncestryDNA to all the admixture tests on GEDmatch.

Why?  Where is it coming from?

My dad has no Cherokee, Iroquois, or Dakota ancestor story.  I have found no records whatsoever indicating Native American heritage.  A full half of his ancestry came from Scandinavian in the 1880's and 1890's, for pete's sake.

And is the Native American real?  That is not clear to me.  I'm somewhat inclined to dismiss it because of a lack of all usual evidence, but why is it showing up at all?  It is a distinct DNA signature, due to the isolation of Native Americans for thousands of years.  Since the NA comes across as Arctic whenever it is possible to refine (as opposed to North American, Mesoamerican, or South American), I have wondered for a while if my Scandinavian ancestors are the culprits for this DNA?

Everything else about his DNA test results makes perfect sense.  An English/Scottish/Welsh type with a heavy dose of Scandinavian, and some Irish and some German.  In AncestryDNA's breakdown he also has possible trace Europe East, European Jewish, Finland/Northwest Russia, and Caucasus.  None of those surprise me, as those groups all inhabited the same landmass, and in the past 500 - 1000 years have had interaction.  That my dad should have as strong an indicator for Native American as Finland/Northwest Russia is very odd.  I would expect the latter to be the larger, more dominant trace ethnicity.  And while the GEDmatch battery of ethnicity admixture tests indeed show a larger amount of eastern Scandinavia and Russia than Ancestry's prediction, the Native American keeps pace, hovering either slightly less or slightly more than 1%.  An annoying number, by the way, as that is at what is called "noise level."





© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

3 comments:

  1. Hello! This intrigues me. I have M'ikmaq and Abenaki grandparents 12 generations back (in Nova Scotia). However, on my DNA results I got a small amount of "Finland/Northwest Russia", "Arctic", "Siberian" etc., depending on the DNA test. I think the Native American is showing up as the Finland/Northwest Russia. I saw an interesting video on YouTube describing the similarities between the Saami people of Northern Finland, Sweden, Northwest Russia and the Native Americans. Very, very interesting. I would like to know more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello! This intrigues me. I have M'ikmaq and Abenaki grandparents 12 generations back (in Nova Scotia). However, on my DNA results I got a small amount of "Finland/Northwest Russia", "Arctic", "Siberian" etc., depending on the DNA test. I think the Native American is showing up as the Finland/Northwest Russia. I saw an interesting video on YouTube describing the similarities between the Saami people of Northern Finland, Sweden, Northwest Russia and the Native Americans. Very, very interesting. I would like to know more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! Thanks for the comment. I do suspect there was a lot more interaction with Arctic peoples than was ever recorded, and I think these types of interactions are only coming to light with the DNA tests. I've found that a small number of my dad's Scandinavian cousins also have around 1% NA like he does, without any history of what we traditionally consider Native American (on the mainland of North/Central/South America).

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