One of the number one questions Coastal Carolina Indian Center gets via e-mail is how to find Indian ancestors, or how to determine the tribe of certain ancestors who were said to be Indian. This article was written to help people get started on finding those answers.
If you are embarking on a search for Indian ancestors, there are several tips to consider:
- Very rarely in the southeastern states will you ever see Indian people actually listed as Indian after the early colonial period. They are occasionally listed in census records as Free People of Color or Other Free. If they are mixed race, they may be listed as white, black or mulatto.
- Because of the wars between the Indian communities and the colonists in the early colonial period, those Indians who chose to remain in areas that had been ravaged by war often tried to hide their identities, or just blend in with the population at large, for survival sake. It was typical that these families intermarried with other families like there own so that there still remained a strong indigenous bloodline, while the culture and language were in some cases almost completely lost. [Continue reading…]
By Sara Whitford
As the Group Administrator for the East Carolina Roots DNA project through Family Tree DNA, I often receive questions about DNA testing. People want to know what kind of information they’ll be able learn from that little cheek swab, and it’s also important for me to tell them about the limitations of those tests so they’ll be clear on questions the tests cannot answer.
I might also be able to advise someone on the best way to find the answers they seek by letting them know how they can enlist parents and siblings, as well as close and distant cousins to be tested to provide further genetic information about their family’s genetic heritage.
Here are brief summaries in layman’s terms of the most common genealogical DNA tests available.
Y-DNA (Paternal) Testing
This type of testing looks only at the y-chromosome — the chromosome that is passed directly from father to son. Although this is one of the best genealogical DNA tests you could take in terms of reliability, there are still a couple of restrictions right off the bat:
- This test can only be taken by a man, because a woman does not possess the y-chromosome from her dad.
- This test will only reveal genetic connections on the direct paternal line — that means your father’s father’s father’s father’s father, and so on.
Now, that doesn’t exclude women from being able to find out about their paternal origins, but they’ll have to get someone else to take the test. According to the Y-DNA entry on Wikipedia, “Women who wish to determine their direct paternal DNA ancestry can ask their father, brother, paternal uncle, paternal grandfather, or a cousin who shares a common [Continue reading…]