American Indian, Cherokee, cherokee ndn, Cherokeendn, Indian, Native American
The Native American DNA Sequence is available for both males and females.
For males, you can test for Native American ancestry in either your direct paternal (father's) or direct maternal (mother's) line of ancestors. For females, you can only test for native american ancestry in your direct female line.
The Y Chromosome is tested for the male Native American DNA Sequence. This test includes the Paternal DNA Sequence test and a test for the markers found in about 80% of Native Americans. For the female Native American DNA Sequence, mtDNA is tested.
Your result will indicate which of the 5 major groups that settled the Americas were your ancestors.
Results for the Native American DNA Sequence tests are placed in the Family Tree DNA database. Those who sign a release form participate in Matching, to find others to whom you are related. Your Native American DNA Sequence provides life time Matching at Family Tree DNA. You will be provided with an email notification when a result becomes available that is a match or near match to your Native American DNA Sequence.
The Native American DNA Sequence tests include a downloadable certificate of your results and a downloadable report explaining the test.
DNA Testing and American Indians
Can blood tests really detect that you are a part native american or american indian? While some feel this is fantastic for genealogy, others are more skeptical.
In one sense, if you have a person that is a known member of a tribe, a DNA test can prove you are (or are not) related to that person. This works the same as any other DNA maternity or paternity test - you get the DNA of the "parent" (or grandparent or whatever) and compare it with your own DNA. DNA tests are very painless nowadays - you just scrape a few cells off the inside of your cheek, send the sample in to be tested, and voila you have an answer.
Many tribes say that this is meaningless, though. To tribes, what matters is not whether or not you're related by blood to a tribe member, but whether you are *socially* a member of the tribe. That is, a son of a tribe member who becomes a drug pusher can be kicked out of the triber forever. Even though he "has Indian blood", he is no longer a member of the tribe.
Conversely, if an Indian man falls in love with a non-Indian woman and they marry, that woman is now a full member of the tribe. A DNA test would say she was NOT Indian - but as far as the tribe is concerned, she is a fully fledged tribe member. So again, many tribes feel that tribal law is what determines the status of an individual in a tribe, not DNA test results.
Genealogists usually aren't concerned about actually joining a tribe, though. Usually a genealogist looking into Native American DNA testing is more concerned about connecting family lines together. Because Native Americans were so looked down apon in past years, many people would write bold-faced lies on legal documents to hide this. They would claim they were "mulatto" or not go in for a legal marriage, or run off with a loved one and settle elsewhere under new names. For a genealogist, the test is often the only way to "prove" that there really is a connection that they have theorized about.
Scientists who have studied the DNA of Native American groups have found five haplotypes on the mitochondrial DNA which seem to occur only in Native American groups, although they're found in a few other parts of the world from which the Native Americans originally sprung before they crossed the arctic land bridge. There are also two similar haplotypes on the Y chromosome. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from a mother to all of her children, while Y chromosomes are only passed from fathers to sons.
For genealogists, therefore, who are not looking to "join a tribe", this test might be the perfect answer to an otherwise unanswerable family tree trace. If you have reached the 7th generation back, and are out of records from the 1700s to do any work with, testing your DNA might be the only way to tell if your female ancestor was the American Indian woman that you believe had a child, or if it was the English woman who later married the man in question. Interestingly, while in years past many would do research to prove they were NOT related to Native Americans, many of us doing research in the 21st century are eager to find that we ARE related to Native Americans, and share even a small bit in the rich and complex culture they hold.
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Note - Lisa Shea wrote this content for the genealogy site at BellaOnline.com - you might still find this content there as well. That's fine :) I gave permission!
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||Elizabeth Jane Martin and the Sacred Cherokee Line
||I am trying to find my Native American bloodline. I am supposed to be 1/8 to 1/16 Susquehanna Indian, from PA. What do I need to do to prove this heritage?
||Please inform on how I can qualify to be tested in the Indian DNA project.