DNA Consultants’ blog

Read reviews of science articles, new research and news reports on ancestry testing, ancient DNA and popular genetics

Phoenician Descent in Modern Times

History has not been kind to Phoenicians. But ancient DNA now has a different story to tell. Can we please replace “Carthage must be destroyed” with “Carthage must be recovered?”

The Goddess in America

Is there a significant cult of the female among the Cherokee? The 18th-century Indian trader Adair said they had “petticoat government.”

Armenians in America

Something was wrong in Phase III of the Cherokee DNA Project. Call it the Cher syndrome. A majority of the Cherokee-descended test subjects were receiving high Armenian matches—yes Armenian, not American. Conversely, a few customers who had no way to have any Native American or New World ancestry would get Cherokee as their top match.

Armenian matches in Cherokees

Aside from Jan Franz, another Cherokee descendant puzzled by Armenian results was Marcia Dietrich, a customer whose no. 1 world match on an autosomal basis was enrolled members of the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina.

Cher the “Half Breed”

When Cher recorded the hit “Half Breed” and it began climbing the charts in 1973, she jumped on the Native American ancestry bandwagon. The superstar claimed she was one-sixteenth Cherokee on her mother’s side.

Dirty Little Secrets of DNA Testing

Commemorative stamp from 2013. We are republishing this interview from the early days of DNA Consultants since the topics it touches on have again become timely with the advent of a new form of “next-generation” DNA testing—ancient DNA.