This installment in the series describes the sample and summarizes haplogroup findings.
Procedure and Methodology
The purpose of the Cherokee DNA Project is to sample and investigate the genetic heritage of persons who may be of Cherokee descent and establish a reference collection of their DNA results and genealogies.
Most people who buy a DNA test want to know what countries in Europe their ancestors came from. But the favored approaches of major companies like 23andMe have so far not yielded entirely satisfactory results, at least to judge from consumer feedback. This review article explores the reasons for this failing and proposes that DNA Consultants’ EURO DNA database based on forensic population data may be a more accurate measure of nationalities in our background than complicated and expensive microarray genotyping.
“The story of the crypto-Jews is still the biggest secret in the Jewish and general community,” said Rabbi Stephen A. Leon of the Conservative congregation B’nai Zion in El Paso, Texas. His remarks about the phenomenon of Sephardic descendants rediscovering and reconnecting with their Jewish ancestry were part of a long article on the b’nei anousim or children of forced converts in Hadassah Magazine this month.
By Donald N. Yates
As shown by an explosive article inScience last year, “A Genetic Atlas of Human Admixture History,” the genetic signatures of historical admixture events are persistent, even on a fine scale. Among 100 cases of historical admixture involving two distant, separate populations coming together, the authors detected the genetic impacts of the Mongol empire, Arab slave trade, Bantu expansions and European colonialism in the Americas.
In an article in this week’s Science magazine (246/6213:1113-18), the origin of American Indians is linked to that of archaic Europeans rather than Asians. The title of the article is “Genomic Structure in Europeans Dating Back at Least 36,200 Years,” and the lead author is Andaine Sequin-Orlando, with Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen as the corresponding author.
I got a call last year from a relative in north Alabama telling me he had an oil portrait of Sequoyah standing and reading from a book and a white woman kneeling and tracing Cherokee characters in the sand. It turns out to be the only surviving contemporary portrait of Sequoyah.
James Stritzel, participant no. 8 in Phase II of the Cherokee DNA Project, was interviewed by Vice President of Communications Teresa Yates on October 20, 2014. His story appears in Cherokee DNA Studies: Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong.
Thruston Tablet Revisited
Our book Old World Roots of the Cherokee (McFarland, 2012) describes an expedition from Ptolemaic Egypt that brought the original nucleus of the Cherokee people across the Pacific to America. One of the key pieces of evidence is the Thruston Tablet, also known as the Rocky Creek Stone.
Part Four is the conclusion to our series of reports on the “anomalous Cherokees.” Depicted left is author Donald Yates in Rome .Haplogroup J, termed Jasmine in the scheme of Oxford Ancestors, is believed to have originated in the Old Near East and to have moved north and west into Europe, especially after the spread of agriculture beginning 5000-3000 BCE.
We continue the series of reports on Phase II of our Cherokee DNA Project with case histories for the various haplogroups in the study. Case Histories: Where There’s Smoke