Cherokee Unlike Other Indians

Dorene Soiret’s - Cherokee Studies

Photo used by permission of Alice Gound and Dorene Soiret.

Dorene Soiret’s mother, Alice Gound, about 1960. Soiret is a participant in DNA Consultants’ Phase III Cherokee Studies.

Dorene Soiret always knew there was something different about her ancestry. She had been on a fruitless quest to prove her family’s Cherokee heritage for many years until she joined Phase III of DNA Consultants’ Cherokee DNA Studies Project. She will have to wait a little longer for all the answers. But in the meantime, she is enrolled as Participant 52 and matches one other woman in the unique study, their rare lineage labeled American Indian H1z1.

Historically, H1 is centered in Libya and Tunisia among the Tuareg people, concentrated around the site of ancient Carthage. In the first millennium BCE, this was the homeland of the sea-roving Phoenicians, who sent teeming colonies westward composed of natives from the Maghreb interior. The Cherokee Paint Clan, it has been suggested by Donald Yates and others, preserves their name, Paint or Punic People, given to them because of their monopoly in making purple dye and trading luxury goods.

The Phoenicians’ name in their own Semitic language translates as “Canaanite,” a reflection of their origins in the East Mediterranean. James Adair, who wrote the first book about American Indians in 1775, suggested this ethnonym (national identity) appears in the name of the Kanawha River and as the name of a now-extinct Indian tribe in Kentucky and West Virginia. Phoenicians are probably also the source of haplogroup X in the New World, and they are implicated in the mystery of the Melungeon people, with court cases mentioning them by name.

Soiret’s direct female line, like all the others in the program, goes back to a historical Cherokee woman, in this case the wife of Lycan Adkins who lived between 1829 and 1908 and whose maiden name was Murray. The test subject has several other multiply intermarried Adkinses in her ancestry.

Phase III of Cherokee DNA Studies is now closed, with 57 participants enrolled over the past three years. It began in 2007 and went through two phases before the publication of the book Cherokee DNA Studies: Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong. The results of Phase III will be published in a sequel, Cherokee DNA Studies, Volume 2: More Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong (forthcoming 2018). See Cherokee Study Closed.

Although ignored by most tribal bibliographies and Native American journals, Cherokee DNA Studies: Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong was favorably reviewed by Stephen C. Jett, a noted geographer, who endorsed it with the screed, “Revolutionary DNA findings.” He went on to say in his academic book, Ancient Ocean Crossings (University of Alabama Press 2017):  “Donald N. Yates and collaborators… characterized the mtDNA of fifty-two individuals of partial Cherokee ancestry who did not display any of the usual Native American mtDNA haplogroups A through D… identifying (in order of the frequency) haplogroups T, U, X, J, H, L and K. T, X, and J are essentially Levantine (eastern Mediterranean) in origin….”

Further, Jett noted that the East Mediterranean haplogroup showings were interesting for several reasons:

Hg T seems to have emerged in Mesopotamia and later spread into Europe. This Hg occurred in nearly 27 percent of Yates’ sample. None of the Cherokee Ts exactly matched any other known T haplotype, and the Cherokee percentage of T was three times as high as that of the general US population. Cherokee/Melungeon-associated J haplotypes are not precisely duplicated elsewhere, either, suggesting the passage of much time to allow differentiation…. Hg U is largely European….and is generally absent among Native Americans. However, it reached a level of approximately 25 percent among those Cherokee descendants, whose Hts (haplotypes) turned out to be very diverse and to include some mutations unique to American Indians, again implying  considerable elapsed time since introduction… the Cherokee descendants shared some haplotypes with Jews. Too, the Jewish ‘Cohen gene’ has been traced back within the Cherokee to no later than about AD 1640.”

Jett concluded that the distribution of haplogroups was evidently ancient and not the result of recent European or Middle Eastern admixture in America:

Yates’ genetically remarkably diverse Cherokee sample, the unique haplotypes represented therein, and the frequencies of the haplogroups found—quite different from those of the larger US populations—are striking: ‘Similar proportions of these haplogroups are noted in the populations of Egypt, Israel and other parts of the East Mediterranean … No such mix could result from post-1492 European gene flow into the Cherokee Nation.’” (pp. 353f.)

Preliminary results from Phase III (closed in May 2018) confirm the “non-American Indian,” or anomalous Native American component of Cherokee descendants. The updated haplogroup findings across Phases I-III are as follow:

HaplogroupN=PercentNew in Phase III
Total Participants15185.855
All Others2514.22
Grand Total176100.057

As can be seen, U emerges as the most common anomalous type of Cherokee, modally U5 (n=23, one of the oldest forms of U and most common in Middle Easterners and Europeans), followed by T and H. The expected haplogroups A-D account for only 7.4 percent of Cherokee lineages according to the DNA Consultants study, suggesting a very divergent type from other American Indians. Mesopotamian and Old European types (including Greek, Egyptian, Israeli, Levantine and others) represent 81.8 percent of lineages. (Here, X is grouped with Levantine, as no firm separation can be established between Old and New World types.)

Genetic analyses of Cherokee mtDNA or female lineages thus continue to point to Egypt, Israel/Phoenicia and Greece, as first proposed on historical grounds by Yates in Old World Roots of the Cherokee: How DNA, Ancient Alphabets and Religion Explain the Origins of America’s Largest Indian Nation (2012).

The Adkinses appear to be part of a little-studied phenomenon of Welsh or British Jews. Their surname means “kin of Arthur (or Adam).” In 2012, Donald Yates wrote about the pioneer family in his book Old World Roots of the Cherokee (pp. 144-45):

Adkins . . . is a family heavily intermarried with the pioneer Coopers, Blevinses and Burkes from Wayne County, Kentucky.  They came from Pittsylvania County, Virginia, an important staging area for the movement of Melungeon families along the northern and eastern boundaries of the Overhill Cherokee. The family is traced to a James Atkinson, a Quaker who came to Philadelphia in the 1600s, probably from a seaport in Wales. His great-grandson William Adkins left a will dated Jan. 22, 1784 and probated March 15, 1784, detailing an accumulation of wealth, and was buried near Cooper’s Old Store, Pittsylvania County. William’s son Owen was born about 1750 in Lunenberg County, Virginia (parent county of Pittsylvania) and died in Watauga, Hawkins County, Tennessee about 1790. He married Agnes Good/Goad, from the same family that provided a spouse to Valentine Sevier (1701/02-1803). Good is the English equivalent of Shem Tov, Buen, Boone, Le Bon and other names for those bearing the “good name” of King David. Valentine and Agnes were the parents of John Sevier, the first governor of Tennessee. One of his sons, Valentine, married Sarah Cooper. The Seviers can be traced to Don Juan de Xavier of a Sephardic family who took refuge in Navarre during the Spanish Inquisition.

In 1836, Benjamin Adkins built a log mill on the Little South Fork of the Cumberland near Parmleysville, Kentucky, made of huge squared logs. This mill, with rifle slits on two levels, is still standing. He left a will in 1839 showing $10,000 in debts owed him and an estate of great value. Numerous family members moved first to Sequatchee (Marion County, Tennessee) and subsequently to Sand Mountain and to a hidden cove at the foot of Fox Mountain (named after Black Fox) called Anawaika, or Deerhead, on the Georgia state line. Some proceeded west to Arkansas. William E. Adkins (about 1828-1862) married Susan E. (Sukie) Cooper (about 1831-1901), the daughter of Isaac and Mahala Jane (Blevins) Cooper, April 20, 1847, in Henry County, Tennessee, and descendants filed unsuccessful applications to be enrolled as Cherokee in Indian Territory. Memories of their Cherokee ancestors ran thin, but Steve Adkins of Arkansas  recalled in 2001, “When I was little my Great Grandma Adkins (Virgie Stanley) use to tell me stories about my Great Grandfather’s (Arthur ‘Aud’ Adkins) Grandmother. She said her name was Sukie and she was a Cherokee Indian. I later found out that ‘Sukie’ was a nickname for Susan. She also mentioned the name Mahala Blevins.”

The Adkins family in America exhibits a familiar pattern of trading and land development on the Southern frontier, intermarriage with the Cherokee Indians and Crypto-Jewish or Melungeon connections. In these respects, their history echoes that of the Coopers, Blevinses, Walkers, Gists, Troxells, Adairs and others in genealogical literature. The genetics of their Indian marriage partners forms the main interest of Cherokee DNA Studies.

Although Dorene Soiret’s story is unusual compared to most Americans it is completely typical when placed beside the Cherokee descendants profiled in DNA Consultants’ Cherokee DNA Studies.

Be open-minded and continue your journey! Dohiyi!

Disclaimer: Our genetic findings about Cherokee people have not been submitted for peer-reviewed scientific or historical publication. DNA Consultants’ views are not reviewed by (and may contradict) opinions published by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina, North Carolina Department of Administration Commission on Indian Affairs, Family Tree DNA, Wikipedia, 23&me, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Jessica Bardill, Ph.D. (Cherokee), Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History, A Cherokee Encyclopedia, Journal of Cherokee Studies, International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, American Indian Culture and Research Journal,, DNA Diagnostics Center, Vine Deloria, Jr., U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs, DNAeXplained, Arizona State University, National Human Genome Research Institute, University College of London, Roberta Estes (Family Tree DNA), DNA Testing Advisor (Richard Hill), Dr. Kim Tallbear (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), National Genealogical Society Quarterly, American Indian and Alaska Native Genetics Resource Center, New Georgia Encyclopedia for Educators, Encyclopedia of North Carolina, Tennessee Encyclopedia, National Congress of American Indians, Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism, Anthropology Outreach Office Department of Anthropology Smithsonian Institution, William L. Anderson (Western Carolina University), Barbara R. Duncan (“Your Grandmother’s Cherokee”), Bode Technologies, Accu-Metrics, Genex Laboratories, National Geographic, Manataka American Indian Council, Partnership with Native Americans, LabCorp, Family Search, Malhi Molecular Anthropology Laboratory at the University of Illinois Champaign Urbana, History Channel, Oklahoma Historical Society, Theda Perdue (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill),  American Anthropologist Magazine, Native American Rights Fund,, VIA-Medex, Family Tree Magazine, Ancestor Search, Sorenson Genomics, The Root, Indian Country Today, Indian Country News, Institute of American Indian Studies at Brigham Young University, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, National Congress of American Indians, Cherokee Phoenix,, Cherokee Registry, People of One Fire, Alabama Indian Affairs Commission, Cherokee Phoenix, Board of Certification of Genealogists, Indian Health Service, Genetic Literacy Project,  The People’s Paths, International Society of Genetic Genealogists, Northeastern State University of Oklahoma Cherokee and Indigenous Studies Faculty, Association of Professional Genealogists, National Congress of American Indians, Your Genetic Genealogist (CeCe Moore) or The Genetic Genealogist (Blaine Bettinger).


Basic American Indian



  Comments: 77

  1. Don Panther-Yates

    I compiled the list above from websites that offer information and genetic testing on “Cherokee Indians.” All agreed in a denial and condemnation of the partial Eastern Mediterranean origin hypothesis tested in our Cherokee DNA Studies.

    • Thank you for your excellent research! I’ve been reading your book Mr. Yates, as I ended up with very similar conclusions from studying my own genome. I had not heard of your work, yet by compiling my mtDNA data from Family Tree and 23&Me, your facts are evident. R1b [m269] and J1c7-unknown. I have been tracing this genome out of Africa to see the migration lineage, and yes, markers are picked up in a way that appears geographic and agglutinate… the mtDNA goes: Levant, Anatolia, Greece, Italy, Ashkenazim, Finland, Scandinavia, Iceland, and down the coastline of Colonial America, then inland. the Y: appears to skip from the Levant straight to Scotland, messes around in the UK then goes to Colonial America….
      Each of my parents descend from the ‘white indians’, and we experienced ‘paper genocide’ omissions/misascriptions due to intermarriage [or needing to pass]. My great-grandfather registered for WW1 as a “white Indian citizen”, and his wife died as “white or Mexican ([passing] white).
      We are Cumberland Gap folks, from all the Crab Orchards no matter what state they are in. Whenever we migrated, we set up the same tiny communities using the same community names as a group of hamlets…

      • When you speak of Crab Orchards you must be speaking of mount Vernon Rockcastle Ky area. My Belchers Brummetts and Heltons are from there.

      • I am not versed in DNA Studies, Sister Lynn, but I know my Heritage and Topography. When I saw your above post I was taken back. My People came thru the Cumberland Gap on a regular Basis. My NDN People sponsored Cymru from South Wales, the Last being named “Solomon”. The more I researched the More my Research Agreed with that of the Yates, Alan Wilson, Baram Blackett, and the REAL ( uncensored) state of Kentucky. Several years ago I contacted Mr. Scott Wolter (Minnesota) and he did some research. (He seemed to be more interested in his Viking Roots, and that is O.K.) This Info fell upon deaf ears, again. There is a Welsh NDN Connection and it all lies in the Kanawha WVA. area, Notch where 4 states Ohio. Indiana, Kentucky, & WVA, Converge @ the Ohio River, & “One spot around Point Pleasant , Ohio.) I have been there often = BIG MEDICINE, for Centuries. Me thinks there is also a (so called) Scots Irish Welsh Connection since in Reality the Scots, the Irish, and the Cymru (Welsh) all Shared a Common Bond, = “US European NDN’s” “(If you will) were ALL ENSLAVED to a “Germanic Tribe” which Invaded our Countries, & WROTE their own HISS-TORY, witch ENSLAVED US ALL. The Scots were Enslaved to Mine & Cut Stone for Building, the Irish were Enslaved to Plant Root Crops for England, and the Welsh to Mine Coal & Iron which Fueled Industrial Revolution in SEVERAL Countries, belonging to the “CROWN”. ( ALL provided Cheap slave labor for Jolly OLD England. I have Plenty More , you can contact me at my Email address IF you care to Share, or Research TRUTH. Samuel Davis

        • I agree. Many of us with “Welsh Indian” ancestry have speculated in fact whether the first Adkins was already here in North America to greet his countrymen when they began to arrive in the seventeenth century. Could that be the reason there is no emigration record for William Adkins, the first of that name? Welsh was definitely spoken in the hinterlands of Virginia and Pennsylvania. It would not be unusual to find the Adkins surname among those pre-existing “Welsh Indians.” Most of them later became Shawnee since that was the most powerful tribe in the region.

          • My grandfather came out of North Carolina he was Henry Cheatwood settled in White Plains Al close to the Georgia line,my grandmother was a Willamon an some Murray’s also settled in White Plains which we were kin to my grandparents were 100% Cherokee as far as my family knows an my mother they were all short ladies, they were share cropper’s an live off the land they had 360 acre’s in White Plains it’s a beautiful place at the old home place they had 12 kids all lived close to their 90’s an a couple pass their 90’s

          • Hi Donald, some time ago I had the Cherokee DNA test and the results were highly likely as i matched with others. Now just recently i found my ancestor , a woman by the name of Mary Atkinson 1748-1836 Chatham Co North Carolina, Died in England. Her Mother was Mary Adkins 1710-1785 from Virginia, I have been trying to research them but to no avail. Do you know of any Public Atkinson archives that might help me with my research.

            Thanks Jason Kennell

        • Kristina Shephemrd

          I agree with you Davis, I am a distant relative on a separate chain, my mitral line was a sister of the woman who married Patrick Davis the grandchild heir of Patrick Davis the plantation in Lee County Va. My mothers side came from Alcey Lawson listed as born before Lee Co. was its own county, before the USA was established and Daniel Boone exploration. Lee County was home to a lot of my line on my mothers side, Lambert Hill I visited with my grandma 1989 and met the last relative and owners that I am aware. My mitral line, however, married and moved to Tennessee to Hancock and Hawkins Co, married into other families like the Rogers written about as being a clinch river cherokee family by Hawkins. Roberts family which shows up in Hawkins TN, Also, the Bowman family of Harlan County KY shows up married in later, before moving to Indiana with other mixed families, with community ties from these various areas. In Indiana, marriages happen to other similarly mixed groups with similar belief structures such as Saturday not Sunday spiritual observance. No pork. Cherokee decorations along side Scots Irish, low Dutch, or Welsh spiritual or customs or ideas. Most prevalent being direct communication with creator over all other human ideas a more spiritual than material spiritualism. Animal Husbandry, conservation, military, and old ways herbalism being top priority, everyday concerns. Basket weaving, jewelry making, Gourd Masks and decorative ornaments are not measly past time experiences but more an heirloom traditional skill to master. Masking or mumming being not only native to Cherokee buts all our genetic contributors have a similar tradition. Each has a relationship to creator and the spiritual. Race doesn’t play a role in my family, rather who you’re genetically related to, and what spiritual merits you represent. I have a multitude of colors, and race in my family. I have a cherokee, south korean, scots irish, cousin who is a wonderful nurse in the military and looks just like her daddy who is a airplane mechanic at a large airport and retired from the military, his father was from KY who was mixed cherokee to the Denny family around summerset and shepherdsville, ky area. I agree Davis, there is much moreto the story than being told.

          • I was born Patricia Rogers. I have DeVeny and Denny grandparents, as well as Kelly. My grandfather was from Tn. I live in Tn now.
            I wonder if my mtdna will reveal anything besides English and Germanic.

          • Your mtdna reveals only one line–your mother’s mother’s etc. mitochondrial type. It could be English, it could be German, it could be Native American, you don’t know until it is tested. And it tells you nothing about your other lines.

          • Red Hebrew not Jewish, accord to James Adair’s Out of the Flame. My grandmother also said we are not jewish. My family doesn’t circumcise the privates. The idea of flesh circumcised according to jewish research wasn’t part of the hebrews culture it is only a jewish practice that has to do with politics, like cherokee (which isn’t historically accurate but accepted later) some people circumcised themselves and others did not do to politics. Politics like setting themselves physically apart from the invaders.

        • My family is from the same areas and related to the Lee County Virginia Lambert, Roberts, Rogers, Belcher, Davis, Bowman, King and the North Carolina Lawson, Shepherd,Taylor, Simpson, Poynter, Denny, Jones, Ridgway, Glaze, Glas, Burton are some married in each having ties to the migration of community groups of friends and relatives that named community places. My family has always maintained that Saturday is the day of the creator, no friday nights for us, pork is forbidden and a dislike for government is strong, especially tv propaganda which has been forbidden unlike the internet which is viewed as a telephone to be used under advisory but everyone able has served the military. I was told we were praying Cherokee with other tribes mixed in because we keep the way pure and that blood is not thicker than water because truth always prevails in the end. Hope this helps but If you need more contact my email.

      • Patti from Kennesaw, Ga

        I would like to know how to have my DNA checked for the Cherokee Indian tribe. All my life, I’ve heard that we’re Cherokee – yet 23 & Me never mentioned Cherokee, but DID show Javanese & Peruvian! (?). My haploid group on Facebook is one where most of the members are African American. One person jokingly said, “I guess you’re the White sheep of the family!” We joke about it a lot.

        So, if someone can steer me to the right group, I’d really appreciate it. All I know is my mother’s side claims to be Cherokee and Scotch-Irish. Family names are White, Ashe, Nichols and Patton, from my memory. I can find more names on my Ancestry. com report.

        My email is

        Many thanks,

    • Amber Dawn Knight Killer

      I’m apart of the Knight Killer family and the Pheasant family with the Cherokee tribe. That’s right KNIGHT KILLER. Think about my family name for a moment and let it sink in. My family have met the Knights Templars when they came here with Jewish family. First and only Natives to have been Knighted by the templars for taking in their refuges. You can find my family name online. We were located in Wills Valley Alabama in the 1830s. Feel free to look for yourselves. It recently came to my attention that people were trying to figure out why there is Jewish blood in us. The Knights templars brought them to us. They still live among us today. They are Cherokee even if they have Jewish blood. We are united!

      • You are correct! My family dates back to Wills Valley Alabama as well. With a connection to the Knights Templar.

      • Just a Comment, from a Multi-Generation “Knight of CHRIST(KT)”, Michelatiawyandotte “Tecumti” aka “Tecumseh” was a “Knights Templar”, Samuel

        • Hi, Your comment caught my interest. I live in Oklahoma, my paternal ancestors from Georgia and North Carolina walked in on trail of tears, Eastern Band Cherokee, see online Cherokee Pheonix news article memorial Anawake Annie Spirit Snell and Johnaky Snell. And my maternal ancestors (mom about 48% result DNA French), from Frankish line. As you can imagine this subject was interesting to me and caught my attention right away! I believe I am related to several templars as well as a bunch of royal people. LOL I wondered if there are any suggestions, as to good places to search for ancestry relating to Quebec and France, also Michigan. Its a long shot, but I just thought I would ask. Thank you for your time Sincerely, Terra… email

      • Thats interesting. I am a decendant of cheif red bird, who was half Cherokee half Jewish. I also have Welsh heritage.

    • Alexzandria Ryan

      I came across this article while looking into more of my family history and I’m extremely curious. I am a direct line of John Sevier on my mom’s side, and than I am a registered Cherokee on my dad’s side, going back to the keetowah tribe. I believe my DNA would be exactly what you need for your theory and would love the opportunity to work with you on this subject. Much of my family is extremely documented through the roles as well as through the daughters of revolution and the Mayflower.

    • Chief Ross . Rosslyn Chapel line family of Ross that are septs of Veaux , Vann is sept for Vaux,,Henry Sinclair earl of Orkney,,,,,,King Lot ,King of Orkney, Morgan Queen of Orkney, Mordred Prince of Orkney,,,Prince Madoc and King Arthur came to Alabama,,the Sinclairs followed. The Cherokee knew of the Welsh Indians the Moon Eyed Indians,,I suspect Myrtle Hill Rome Ga also known as High Town to be very important,, John Sevier pushed the Cherokee back to there,,Cherokee told Sevier about the Moon Eyed Indians,,,,,

  2. Although difficult if not near impossible to obtain, the most reliable way to determine the origins of the tribe, while ruling out any and all outside intermarrying contributed DNA contributions would be to use DNA from the remains (teeth) of Cherokee from significantly pre-contact times.

  3. Christopher Swink

    This is very interesting. My maternal haplogroup is H1Q. Also known to have “originated among the Tuareg Peoples. It is a rare mtDna haplogroup and only 1 in 43,000 23andme customers receive this mtDna designation. I believe this haplogroup to be of a South and or Southwest Asiatic origin. Possibly Natufians. Which would place the point of origin for this haplogroup in what we call today modern day Jericho.

    • We have other H1s in the Cherokee study. I think one source might have been the huge populations from the interior which the Carthaginians drew on for colonization efforts. I notice you matched Moroccan. Also, bear in mind many believe that there were actually Arabs and Moroccans settled in the corridor between Mobile and Chicago in early times. On Arab maps as late as the eighteenth century, the trans-Allegheny region is shown as belonging to the Kingdom of Morocco!

  4. I have written the story of John Lawson’s journey through the Carolinas in 1701. Using that and a few other writings I proposed the route of Desoto thru the Caroilnas in 1540, and Juan Pardo in1567-68.
    Desoto had about 150 Sephardic Jews in his army, and when the reached the Indian community they called Cofitachequi, they said the it was the best place in La florida. Some how a name they left for a lake at Cofitachequi has survived. I found in on a land grant of 1759. The Lake on the land grant was ” Cados Lake”. The name of the Lake has survived and today it is on the property of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, as Cuddos Wildlife Hunt Unit. The name Cados is originally a 15th century Sephardic name meaning “Holy Place”.

    • Very interesting. Richard Thornton has found Ladino inscriptions in the Georgia and North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains and believes Sephardic traders quickly poured down the Appalachian Trail (Great Warrior Path) from Dutch New Amsterdam. I too am trying to explain the high degree of Sephardic Jewish DNA in “Cherokees.” The history of North Georgia and the Carolinas before the British explored and claimed it is very complex and has been long hidden.I have learned, for instance, that the Gabriel ARthur-James Needham excursion with Tamahitans in 1673 had its destination in Old Coosa at the confluence of the Oostanaula, Etowah and Coosa rivers, nowhere near Cherokee territory. The description of the whiskered people with a six-foot tall bell and brick buildings eight days downriver must therefore be somewhere down the Coosa River–I’m guessing maybe around the place where the Tallapoosa joins it to form the Alabama river (later the stronghold of the Creeks Jackson defeated at Horse Shoe Bend). This whole river system is called the Tamahitan River–meaning dominated by the Apalache (Hitchiti or Itsa Creek) Indians. Don’t think the whiskered folks could have been French or Spanish, though. And they can’t be Jews because they eat pork and have bells calling them to worship. Thornton thinks they were Armenian. That would make sense if they came from upriver and started out working in the mines of the gold fields of North Georgia and the whole corridor was Ottomon and Arab. There are other indications along these lines. And it would explain a lot of Armenian and Middle Eastern DNA among “Cherokees” with a family history in North Georgia and South Carolina.

  5. I’ve just received my mtDNA haplogroup as H6a1a–which some call the “the Jewish group” among H’s, as I understand it. My only two exact matches in the FTDNA database are women who live in Spain. Nearly all of my mother’s lines migrated across the south from early Virginia and passed through the Cumberland Gap circa late 1700’s and early 1800’s. My earliest know maternal gma generating this haplogroup is Sarah Jane Allgood (1807-1844) born in Georgia but then lived in Monroe Co. TN. There are several candidates for her mother but none confirmed yet. In this maternal line, my Ggma Etta Mashburne had speculated to her older children that she thought we had Native Am through her gpa Houston’s line, perhaps to explain hair, eye, skin colors. But from this haplogroup (and just learning that this William Houston’s mother came straight from Scotland as a teenager), I’m thinking the colorings/features came to us through Houston’s wife and her mother Allgood. Poking around with GedMatch programs, which may not be reliable, I’m about 6% Ashkenazi (some of which may come from my father’s line), 0.5% Pygmy African, 0.6% Ethiopian, 2% Polynesian and 1% east Asian. Everthything else is Engiish, Scottish, Scandinavian. My mother’s sister’s blood type is O negative. We have no idea where she got that. I’m about ready to start digging up graves across the southern sates and extracting teeth. Please tell me there are answers before I resort to that extreme, lol, and thanks for all you’ve done to further the science of who we are. Barb

  6. Both of Mom’s parents were believed to be 1/16 Cherokee. Her brother, Jim, had his DNA tested several years ago at Ancestry. When his DNA results first came back, the ethnicity results showed 2% of North Africa, which would be consistent with Cherokee DNA, and less than 1% each of Southern Europe, Iberian Peninsula, and European Jewish . Since then, they updated the results and all those regions disappeared and it shifted south to Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples. Mine was 100% Western Europe, mostly the British Isles.
    A lot of people descended from slaves, also claim Cherokee ancestry. I wonder if the number of them showing similar results to my uncle caused Ancestry to revise their interpretation.

    • We can’t answer for results from Ancestry or any other company. Our forensic ancestry method is unlike their “SNP chip” approach, which seems to have a lot of validity issues. At any rate, they keep changing their chip and “updating” their results. Have you taken our DNA Fingerprint or Cherokee DNA Test?

  7. Russell Brasuell

    Same story here, my mothers direct 3rd G Grandmother Cherokee Indian arrived in NW Arkansas during the Trail Of Tears. Married a whiteman that had saved her from unfriendly locals. mtDNA shows V10a a fairly rare haplogroup.

    • Gretchen Griffith

      We have the same story in our family. My grandmother told it to my mom, but didn’t say (if she even knew) who they were. All of my gggrandparents and at least four of my gggggrandparents settled in Johnson County (Paris), AR. What is your Cherokee ancestor’s name?

      • Well, I have several. My 5th-great-grandfather was Chief Black Fox. Black Fox is listed as a lieutenant of Chief Dragging Canoe, 1788-1790. He signed the Holston Treaty, July 2, 1791 (but not the stipulation of February 7, 1792) and delivered the funeral oration for his brother-in-law Dragging Canoe. Black Fox was chief of the lower town of Ustanali. Curiously, Ustanali was one of the capitals of the Apalache people. Black Fox was by no means “pure” Cherokee (there is no such thing anyway) and had a good deal of Scottish and Sephardic Jewish. He was considered Paint Clan by the other Cherokees.

        • Your studies are very interesting and Thank You. I have just recently traced my lineage to Chief Nettle Carrier of the Overhills. I originally was looking at the Jewish influence on the Cherokees.

        • I took an Ancestry DNA test…..and it came up my 6th great grandfather was Chief Pathkiller …the last
          “so called FULL BLOOD CHEROKEE Chief and Principal Chief of the Cherokee.
          My DNA results never showed any Native American. ..anyways I uploaded my raw DNA to another website for an analysis …it came back a small percentage being Mediterranean admixture of Phonetian, Greek and Jewish. Could this be answering for ..or in relation to the “Cherokee” on my fathers side? My moms side is Irish/Scot, North Western European and Sweden.

          • You are par for the course. Cherokee DNA has very little Asiatic but is mostly from Europe, the Mediterranean and Middle East. This finding will be underscored in our followup book, Cherokee DNA Studies: More Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong. I don’t suppose this news is welcome to enrolled Cherokees but it should be. Most of their ancient ancestors were white, so why shouldn’t they be, and show very little Mongolian or Siberian DNA. The CNO will try to sue me after that remark!

        • Chief Black Fox is also my 5th great-grandfather. My great-grandfather was Fox Lovelace and Fox’s grandmother was Mary “Polly” Cooper, grand-daughter of Chief Enola Black Fox and daughter of Nancy “Black Fox” Cooper. Nancy married Isaac Cooper , who by the way was the grandson of William Abraham Cooper, a scout for Daniel
          Boone in Kentucky region. My descendants are from the Wayne county area of Kentucky and I still have relatives who farm there. I’m Ohio born and have lived here all my life. Well, it looks like my reply is about a year and a half late, but I appreciate you sharing your knowledge on Chief Black Fox. Good health and be safe.

  8. I had my DNA tested at Ancestry and at FamilytreeDNA. I took the mtDNA full sequence at FamilytreeDNA. My haplogroup came back U2e2a1b. I’m considering taking one of your DNA tests. Would the Cherokee one or Fingerprint plus be best? I’m adopted so no paternal history. Can go back on maternal side to Mary Lawson 1814, her daughter Josephine (Isay) -husband Andrew Lawson, their daughter Mary Louisa Lawson-husband Nelson Dishman, their daughter Nora Ruby Dishman-husband Franklin Taylor, their daughter Florence, then me. Also Dishman line goes to Thomas And Kstieieah Doublehead. My DNA matches people who are related to Moytoy. Thank you.

  9. My name is James Elkins IIImy father’s side of my family come from Ranger West Virginia in Lincoln County and I have always been told that my great grandmother and grandfather were full blooded Cherokee although when I found records of them it says they were white so confused. I’ve been trying to establish my native blood for around 25 years now with not much to show for it. Also on my father’s side my grandmother’s mother was Iroquois and my mother’s side my great grandmother was Blackfoot. I have always wanted my native card or at the very least to prove that my search hasn’t been in vain can anyone help me with this please.

    • Hi, James.

      I have discovered many Elkins in my family tree, including a relative (a Chinn-Elkins) who is a direct female-line descendant (like me) of Lucinda Vansant Murray. I am a participant in the third phase of the Cherokee DNA mtDNA study being conducted by Dr. Yates. See the articles on this site: “Cherokee Unlike Other Indians” and “Cherokee Study Closed.” The articles talk about my DNA journey so far. Can you provide me with names of some of your older ancestors in your tree? I might be able to help. I have a lot of family from that neck of the woods, including Adkinses, Franklins, Lucases, Damron, Yeager, Blands, Queens and more. As for the designation of white being listed on family records, one can assume that the family, if they were, indeed, Native American, were trying to keep their heads down and tried to assimilate. There’s definitely Native American bloodlines in there. Have you taken a Native American Fingerprint Plus test yet? That’s how I originally found my Native American DNA. It can find even the most minute amount. The test goes much deeper than the “big-box” companies (three of which gave me incorrect and very different results comparing those three).

    • Many of them claimed “white” if they signed the Dawes Roll or they were put there by the gov’t.

      • You are right. Cherokee and confederated Eastern groups like the Creek were of mostly “white” origins and appearance anyway. They were ideal marriage partners, moreover, for the pioneers pouring into the country. William Byrd speaks of this, how “comely” Indian brides were, except for their bear fat hair dressing, and speculated that the “Indian problem” would disappear in two more generations. This was in 1705.

      • There were Europeans who went on the trail of tears such as my ancestors. William Riley Blythe (English) married to Nancy Fields (Half Cherokee).

  10. There is a rumor of Cherokee blood in my family. I have not been successful in finding it through genealogy research. But, my best hope is my great grandfather, John Guess. The name Guess is often found in the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Sequoyah, the Chief of the Cherokee, is said to have given himself the name of George Guess. Guess being the closest he knew to the name of his English father., Nathaniel Gist.

    I have avoided any DNA tests as I do not believe the results of those test thru or 23&me are protecting an individual’s privacy. Can you suggest a DNA testing I can obtain that would find my Cherokee lineage and protect my privacy?

    • You should try our Cherokee DNA Test or Native American DNA Fingerprint Plus. All our results are private. Our method is the only one that has Cherokee data, plus 60 other tribes, in a database that covers the world. Until the end of the month there are specials during our “Indian Summer” promotion. Guess is a common Cherokee name, but the true story of Sequoyah is one of a non-Cherokee. His father was Nathaniel Gist/Guess and his mother was a Mustee named Wuteh.

      • I am a Lakota Sundancer o f mixed heritage including Tsalagi(Cherokee), Italian, Sicilian, etc. I am also a messianic Christian who has always suspected that there were Jewish roots in the tribe. It would be interesting to take your DNA test and see what shows up. How much does your company charge? Most places are around $100 and that is just too much for my very limited budget. Interesting work that you are doing.
        Thank you for your time.


  11. Have done 23andme and came back 4.9% Ashkenazi and 7% Native American. Been researching for several years to try to find info in Oklahoma. Ggggrandfather is in Dawes, but as ‘rejected ‘ because couldn’t prove mom was Choctaw. Never knew her as anything except Mother. Family wouldn’t talk about it either.

  12. Lineal descent from Tagwadihi and other Eastern & “Lower” Tsalagi and product of the mixed communities of the South East that historians so often overlook. Great to see someone explain these odd DNA segments in me and even more elder enrolled that relate to Mediterranean and oddly enough Oceanic.

  13. Sandra Burgess King

    I have been trying for years to prove I’m part Cherokee. My great grandfather’s name was Jackson Ross. He lived in Pope County, Arkansas. He was married to Fannie Hull in 1897. Moved to Salina, Oklahoma around 1925. Then moved to Moody’s, Cherokee, Oklahoma around 1930. Eventually they moved to Patterson, California where they remained until their deaths. Years ago I sent as much information as I could find to the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation, but was told I was getting close but needed to submit more information.
    I did have my DNA done years ago, but it did not show any Cherokee DNA. I did read a post someone submitted years ago that the Cherokees do participate in DNA.

    • Sandra,
      I was reading through here and saw you were related to Jackson Ross and Fannie Hull Ross. My husband also has them in his tree. We are probably related to some degree. He just had his DNA tested and did not show any Native Indian but from reading through here he has alot of markers that could be related. He is also trying to find his Cherokee heritage.

      • clann ross = vaux line = henry sinclair lines earl of orkney,,veaux also vanns these chiefs were orkney line sinclair ross veaux line,, rosslynn chapel davinci code movie lol

  14. I’m adopted . Fathers side are mostly
    Cherokee. Tolbetts.
    Mother Russian. Searching want to
    Have my DNA done just want advise on which one. I have some names pictures.

  15. DeSoto’s crew included Sephardic Jews who established gold mining settlements in the north Georgia mountains and Tennessee Smokey Mountains, the oldest evidence of Jewish occupation in America is a 1615 Sephardic Jew wedding symbol carving in the Smokey mountains. That’s how Cherokees intermarried and bred with Jews, not anything to do with migrations. Funny how many people are ignorant of DeSotos well-documented travels and settlements through native American lands.

    • S James
      It is uncouth to say this “Funny how many people are
      ignorant of DeSotos well-documented travels” etc. Just because it hasn’t been discussed here does not mean others do
      not know about it. It is highly probable that the Jewish DNA was introduced through migrations and DeSotos travels and settlements.
      But at the end of the day, Hernando DeSoto was a Spanish explorer. So guess what-he migrated from Spain to the New
      World, making your comment a “moot” point.

      • I Should note that it appears some Jews came before Columbus and some after. The Jewish Paint Clan (which provided a lot of the peace chiefs) includes lineages/DNA that is Jewish, Phoenician and Egyptian. Almost 90% of the earliest Indian traders among the Creek and Cherokee and Choctaw and Chickasaw were Jewish or crypto-Jewish, primarily Separdic. And so forth…

  16. My grandparents last names Grant,Hopkins,Masters. My grandparents names are Rosie Lee Grant and George Hopkins and Dollie Masters and Robert Masters. My moms name is Mary Frances Masters-Hopkins and my dads name is Russell Hopkins. My name is, Rose Ann Dolly Hopkins before I married. Then Tudor and then Mckinley after marriage. Mom spelled my name to me as Rose Ann Dolly Hopkins and yet on my birth certificate it is spelled Rosan Dolly Hopkins. When I found out my name was spelled Rosan Dolly and not Rose Ann Dolly, I asked social security what spelling to use and they said the way you were told it is spelled and not as it is on your birth certificate. I was told that I was named after my grandmother,Rose-my aunt Ann and my grandmother Dolly. Obviously she did not know how to spell their names. My sisters name is Arlene Lee Hopkins. I was always told I was Irish and Indian,this was drilled into my head. I have not done a DNA test yet I am 69 years old come Dec. I guess I was afraid that I would not be of Indian decent after all,but since I read about all the name relations, I am hopeful. In high school I was told by a teacher who was very exited that I was an Indian. I long to be of the descent of Indians. Please tell me what to do. Please email me at I fell desperate to know this before I die.Thank you so much, Rose.

  17. My grandparents last names Grant,Hopkins,Masters. My grandparents names are Rosie Lee Grant and George Hopkins and Dollie Masters and Robert Masters. My moms name is Mary Frances Masters-Hopkins and my dads name is Russell Hopkins. My name is, Rose Ann Dolly Hopkins before I married. Then Tudor and then Mckinley after marriage. Mom spelled my name to me as Rose Ann Dolly Hopkins and yet on my birth certificate it is spelled Rosan Dolly Hopkins. When I found out my name was spelled Rosan Dolly and not Rose Ann Dolly, I asked social security what spelling to use and they said the way you were told it is spelled and not as it is on your birth certificate. I was told that I was named after my grandmother,Rose-my aunt Ann and my grandmother Dolly. Obviously she did not know how to spell their names. My sisters name is Arlene Lee Hopkins. I was always told I was Irish and Indian,this was drilled into my head. I have not done a DNA test yet I am 69 years old come Dec. I guess I was afraid that I would not be of Indian decent after all,but since I read about all the name relations, I am hopeful. In high school I was told by a teacher who was very exited that I was an Indian. I long to be of the descent of Indians. Please tell me what to do. I feel desperate to know this before I die.Thank you so much, Rose.

    • My mother said my grandfather was half Cherokee, but when I got a DNA tested it showed 48 percent Scandinavian. How can I get into a study to find out about this odd finding since none of my family is Scandinavian. Is the Cherokee part of me actually Scandinavian?

      • The genetic companies are mostly mistaken about Cherokee and other eastern North American tribes. They tell me I have NO Native American DNA but am Finnish! Our books Cherokee DNA Studies I & II have tried to correct this fallacy on the part of mainstream science but they live in an echo chamber all to themselves. We don’t give percentages, btw. In our forensic method I match the reference population Enrolled Cherokee (n=33) in third place. I am a descendant of Chief Black Fox. I also match Finland in a high position and have no known Finnish ancestors by name.

  18. I said my grandmother was Dollie Masters and for some reason I forgot it is Dollie Miller. Please take note of this. Rose

  19. Glad I found this site. My DNA on one websites shows I have about 20% Greek/Italian DNA but another DNA websites shows the DNA as Jewish. Very interesting because my family tree shows that I am descended from Chief Atkullakulla. Anyway, I can probably prove my lineage but am wondering if it is worth requesting membership in the Cherokee Nation. Also, until I had the DNA work done, I had absolutely no clue I had Cherokee DNA or Jewish DNA. Some family secret or what? It came from my dad’s side and he never mentioned it. He always said we were French/Irish but there is more Jewish DNA than Celtic.

  20. My first DNA result from ‘Ancestry’ said ‘Western Asian’ 2%. Since then, ‘Ancestry’ has edited out the ‘Western Asian’. We have ‘Blevins’. My late husbands first DNA also said 2% ‘Western Asian’. He has ‘Belcher’. I’ve always thought that the ‘Western Asian’ might be the Cherokee.

    • Yes, Western Asian could be the same as East Mediterranean.

      • Patti from Kennesaw

        I wrote previously about my SUPPOSED genealogy. What I forgot to mention is that my family lived in Cherokee County, North Carolina.

        Thanks for your help,

    • I have more than 1 tribe in my DNA. I will not tell you anything about myself and see if your findings are correct. I know my lineage by spoken word and I found them online in the places both sides. I would love to hear your results. Also I have chest pain if I eat pork. Who am I? I would love to take the finger test!

  21. william a. kinzalow jr

    one of my great grand father was chief red bird on my mother side, my mother grand parents were cherokee, i have the family tree from chief red bird. my father is irsh and english from the kensalla clan in northen england, i was born at home and have no cherokee dna. would like to take the test. bill

  22. Very interesting read. I have replied to one of the posts.

  23. I just discovered this wonderful site this morning!! I have always been told there is Cherokee blood in our family line. My Grandmother was from North Carolina; my Grandfather from along the Virginia/Carolina border. Names of Ayers, Peak… Scotch Irish descent on grandmother’s side. I know next to nothing about this portion of my lineage. My mother’s brother (Peak) researched extensively the Peak roots of the family. His records mention a Cherokee connection but he never pursued it. Along with my grandmother and mother, one more sibling had similar features as my grandmother, although not as pronounced. She was the tallest of the siblings, a good 6 feet, lanky, thin, large bones. Most members of my Peak-Ayers family were very tall, lean, large-boned, long. However, my maternal grandmother and my mother wer relatively short -5’5 o4 5’6 had flat, high cheekbone features, smallish face, piercing eyes. Her features remind me of native American pictures. I point out my grandmother’s and mother’s features because they were so striking and more pronounced than the rest of the 7 siblings of the Peak/Ayers family. My relatives always acted hesitant whenever the Cherokee connection was brought up. Sort of dismissive regarding the topic. Other names of our family line were Hart, Blevins, Hurley. I DThere is a mention of someone named ‘Old Ned’ as being a relative who stayed in the region along with a contingent of Cherokee people who hid in the mountains when the people made their journey along the Trail of Tears. However, from what I have found, Ned was a prolific breeder, leaving children scattered all over the area, so, I mostly discount his connections. I believe lot of the tales a are conjecture. I had a DNA test done, early on with It was in the very early days of their DNA testing. It didn’t show much. It showed heritage from Scotland, Ireland, aEngland, Africa and Italy. In North America, the scanty results indicates ancestors from the southeast, primarily around the North/South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky regions. I can’t remember the other locations at the moment. . I have searched on and off over the last 20+ years, regarding the Cherokee connection. QUESTION: What next steps do you recommend for me to take toward discovering more k? Thank you so much for your time. I look forward to your reply!

    • You could take the Basic American Indian as a next step. It would confirm Cherokee or other Southeastern Indian.

    • I am also a Peak and Blevins descendant. My dad’s mom was Margaret (Caldwell) Anderson, the daughter of Ernest and Rose (Wall) Caldwell, and the grand-daughter of William Wall and Emaline Peak. Emaline was the daughter of Hugh and Margery (Hart) Peak. Margery was the daughter of George Hart and Mary Blevins, and the grand-daughter of James and Catherine (Sizemore) Hart. These Sizemore, Blevins, Hart, Peak families of Grayson Co. VA and Ashe Co. NC. ( Emaline Hart’s sister Cornelia married Uriah, brother of Hugh Peak).
      The Sizemore DNA Project results show father of Catherine Sizemore, Edward GeorgY-DNA, indicating his native american ancestry.

      The findagrave photograph for Emaline and Hugh Peak is revealing…her native features, and the fact that they are holding hands. Their gravestone is also etched with their two hands clasped (hers with a lace edge on the sleeve), a beautiful reflection of the love they shared.

  24. Loved reading all the comments. Learned much.

  25. I took a DNA test to see just where my family came from.and to also find out if I am Cherokee the DNA test did detect native American Indian DNA but there was no percentage that said that I was like 1/4 or 1/8 Cherokee but I know why that didn’t Cherokee blood is too far back in time to be detected by a DNA test from 23 I do not think that 23 and me is the way to go for DNA testing.

  26. How Jewish DNA is in so many Cherokees. Thirty years ago, when I was out in Oklahoma, I bought a book at the Cherokee Trading Post, called Trail of Tears, the Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. Written in 1929. It starts out telling the birth of Ridge. It reads that Ridge’s mother’s father was a Scotsman, and that over many years a few dozen of his kind, along with a people call the house of Judah, moved into Cherokee land and took pretty Cherokee girls and married them and bore children. It said they were all fur traders from Charleston. After a few years many became homesick for their other families and left, saying they would be back in a year, but never returned. Since my DNA Fingerprint Plus test showed I tested #12 Cherokee and #15 Majorcan Jew (Spanish) I did some research on the Majorcan Jews. In about 70 AD when the Romans ran the last two tribes Judah and Benjamin out of Jerusalem, some they sold as slaves to the Phoenicians, and the rest went to Spain and Ethiopia. Could these Spanish Jews have felt comfortable with the Cherokees because of similar religious practices? It made me wonder, if the ancient Cherokees were not themselves some of the other lost ten tribes, that had married Middle Eastern women, and had made their way to the eastern United States, thousands of years ago. That would account for my T1a haplogroup with so many Middle Eastern roots.

  27. John S Captain III

    My Great GGGrandfather Thomas Captain (b1850) and Chief of the eastern Shawnee tribe of Oklahoma for 25 years was said to be related to Tecumseh
    My DNA is MB2566466

    His father we learned was French and Thomas was not 100% shawnee he was 25% French who was his grandpa Col Lewis? Alexander? McKee ? Our name changed before 1840 to CAPTAIN my dad said his grandpa told him we helped lost people in the woods and we were given that name ?

  28. I have questions of my so very different in my beliefs my aunt claims im cherokee indian and gypsey w very little german and checkoslovenien..actually iv always wondered through life wondering who i really like to connect to what my heratige really is and practice the ways of life but i dont know how to go about mother was a very strong spirited woman my grandmother was born in romania to gypsey parents in a caraven so im actually looking to identify wher i belong

  29. Thank you for this info! I recently did a DNA ancestry test and Levant ( Eastern Mediterraneanbecause ) appeared in my results.. I started looking into it thinking this is odd. Figured no Native heritage would ever show up from previous things I had read. However maybe it’s not after reading. my great grandmother had been said to be part Cherokee Indian. My grandfather confirmed the tales years ago but they were never allowed to speak of it. He said she did most of her gardening around sunset so her skin wouldn’t darken. Only one of her children had darker skin tones and as she grew older she was asked to stay out of the sun as well so people wouldn’t notice. I have a photo of the mother with all the children young and it is clearly noticeable of the one sibling in early 1900’s Greenbrier WV. I have now convinced my mother to do a test. Any recommendations on which test would be best for her?

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