First New Cherokee DNA Data Published in More Than 10 Years

Old World Roots of the Cherokee Publishes Customers’ Genealogies, Adds Mediterranean Lineages 

Before the DNA Consultants Blog published “Anomalous Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in the Cherokee” in October of 2009, a mere 60 samples, all Oklahoma Cherokee, spoke for the country’s largest and “best known” Indian nation.

Now the stories of 52 “anomalous” descendants who flesh out the record of Cherokee DNA are available in Old World Roots of the Cherokee, a new book by DNA Consultants’ founder Donald Yates, with a foreword by Richard Mack Bettis. The 200-page reference work from McFarland is the result of more than 10 years’ research and overturns a number of stereotypes about Cherokee history and genetics.

One of the published stories is that of Mary M. Garrabrant-Brower, part of the 13 U haplogroup subjects who had been told by other DNA testing companies they were plainly not of Cherokee descent because they didn’t have the right haplogroup. “My great-grandmother was Clarissa Green of the Cherokee Wolf Clan,” said Garrabrant-Brower, as reported in Yates’ book (p. 54). “Her grandfather was a Cherokee chief and my mother maintained the Cherokee language and rituals, even though we moved to the Northeast.”

U5 is usually presented as a Eurasian haplogroup. It is among the oldest mtDNA haplogroups found in Homo sapiens in Europe including Cheddar Man, the oldest remains of anatomically modern humans in Britain, with an estimated age of 30-50,000 years. Stephen Jett, a geographer who edits Pre-Columbiana, maintains if any U haplogroups were to be verified in the New World it would probably be U5.

A second U5 Cherokee in the study is a Scottsdale, Ariz. doctor, who matches only one other person in the world according to the databases available for searching, a descendant of Marie Eastman, born 1901 in Indian Territory. “Because of the precision of the match, he and the descendant of Marie Eastman who was tested are almost certainly cousins in a genealogical as well as genetic sense,” reported Yates in Old World Roots of the Cherokee. “His own descent is documented from Jane Rose, a member of the Eastern Cherokee Band. Her family is listed on the Baker Rolls, the final arbiter of enrollment established by the U.S. government (p. 54).”
Teresa Panther-Yates, a third U5, of the U5b subclade, has a type that is unique in the world, only found in her own case. “She traces her maternal line back to Isabel Culver, the second wife of Levin Ellis in Hancock County, Georgia. Isabel died about 1838 at the time of the Trail of Tears. There is a tradition in Teresa’s family that this line was Cherokee (p. 54).”

An Epochal Shift
As with U, so with T, J and other haplotypes. Whereas the Cherokee descendants who carried these types had been “rejected” by orthodox science and DNA companies who tow the line on such matters, they were vindicated in the new study, often matching other Cherokee and even other participants (previously unbeknownst to them).

Of Yates’ findings about the anomalous DNA data, Wake Forest professor Cyclone Covey writes in an introductory note:

Donald Yates burst onto the scene clarifying Melungeons and went on the explain many more peoples via pioneering researches in DNA. A classically grounded scientist who is conversant with Hebrew, he detected Cherokee as Greek in what can only be called an epochal shift of thinking, posing the historical challenge of getting Alexandrine and Mediterraneankoine to Tennessee ahead of Hernando De Soto (p. viii).

Old World Roots of the Cherokee appeared on July 11 and is available from your favorite bookseller. Copies signed by the author are for sale on the DNA Consultants company site.
For more information on the author of Old World Roots of the Cherokee and other publications, visit