Generations of American families in the United States sometimes believe that they have Native American blood in their genes. If traditional research methods fail to produce any information, a DNA test may be just the thing you should try.
Here are some things you should know about DNA testing and how it may determine which American Indian tribe you belong to:
1. A DNA test can determine two of an individual’s many lineages.
One way to determine a lineage is the mtDNA or the mitochondrial DNA test, which traces the genetic lineage along the maternal line. The Y chromosome DNA test, on the other hand, traces an individual’s paternal line.
2. A DNA test determines an individual’s haplotype and haplogroup.
This is a set of genetic markers, inherited as an entity. Each haplotype corresponds to a different haplogroup.
Haplogroups are usually associated with a specific geographic region. An individual’s DNA profile is compared to geographic regions where a similar profile is very common. It helps identify certain populations wherein an individual’s DNA fits in.
3. A sole DNA test cannot prove that you are associated with a Native American tribe.
DNA testing cannot prove you are part of a particular ethnic group, even if you match with a particular population sample. What it can do, however, is be a tool in supporting your traditional genealogical research and documentation.
Although DNA results is not enough for one to gain tribal membership, many individuals are happy to have a better understanding of their roots.
Understanding your heritage is very important, whether or not you have traces of American Indian roots. Knowing your roots can give you a better appreciation of who you are, where you came from and who you want to be.
This Article is written by Lena Butler, contributor of Test Country Articles.