Can I use my ged match to identify American Indian Dna?

+12 votes
I have read that American Indian DNA does not show up in usual DNA testing.  I want to know if GED Match will find those  threads of DNA, or if a special DNA testing will have to be done. I have traced the line in my family tree and want to prove it genetically.
in The Tree House by Living Adkins G2G2 (2.7k points)
retagged by Mags Gaulden

Did info like this from GED Genesis help at all? Not sure what to make of the data.

Armenia_Chalcolithic + Clovis_Amerindian + Kennewick_Amerindian + Swedish_LN @ 7.268542


Mexican_CV ( )



Cochimi ( )




Mexican ( )



Luiseno ( )




Mexican ( )



Apache ( )



Hello. I'm not that well versed in DNA but I can say that Genmatch shows a huge amount of Native American in Chromosone 9. Can anyone lend some additional information here?

I see most of the comments center around how to use the admixture tools in GEDMATCH, which is excellent (and they're under-documented to boot). But proving you have the DNA might be half the battle--you might also want to know who you get it from. You also need to show heritage (I think) if you're going to petition a Nation or Tribe for membership. In that case, you could probably combine the information given in GEDMATCH about which sections of which chromosomes carry the DNA, then use DNA Painter or a similar tool to start mapping out your matches. Thus, if DNA you know came from say, your maternal grandfather, matches on those same segments, you know which line to pursue to confirm that Native heritage.

DNA may help connect you to a Native American ancestor which might lead to the documentation needed to be recognized as a descendant of a specific tribe or nation.  No tribe accepts DNA as proof (other than in paternity cases) and most require more than just an ancestor who was a tribal member.  At a minimum, direct documented descent from an individual on a specific roll or census is required, often a minimum blood quantum and a connection to the community are also required. Many tribes now only register individuals up to the age of eighteen.
To obtain Métis status , ie mixed blood , in Canada you need to demonstrate a family tree connection to a tribe.
Kathryn Parks is sooo right about the Nations/Tribes and genetics.  Too many ppl are trying to gain status as N8v to be able to just go after things like student scholarships, grants/loans, business grants, etc & many seem to think it will automatically qualify them to recieve some "big casino payout".  Then many find out they don't get accepted into the Nations that they think they might be connected to or heck they never bother to do the rest of the genealogical connecting on paper, and instead they join the "new state approved native "clubs" that are calling themselves nations, & these ones in many cases are the ones in US and in Canada that are starting to try to demand Lands, hunting rights, casino gaming rights, and many other things.  In NC just in the last couple months, another one of these so called Nations got busted for illegal gambling and all kinds of other stuff including illegal drugs.  This so called Nation was trying to claim religious freedom for their drug use!

Even the Metis in Canada (not the original Western & Red River Metis Nations) but the newly formed that are popping up especially in Eastern Canada.  I have issue with these organizations, because the way I see it, is just as an elder put it to me years ago.  "you are Metis? so what part of you is indian? is it 1 hand?, 1 foot?, a leg maybe?"   I laughed and said I don't understand what you mean by that.  they said..."You are either Native or you are not, you either know it completely and fully, or you are just another playing indian."  this is when they explained to me, that if you are Native then you will want to know who ALLLL of your grandparents are! not just one supposed "Indian Princess".  Being Metis for many is not about knowing their actual Native Ancestries, its about finding one out of Thousands, then claiming status!  To be a true Metis, one must know from what Ancestral Lines they descend, and within that know what Nations that includes....If one knows the Nations, why would they not bother to learn the actual cultures of their grandparents who were born of parents of those Nations?...To claim Metis, is in a sense to deny each and every Native Nation that the lines of Metis originally were formed from, thereby, denying your ownfull-Native Nation grandparents and your  French Ancestries, Irish Ancestries, Scottish Ancestries and more rarely but (did occur) English Ancestries.  

this next comment is not meant to pick on anyone or point fingersisjust food for thought.  If you found a grandmother or grandfather who was full blooded of a Nation and they in-turn married someone not of a nation, why would you deny yourself the opportunities to look deeper into who that full-blood grandparent was, and what Nation they were from? and why would you stop looking for Native after finding one? was one unknown unnamed  grandparent who might be Native more important than all other grandparents in your Ancestry?  Without each and Every grandparent that is in your would NOT BE who you are today.  Just think on that.

Oh one other thing, to those who seem to beleive these DNA MTdna and other genetic tests can tell you what tribes you are from...if they are claiming to be able to tell you the tribes within the US and Canada.. you should think twice on wasting money on this.  Since the US and Canada Nations Don't accept Genetics (except to prove paternity).. heres a thought..Most tribal members won't do the testing!  heck most tribal members of most nations can't AFFord the testing, and why would they want to or need to, they are already members.  So where are these supposed matches to these nations coming from?  one person, 10 people outta 100's of thousands...who maybe are native that live off Rez's and Reservs?  Sorry I for one am not buyin into this genetic playground, besides, why in the world would anyone want to share the most important information of themself (thier actual genetic markers) with people all over the world..& btw once up their goes all privacy when it comes to governments, law enforcements, etc.  Call me paranoid, but I'll keep my genetic make up to myself thank you. lol

Sorry, Judith--I missed the part of your question where you said you have already traced the line and were looking for corresponding DNA evidence.

Something to keep in mind--it's possible to not carry any DNA from a distant ancestor, too. For example, say your 3rd GGF in your paternal line was a Lakota. His son would carry half of that 3ggf's DNA. But his son (your GGF) could carry anywhere from 0-50% of that DNA--25% on average, but probably not exactly that number. It all depends on which of DNA was inherited by the son. There's no rule that says exactly half of his father's DNA and half the mother's was passed on.

No matter how far back your native ancestor was, you may carry anywhere from 0-50% of their DNA--that number just trends towards (1/2)^n, where n is the number of generations back (e.g., trends to roughly 1/4 of your grandfather's DNA, 1/8 of your ggf, etc.).

Note: all the above math assumes no endogamy, pedigree collapse, or otherwise intertwined family trees.

My mothers maiden name is Skaggs and we have the same name in her lineage. But my dna test shows no native american. I used HeritageDNA.
yes, the siberian means something.  it is believed that thousands of years ago siberian people traveled across siberia into what is now Alaska and became some of the earliest inhabitants of North America.  Do you also have Beringia?  I do, along with Siberian, and Amerindian.
Try MDLP model World-22 in Gedmatch.

6 Answers

+18 votes
Best answer
Native American DNA does show up in the usual DNA testing if you have enough of it.  Also GEDmatch's  Admixture (heritage) - Admixture Proportions by Chromosome using for example the Eurogenes K13 Calculator model can show the percentage you have on each chromosome, and the same utility's Chromosome Painting will show the location of any Native American segments on each chromosome.

Your percentage of Native American ancestry may be too small to detect using Family Finder or AncestryDNA, but you can have enough that can be detected by GEDmatch on a particular chromosome to be confident it is due to actual Native American ancestry.
by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (614k points)
selected by Mel Lambert
Hello William, I recommend exploring
I am aware that NA ancestry will show up in DNA testing, or maybe. Given that NA's share some Haplogroups (Y and mtDNA), certain tribes like the Obijwe even have R1b1 YDNA., and mtDNA haplogroups are shared with Asians, with perhaps hg X as an exception.

That aside for NA DNA to show up in any amount, one needs a 4th great grandparent that is 100% NA.

That said, although I do not have any subsaharan Africa or NA DNA, i have physical structures (in the form of skeletal features) that are associated with Melungeon's (dicey to use that term as some perceive it as derogarory) in essence they are mixed bloods of the Appalachia's, mostly North Carolina.

For instance, a mild ocipital bulge, shovel teeth, carabelli cusp and insteps so high that I can't wear cowboy boots., as well as splayed toes, save for the little toe which curves under. All these are "Indian traits'

Despite these genetic traits my DNA does not reflect an NA ancestry.

Then again traits can be passed on passed down, if they are dominant genes.

But an NA ancestry and $4.50 will get me a latte at Starbucks.
Wonderful! I tell everyone to upload to GedMatch!  I love to research every nationality listed for me. I too am American Indian.
Jennifer, the scientists who work on this aren't creating entertainment products.  

Please learn exactly what DNA testing entails and the history of it.

Solid and verified results overall.
Hi it was said that my Great, Great Grandmother was an orphaned Shawnee Indian baby adopted by German immigrant parents, but like some NO ONE was ever able to prove the story, so I had my DNA tested from 1st National Geographic and NO Native American showed up, German and Greek showed up, then they were able to transfer my DNA over to Familytreedna and again NO Native American showed up Southern European showed up so I thought maybe my Mom and I are Greek and NOT Native American but then I did the Ancestrydna for my Dad because we did/do not know where our last name of Kiblin comes from and then I did an Ancestrydna test and again NO Native American showed up, so I thought well then we are not Native American then we are part Greek, but I just uploaded my DNA to Gedmatch and guess what Native American did show up.  So now my Mom and I are part Shawnee Indian, now I just need to figure out the 19% Italy/Greece that showed up on my Mom's Ancestrydna results because my Mom and I that I know of are NOT Italian or Greek.  But I am VERY HAPPY about the Native American showing up in my DNA I did a happy dance last night lol.
Please let us know your GEDmatch ID.  Thanks and sincerely, Peter
Those are not American Indian traits but Southern Asia/ East Indian traits
Except for ethnicity projections.

Peter Roberts, I uploaded by AncestryDNA results to 23and Me during a period that 23ndMe allowed this and these are my results: 

  • British & Irish


    United Kingdom

  • French & German



  • Eastern European



  • Balkan


  • Broadly Northwestern European


  • Broadly Southern European


  • Broadly European


  • Native American


  • Broadly East Asian & Native American


  • East Asian & Native American

  • 0.1%

How do you know it's Shawnee ?? Does Gedmatch tell you that info ??, Thanks
+3 votes
GEDMATCH will show you those people who share DNA with you. It has no facility to check ethnicity that I know of. You will have to find other descendants of your Native American ancestors, get them to test their DNA and then you can compare your results.
by Rosemary Jones G2G6 Pilot (245k points)
I appreciate your candor.  I am new to the area of DNA matching and I am not yet aware of what it an and can't do.  Thank you.

I feel bad that some would stop to down vote this, but no one would stop to show Rosemary how to do it.  To Rosemary and anyone else that's wondering:

GEDmatch has good ethnicity prediction capabilities, but because it's a more technical site, it calls them 'admixtures'.  On the main menu page, look for Admixture (heritage), and click it, then in the Select box, select Eurogenes (it's for people of mostly European origin) or whatever you wish, then click the Continue button.  On the Eurogenes screen, put in your GEDmatch ID where it says Kit number, and proceed.  These ethnicities are more technical, not as easy to understand as the population names you get from the main companies, like AncestryDNA.  You can play around by trying different selections on the different screens.  Wikipedia can be helpful in understanding the results.

+4 votes

I use GEDmatch as well, and it will show you if you have at least 0.1 in chromosome 1. This is what is says for my Amerindian part.

Amerindian   2.1   0.9   -       -       -       0.5   0.2   -       -       0.1   -       0.8   -       1.8   1.4   0.2   -       0.8   -       -       0.8   -   
by Rebecca Walker G2G6 (6.7k points)
I apologize, you are correct, I looked again, only number one is labeled Chromosome, I just assumed the rest were chromosomes also.
I liked your answer, but the one before yours has left me even more confused.  Are all of the reading across the board, all 22, for chromosomes, if so, then I'm very pleased with your answer. I know that my tree has traced out American Indian heritage , but showing it on paper, and provog ot genetically, are two different things.
I checked mine  yesterday and it was so exciting. A few of mine were in the 30s! Most 9-teens. I wish I knew what it all meant.
Can I get a step by step on how to check

Start by using the Admixture (heritage) on GEDmatch, select Eurogenes, and I use Admixture Proportions, this way it show each chromosome, and it should show calculator model as being Eurogenes K13, enter your GED ID and continue to get your read out.

What does this mesn?
Amerindian         -             -             2.4         2.1         -             1.1         0.5         -             1.7         2.5         -             -             -             2.0         1.1         -             -             2.0         -             2.6         -             -
Hello Danyale, If you want to have some confidence of a particular ethnicity then pay attention to percentages higher than 4.0 on any one chromosome.
I have used the original answer numerous times, on many genealogy sites, to help others who are looking for the same answers.  I have also used it for family members seeking answers.   I appreciate all the help I have received from this site, and continue to receive.  Because Indian DNA is different, it is difficult to detect on a simple DNA scan, and chromosome mapping is the only answer, unless you want to invest big money, and I'm not even sure if that test is accurate.  There is an excellent video on You Tube about Indian Dna that I would recommend, if anyone is interested.

So here are my numbers (I know I am Native American) I just need to know more about each chromosome I guess?


Amerindian   49.6   52.3   36.2   41.4   57.5   41.0   68.9   25.5   60.1   57.9   56.9   72.9   43.2   53.4   53.3   42.5   38.8   75.7   23.2   63.7   62.3   80.2
Peter, I want to thank you for your calm, rational explanations. I was feeling a bit lost on GEDmatch but things are making a bit more sense for me now.

I will update my Wiki with my number...  on Eurogenes K13 I am showing a NA result on 13 of my chromosomes, with 7 and 21 weighing in at 5.6 and 8.9, respectively. This matches up with what I know of my family history.

Thank you again!
+4 votes

Follow-up to this...

WikiTreer Roberta Estes posted this: New Native American Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroups


by Mags Gaulden G2G6 Pilot (586k points)
+3 votes
Amerindian people are descended from migrating groups from Asia, particularly Siberia and northern/eastern Asia. Amerindian DNA has slightly distinct genetic variants which may or may not be detected by DNA Tests. Instead, DNA tests may read out as Asian instead. Most DNA companies, including GEDMATCH, will warn of this possibility. Therefore, any Asian DNA results (with the exceptions of South Asia, Southwest Asia, West Asia, and South Central Asia which are Middle Eastern countries including Pakistan and Bangladesh) can be possible Native American ancestry. My vote is to try Gedmatch's Ethio-Helix K-10+Japanese which actually is a pure African calculator with one test for an (oriental) Asian admix. This is a simpler calculator/test which will eliminate such a large combined test for so many ethnicities which can dilute readings. If your DNA does not have much African or Arab ancestry, but it does have Asian (specifically oriental/Far East/Amerindian or Arctic Inuit/Aleut) DNA, the it will show. My Asian DNA markers indicative of Native American ancestry were all coming up less than 10%, occasionally under 1%, depending on the test. But when I tried K10+Japanese, it magnified the oriental Asian marker to a whopping 22%...but if a person's marker is TRULY insignificant or weak, it will show trace amounts or most likely nothing. My suggestion is to try this test, even if you aren't African, just to get a reading on the Japanese/Asian DNA to confirm Amerindian ancestry.
+2 votes
Your right, actually  as 90% of Native American  DNA is not on any DNA database... but you will have better luck with it showing up if you have the specific  tribes  those DNA is in the database  showing up using gedmatch. They are a very in depth analysis  facility  and I highly recommend  you trying them out.
by Markanthony Ramsey G2G Rookie (260 points)

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