Interpreting Native American DNA on my GEDmatch admixtures

+4 votes
Native American ancestry on GEDmatch

I finally got my DNA results back, and plugged them into GEDmatch.  Using the admixture calculators, 16 of them gave me results for Native American.  The highest was 1.82%.  

This seems pretty consistent with what I expected, just one generation further back, plus a little more from some other source.  

4 other results were right around 1.5% or 1.25%

The lowest was .23%.  Average was .86%

I also got a lot of Siberian, East Asian, South East Asian, Middle Eastern, and some Oceanian results, which I have read may actually be Native American.

I noticed that all but one of the tests that looked for Native American ancestry but that didn't find any for me was from Eurogenes.  

13 of 14 other tests showed Native American ancestry.  3 of 8 Eurogenes tests that looked for Native American ancestry did not show any for me.

I grew up being told that my maternal grandmother had a Cherokee grandmother on her father's side.  I discovered that her parents were James and Delhis/Delie Meeks, born around 1820, and I have no records of them before the 1860 census, when they lived in Casey County, Kentucky.  Both are listed as White on the census.  I also have a James Meeks (possibly someone else) who registered for the Civil War, and I have a record he died in 1869 of pneumonia fever.  I have 1860 census and well as 1870 census for Delhis/Delie.  1860 says they were both born in Kentucky, but 1870 says she was born in Ohio.  I have no other records for them and have been unable to trace them, either as White or as Native American, prior to them popping up in Casey Co. KY in 1860.  

I now suspect that one of them had a Native American parent, rather than one of them being 100% Native American, based on my genetic percentage and the fact that they were able to pass as White in 1860.  I have photos of my great-grandfather and one of his brothers.  His brother has very dark skin and black hair, and both of them have Native American features, as do I, my mother, my sister, and my grandma did as well.  In fact, occasionally Native Americans have asked us what tribe we are in, or just asked about our heritage, and when we say, "A little bit of Cherokee, way back," they always say, "It really shows."  

We also have Sinodont incisors, and I have talon cusps on my canines, which are indicators of likely Native American ancestry, though they can mean Asian or Middle Eastern ancestry, respectively.

Between family stories, Native American appearance, and the DNA results, I feel pretty confident that the family story is probably true.

I would like to find some information about false positives and things of that nature.  As I mentioned, Siberian, Arctic, Polar, Bering Strait, East Asian, South East Asian, Oceanian, and Middle Eastern all show up in my genetic admixture.  I did suspect a small amount of Middle Eastern, because of an ancestor during the Crucades who was named Sarazine, Sarrasine, Saracena de Lezay (1067–1144).  She was the wife of Hugh VII of Lusignan, and her origins are unknown, so I suspect she might be Saracen who converted to Christianity.  But that is so far back that I doubt it would even show up, and I have no reason to suspect any more recent Middle Eastern genetic ancestor, at least based on the branches of my family tree I have managed to trace so far.

(Also note that there is one weak link in my family tree during colonial America, and I also haven't verified the research on Generations Gone By that goes back beyond that weak link, and that weak link is the bridge to this alleged branch of my family that contained Saracena.)

Thanks so much if you've taken the time to read this, and I really hope someone can point me in the right direction!  Maybe if I can be certain that I really probably have a Native American (possibly Cherokee) 4rd great-grandparent, then it will help me find them.  

I am not linking this to any individual profile right now because the information is somewhat genetic (Freudian slip!  I meant generic).
in The Tree House by Susannah Rolfes G2G5 (5.8k points)
Sue, Hi, I know of some of the Meeks out of Ky. who went to ks and then into Mo and NE. my cousin back about 3rd or 4tth Gen. and I did our Gen back in the 70's. and she decinded from joe meeks, and yes they were native. at least some of them. I will try to contact her and see if I can get more info.
Thanks for your reply! I know that Allen Meeks went to Texas and died in Fannin, Texas. Other than Elizabeth Meeks, I don't know what happened to the other children after 1860. I don't really know what happened to her after 1880. Maybe some of her family went to Kansas, I don't know. I would love to see what your cousin has found! I did talk to someone on Genforum in 1998 who was descended from Allen. Both are children of James and Delhis/Delie/? Meeks, whose parentage I have been unable to find. Maybe Joe is his father?

1 Answer

0 votes
The Dawes roll has several Cherokees listed with the name Meeks. We had been told a similar story growing up but my DNA doesn't show any Native American. I had looked up the Dawes roll many years ago and had found the Meeks name.
by Martin Pleasant G2G Rookie (200 points)
The Meek and Meeks folks on the Dawes roll are all connected to three white men named Meek/Meeks who emigrated to Indian Territory after the Civil War and married Cherokee women.  There is no one named Meek or Meeks on the 1835 Cherokee Census, or any of the four western and eastern rolls of 1851/52.
I have seen the Meeks surname on the Dawes Roll. They weren't the "right" ones, so I did not dig deeper. I  always assumed it was Delhis/Delie who was Native American, because it did not seem like an English name (though perhaps it was an Irish name, G/D sound a lot alike), then again, perhaps it's farther back. I began considering that perhaps it was James who was Native American at some point, when I learned about Rev. Meeks who was a missionary to the Cherokee in Georgia (thinking perhaps someone adopted the surname in his honor). I have been looking for 26 years and never found anything about this family prior to the 1860 census. That's another reason I suspect perhaps they were not in records prior to then due to being in a Native American society than Cherokee, one without a written language, and thus, no written records. I really don't know, but I'd really like to find out, whatever the answers are.
Rev meeks was my gggg grandfather his son jesse meeks  married my ggg grandmother Sarah but cannot figure out her maiden name. the whole family has always been told we are cherokee. sarahs daugther artemiss robinson meeks was had a twin narciuss dont know if i got spelling correct but artemis robinsons meeks daugther was anna margret fletcher  then to my grandmother who passed her name was cordia lee truitt maiden name mask cordia had a sister name anna lou . cordia had many half brothers. anna margret was also a gilbert in gilmer tx upshur county and a warren as well when the court house burned we lost alot of heritage in upshur county
If you are talking about Rev. Littleton Meeks, he was a missionary to the Cherokee prior to the Trail of Tears.  It would not surprise me at all if one or more of his children married Cherokees, but I don't have evidence of this, and have not proved any connection to them.  I'm still tracing my James Meeks on tax lists in and near Casey County, Kentucky.  In traced him back to 1851.  He did not appear on the 1850 census anywhere, so I assume he was moving from one area to another during the census time, from a place that hadn't been enumerated yet to one that had already been enumerated.

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