Monday, August 6, 2012

DNA - Again

A recent comment on the DNA of the Lumbee Indians prompts me to once again emphasize that DNA cannot prove race or ethnicity.   Anonymous wrote;
I am going to guess anonymous found this on the LUMBEE TRIBE DNA PROJECT found here. I printed out the 6+ pages of results and found the Sub Saharan DNA consists of 1 single page out of 6. Of those reported in this grouping we have; 
Henry A Revels - Country of Origin - Spain
Teixelra - Country of Origin - Portugal
Bertrand deLuc Lucas - Country of Origin- France
Wm M. Ivy - Country of Origin - France
Maximo Salas (Hernandez)  - Country of Origin - Spain
The majority of the rests of the results are R1b, coincidentally the same Haplogroup found among the Tribal Cherokee that have been tested so far. 

As I went through the names I recognized many *Melungeon Surnames* and a few others listed as Lumbee Indians that quite surprised me, such as; Champ Gibson, Valentine Collins, Thomas Goins, Roark Lawson, Thomas Dodson, Thomas Helton and others.  There are no genealogies attached to these names that I could find and as many *exxperts* have stated; "DNA without genealogy is worthless.'

I suppose there are probably good reasons some of these names are found among the Lumbee Tribe but I have a hard time with;
James Donahue born 1839 Cork, Ireland
James Campbell born 1800 Belfast, Ireland
Richard Rose Morgan born New London, CT
Hans Jorgenson born 1818 Denmark
James Park born 1818 PA
Alfred Craddock born 1876 Logan County, WV
Buster Thrasher born 1929 Las vegas, NM
William Morgan born 1808 Herkimer County, NY
I suppose these men may have married into the Lumbee at some point but they hardly represent the tribe as they were found living there in the 1750s.

Back to the DNA

One of the major concerns of DNA testing and cataloging was the risk to privacy. There was a fear that unscrupulous individuals could use DNA information to prove not only heredity, but also things such as race or ethnicity. It was thought that DNA could be used to prove claims of people to such things as Native American, or African American ancestry. Many feared that a new set of Hitler type dictators would be able to use the new scientific knowledge to identify and isolate individuals based on racial background. Debates raged on the possible ethical conflicts that might develop as a result of this new technology. A recent incident involving the possible slave offspring of a long dead president did a great deal to stir up the debate. However DNA testing is not a definitive answer in all cases. While DNA can prove direct ancestry or linage, it can't prove race or ethnicity.  Read the rest here
As I posted last month in WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR GENES this is an excerpt from "Council for Responsible Genetics" 
"But in examining less than 1 percent of a person's genetic background, these companies often overstate their tests' ability to say anything significant about a person's heritagegiving the impression that social categories of race and ethnicity are somehow genetically verifiable." Read the rest here
There was much contact with the Native tribes prior to 1608.  Check the routes of deAyllon, deSoto and Pardo, all here in the 1500s with documentation they mixed with the Native tribes.  One can only imagine how many of those tribes were carrying European and African DNA before Jamestown was even settled. has created an ancestry for President Barack Obama based on John PUNCH who is found in only one record. Punch stepped out of a court room in 1640 and into oblivion.  John Punch was not a slave, he was a servant, his transportation paid for by Hugh Gwyn. 

There is as much evidence to prove John Bunch, whose DNA shows his ancestry goes back to Africa, and ancestor of the President Barack Obama, descended from the first slaves in America that came with deAyllon in 1527 and mixed with the Native Americans. 



  1. denial: it's not just a river in africa.

  2. Dear Anonymous #214

    First let me say I don't know why people choose to remain anonymous when commenting, if you have an opinion why not write your name, especially a comment about being in denial?

    As a rule I don't like to publish 'Anonymous' comments but I make exceptions from time to time and I feel this one needs to be published. I am going to assume you are the same as Anonymous #201 that replied to this post originally.

    Note in this blog these are not *my opinions* these are opinions of geneticists, "DNA cannot prove race or ethnicity" and I certainly agree with that. Let's take Jack Goins, author and Administrator of the Melungeon DNA Project; his Y DNA is Sub Saharan but he is white. In his book FOOTPRINTS FROM THE PAST page 231 he writes; "On my DNA Print/Ancestryby DNA test, I am showing no African, even though my Y Line DNA tests from two lineages are E1b1a but this could mean those ancestors were too many generations removed for the test to find them. So the point of ths post was DNA does not prove race or ethnicity is backed up by the Administrator of the Melungeon Project himself. Does Jack Goins' DNA prove he is White? African? What exactly does his DNA prove? Nothing? Not race nor ethnicity.

    The Lumbee Project proves nothing, there are many names with many different DNA results, some which *appear* to be Sub Saharan come from France, Spain and Portugal.
    The above is not DENIAL, I have no connection to the Lumbee Indians or the Melungeons, no family were ever listed as anything but white and besides my European DNA the only other mixture I have is Native American. I have no dog in this fight, I write it as I find it.

  3. Thank you for the post. I've been giving some serious consideration to participating in a DNA test to discover if my family research is on target. Factual articles are much appreciated!

  4. It sure is proving that a lot of people HAVE Native American DNA. My family comes from the Appalachians via the Blue Ridge Mountains. My family is also linked with the Lumbee NAs, but I'm African American. That of course before would make any claim by an African American of ancestry to the Lumbee people ludicrous. Now DNA offers irrefutable evidence because no matter what, you cannot manipulate the Haplogroups. My DNA NA came back at 6% Native American and 23% Europena. I am also related by DNA Relatives to Hagan, Lowery and Goins. You can't manipulate those who are related to you by blood either, so its not off the mark by much if you ask me. At least not on 23andme

  5. Have the Lumbee people officially participated in a DNA project? I read that people identifying themselves as Lumbee (but on the periphery of the tribe), have, but those identifying themselves as part of the official tribe have not. Is this true, and if so, why haven't they?

  6. Rb1 ydna is a European haplogroup.mif the Cherokee have an abundance of this Marker, it is because they are now genetically European. The woman mixed heavily with european men and the male offsprings intermarried with european women. Now they are paternaly and maternally European, with few Native American haplogroups. As now it stands that haplogroups A, B, C, D and X are the only native american haplos, until any others are found in pre contact remains. Sorry.

  7. Hello, I am new to the DNA scene, so I don't know much.
    I have seen, on thee Lumbee Tribe website, that they have participated in DNA testing.
    Also, I have just recently, within the last year, found my Father's family. Well, I'm a little dumbfounded. I was Now, my whole life, I thought that I was German,German, German, and German. The whole way back to Germany...But, last year, I then learned from a newly acquainted long lost Great Aunt, that my Maternal Grandfather was Jewish. Not even my Grandmother knew. In the last month, I have found, not only Native American, but also African American! (Jaw hits the floor). I accept it and I am PROUD to say that I have found MANY links, both DNA and Verbally to the communities that you are talking about.
    I have DNA and verbal links to Pee Dee, Lumbee, Croatan, Cheraw, Cherokee, Catawba Indians. I also have links to several African American, Mullato, and Melungeon Peoples.
    Apparently, the 'white side' tried to erase any connection to the rest of the family tree. Thank goodness, it survived, and I am 'digging' it up. I have found links to the Chavis, Oxendine, Driggers, Calder, Lowery, Goins, Revels, Mitchell, Johnson, Ivey, Cambow, Cumbee, Morriss, Hall-Avant, Freeman, Harris, Jacobs, Smith, Pocahontas, Carter, Locklear, Jones, Pikney, Tyner. Lovett, Presley, Preston, Roberson, Brown, Hayes, Haygood, Roger, Wilson, Radclyffe, Webb, Parker, Thomas, Revels, Brown, McGee, Davis, McCarty, Stewart, Strickland, Fields, Griffin, Wallace, Martin, Reichenbach, Snow, Anderson, Vaughn, Harris, and Craddock.
    I don't know if I can help. I'd be willing to.

  8. I think with the Trail of Tears and the fact that 5 of the "civilized" tribes owned slaves there would be an admixture of African Ancestry. Who knows what is 100% Native American because you have the history of what the Conquistadores did to the Native People as well as other Europeans. None of the other tribes are giving their blood for these tests. We also know that people who are Mexican are testing as 50% Native Anerican give or take percentages. The tests are not defined enough yet. What is Hispanic? You will find Asian and some african as well as Portuguese and Spanish due to the rape of the Indiginious people of this land. You have blood line of rape admixture and you have culture. "Where did all The Indians Go?" Ask the Europeans that raped their way to land ownership.


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