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Old 10-24-2009, 10:35 PM
 
257 posts, read 124,878 times
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When I was a kid, I was given a card saying I'm 1/256 cherokee.

I question this for several reasons. One, my known family is White. Two, when I see pictures of Cherokees, my instinct is there's no relation whatsoever (alien to me).

I want to know... how accurate is DNA testing? When they compare DNA samples to historic human populations and such, how accurate are they? Could the results vary by test?

Last edited by 2goldens; 10-25-2009 at 07:41 AM.. Reason: Moved from Other Topics
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:35 AM
 
Location: southern california
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vastly superior to family fables which is what most go on.
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Macao
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Anyone actually done one of these?
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Old 11-06-2009, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,488 posts, read 7,607,717 times
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1/256th means 8 generations back -- likely no later than 1800, and quite likely before. Not genetically significant by itself, just means you had one very distant ancestor who was Cherokee (or shared a genetic marker with at least part of the Cherokee population).

DNA tests have been used in dogs for a while -- the results range from probably pretty accurate to laughably off-base.

[I am a professional dog breeder/trainer, so I speak pedigree ]
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:51 PM
bjh
Status: "Season's greetings." (set 11 hours ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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Different companies have been known to have different results for one person when trying to trace ancestors to, say, Africa, where a specific national lineage are not known.

As far as racial percentage, DNA tests are extremely accurate and are even used by police along with other tests to help identify an unknown person.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,488 posts, read 7,607,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjh View Post
Different companies have been known to have different results for one person when trying to trace ancestors to, say, Africa, where a specific national lineage are not known.

As far as racial percentage, DNA tests are extremely accurate and are even used by police along with other tests to help identify an unknown person.
Actually, per the National Academy of Sciences, there is good reason to be suspicious of DNA and some other forensics tools (including the venerable fingerprint, which turns out to be not so accurate after all), both for not being as good as we've always been told, and for some not-very-sound procedures in common use. Here's an article on the study:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/us...pagewanted=all

Also, remember DNA can't magically identify anything. It is only useful IF you have prior data to compare it to. Without a positive to compare to, at best you might be able to exclude a certain class (such as "this ain't African DNA" or "this ain't Japanese DNA"). The only marker that's almost-positive on its own is the X/Y chromosome designating male or female, and even then, there are a dozen or so variants which make it not absolutely certain either!

Most DNA tests don't actually look for a specific gene; rather, they look for a marker that's known to be associated with the gene [allele] of interest. But the marker can become (through crossing over) associated with a different allele, and then your DNA test results will be flat wrong.

Also, turns out "mosaics" are rather more common than we thought -- that's a cell whose DNA doesn't match the rest of you.

Anyway, DNA can be a useful tool, but should not be regarded as absolute truth, and the tests can produce totally bogus results.
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Old 11-06-2009, 10:18 PM
 
Location: southern california
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
Anyone actually done one of these?
yes i have 173 bucks will do ya.
what is funny is the reaction of most of the family members.
they like the mayflower and direct descendant king louie VI much better. that stupid DNA stuff ruins the story.
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,488 posts, read 7,607,717 times
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Hahah... my mom's family traces back to Norway's King Harald (ca. 840-933). Of course, so does every other Norwegian on the planet!

Funny story told by someone I used to know, who traced American Indian genealogies for a living:

Mary gave a presentation at some outfit like "Daughters of the Pilgrims" (I forget exactly) and afterward a woman came up, genealogical scroll in hand, and proudly proclaimed that she was descended from Famous Pilgrim Woman (whose name I also forget).

Mary said, "No, you're not."

The woman insisted, "Yes I am; here she is in my pedigree!"

Mary said, "No, you're not. Famous Pilgrim Woman was sterile; she adopted 13 Indian children."

Needless to say, this did not go over well.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Stuck in NE GA right now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LZKay1 View Post
When I was a kid, I was given a card saying I'm 1/256 cherokee.
What kind of card? A tribal enrollment card? A CDIB (certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) card?

There are three federally recognized tribes of Cherokee each with different requirements. You might already be an enrolled member of a tribe.

The Southeastern tribes have inter-married for hundreds of years and many tribal members are blue eyed with light skin.


DNA testing on it's own will not tell you what tribe, however, it's a great tool if your already doing genealogy, I had my ethnology DNA done several years ago and it told me I was on the right track, I have a significant amount indian blood and if I could find that ancestor, I might be elegible for enrollment. Indian genealogy is very difficult to track, many hid from the government in fear and were never enrolled or used an indian name for enrollment and went by a 'white' name or vise versa.

Good luck
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,488 posts, read 7,607,717 times
Reputation: 1996
Mary whom I mentioned above told me that LDS data is very good in particular for Indian genealogy -- she'd been surprised to learn that the family trees in the Book of Mormon were actually fairly accurate. I don't know one way or the other, but it might be worth checking out.
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