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Review of Science Writing and News Reports on DNA Testing and Popular Genetics

Acadian Anomalies

Monday, November 30, 2009
Anomalous Native American Lineages Now Identified Also among Micmac Indians After posting “Anomalous Mitochondrial DNA Lineages in the Cherokee,” and after being interviewed on the subject by an Internet radio show host, I was contacted by participants in the Amerindian Ancestry out of Acadia Project who were struck by similarities in results for the two groups. Established in 2006, the Amerindian Ancestry Out of Acadia DNA Project mission is to research and publish the mtDNA and Y chromosome genetic test results of site participants who descend from persons living in Nova Scotia and surrounding environs in the 17th and 18th centuries, focusing specifically upon the early population of l'Acadie. As part of the mission, the Project develops a database of published mtDNA and Y Chromosome test results and encourages the sharing of this information among other similarly focused studies for the purposes of comparison and the advancement of science and research. According to Project Administrator Marie A. Rundquist, “We descend from both Amerindians (mostly Mi’kmaq) and the early French settlers who arrived in Port Royal in the 1600s, many of them single French men who married Amerindian wives, whose families would become pioneers of the New World. Our family lines have extended well-beyond the original boundaries of what was known to the French as Acadia, but to our AmerIndian ancestors as Mi’kma’ki, as our ancestors settled the outer-reaches of Nova Scotia, including Cape Breton, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. Our family lines continue to extend, traversing the entire North American continent and beyond.” She adds, “Many who live in the United States trace their genealogies back to the first Acadian AmerIndian immigrants who arrived in Louisiana after being deported from Nova Scotia by the British in 1755 (in the "Grand Deportation') -- and belong to a ‘Cajun’ community known worldwide for its food, flair, fun, and love of all things French. Several members belong, as it turns out, to rare haplogroups X, U, and other "anomalous types" as compiled by me for DNA Consultants customers and reported in the previous blog post. Some highlights from the study of Cherokee descendants are:
  • H, the most common European type today, is virtually absent, demonstrating lack of inflow from recent Europeans
  • J present in lines explicitly recognized to be Cherokee
  • X the signature of a Canaanite people whose center of diffusion was the Hills of Galilee, hypothetically correlating with Jews and Phoenicians
  • U suggesting Eastern Mediterranean, specifically Greek
  • K also suggesting Eastern Mediterranean or Middle Eastern, hypothetically correlating with Jews and Phoenicians
  • T reflecting Egyptian high frequencies found almost nowhere else
According to Elizabeth Caldwell Hirschman, the Cumberland Gap mtDNA Project with overlapping territory with the Cherokee and Melungeon homelands in the Southern Appalachian Mountains also shows elevated frequencies of T. Project administrator Roberta Estes recently published the results of a large study of Native American Eastern Seaboard mixed populations “in relation to Sir Walter Raleigh’s Lost Colony of Roanoke” in the online Journal of Genetic Genealogy, 5(2):96-130, 2009. Estes is a board member of the Melungeon Historical Society and has an introduction with links to the study and its data on the society’s blog, titled “Where Have All the Indians Gone?” Harvard University professor Barry Fell in his book Saga America first published in 1980 presented historical, epigraphic, archeological and linguistic evidence suggesting links between Greeks and Egyptians and the Algonquian Indians of Nova Scotia, Acadia and surrounding regions around the mouth of the St. Lawrence Seaway, particularly the Abnaki ("White") and Micmac Indians. He noted as early as 1976 in his previous study America B.C. that the second century CE Greek historian Plutarch recorded “Greeks had settled among the barbarian peoples of the Western Epeiros (continent).” Fell inferred from Plutarch’s passage “these Greeks had intermarried with the barbarians, had adopted thier language, but had blended their own Greek language with it.” In an appendix, he assembled extensive word-lists comparing Abenaki and Micmac vocabulary in the areas of navigation, fishing, astronomy, meteorology, justice and administration, medicine, anatomy, and economy with virtually identical terms in Ptolemaic Greek. One example is Greek ap’aktes Abenaki/Micmac ab’akt English “a distant shore.” Fell’s work was continued by John H. Cooper, “Ancient Greek Cultural and Linguistic Influences in Atlantic North America,” NEARA JOURNAL 35/2. Acadia project’s website is: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/AcadianAmerIndian/default.aspx.

More information about Melungeons
Toward a Genetic Profile of Melungeons in Southern Appalachia
Melungeon Studies
Melungeon Match


Anonymous commented on 18-Jun-2011 02:08 PM

My mother's family has roots from one of the very early Grandmother's of Acadia (Nova Scotia) and my father's parents were born in Sweden. I had my DNA done and my autosomal DNA gives me a 98.6 % with 1.86 error ratio of being from the Orkney Islands..
I am blown away by this finding as I never heard of Orkney Islands until this week and my mother's family is theoretically French.. I can see my father's family originating from the islands as he is a Swede.. I am very interested in any discussion on this
finding.. Thank you

Frazer Campbell commented on 09-Aug-2011 08:05 AM

Hi re the entry above about Nova Scotia and Orkney. It might be that your Orcadian roots are a result of contact with the Hudson Bay Company. Around 75% of Hudson Bay employees were from Orkney, quite a few married Cree women . I am busy with a project
until October 2011 but if you want help to explore this further let me know and I'll try my best. Kind regards Frazer Campbell

Keith Gilbert commented on 24-Mar-2012 04:55 PM

I am 72 years old, my mother was a Mouton. At age 8 my maternal grandmother told me we were Jews...ours was the most un religious family you can imatine.

Keith Gilbert commented on 28-Apr-2012 06:44 PM

I am a descendant of the Mouton line...am very interested in how the Jewish migration to Nova Scotia (Acadia) happened.

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