Kostenki14 – A New Ancient Siberian DNA Sample

k14 skeleton

This week, published in Science, we find another ancient DNA full genome sequence from Siberia in an article titled “Genomic structure in Europeans dating back at least 36,200 years” by Seguin-Orlando et al.. This sample, partially shown above, is quite old and closely related to the Mal’ta child, also found in Siberia from about 24,000 years ago. Interestingly enough, K14 carries more Neanderthal DNA than current Europeans. This skeleton was actually excavated in 1954, but was only recently genetically analyzed.

k14 mapFrom the paper, this map above shows the locations of recently analyzed ancient DNA samples.  Note that even though K14 and Mal’ta child are similar, they are not located in close geographic proximity.

k14 population clusterAlso from the paper, this chart of population clusters is quite interesting, because we can see which of these ancient samples share some heritage with today’s indigenous American populations, shown in grey. UPGH=Upper Paleolithic Hunter-Gatherer, MHG=Mesolithic Hunter Gatherer, which is later in time that Paleolithic, and NEOL=Neolithic indicating the farming population that arrived in Europe approximately 7,000-10,000 years ago from the Middle East

You can see that the Neolithic samples show no trace of ancestry with today’s Native people, but both pre-Neolithic Hunter-Gatherer cultures show some amount of shared ancestry with Native people. However, to date, MA1, the Malta child is the most closely related and carries the most DNA in common with today’s Native people.

Felix Chandrakumar is currently preparing the K14 genome for addition to the ancient DNA kits at GedMatch.  It will be interesting to see if this sample also matches currently living individuals.

Also from the K14 paper, you can see on the map below where K14 matches current worldwide and European populations, where the warmer colors, i.e. red, indicated a closer match.

K14 population matches

Of interest to genealogists and population geneticists, K14’s mitochondrial haplogroup is U2 and his Y haplogroup is C-M130, the same as LaBrana, a late Mesolithic hunter-gatherer found in northern Spain. Haplogroup C is, of course, one of the base haplogroups for the Native people of the Americas.

The K14 paper further fleshes out the new peopling of Europe diagram discussed in my Peopling of Europe article.

This map, from the Lazardis “Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans” paper published in September 2014, shows the newly defined map including Ancient North Eurasian in this diagram.

Lazaridis tree

K14 adds to this diagram in the following manner, although the paths are flipped right to left.

K14 tree

Blue represent current populations, red are ancient remains and green are ancestral populations.

Dienekes wrote about this find as well, here.

Paper Abstract:

The origin of contemporary Europeans remains contentious. We obtain a genome sequence from Kostenki 14 in European Russia dating to 38,700 to 36,200 years ago, one of the oldest fossils of Anatomically Modern Humans from Europe. We find that K14 shares a close ancestry with the 24,000-year-old Mal’ta boy from central Siberia, European Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, some contemporary western Siberians, and many Europeans, but not eastern Asians. Additionally, the Kostenki 14 genome shows evidence of shared ancestry with a population basal to all Eurasians that also relates to later European Neolithic farmers. We find that Kostenki 14 contains more Neandertal DNA that is contained in longer tracts than present Europeans. Our findings reveal the timing of divergence of western Eurasians and East Asians to be more than 36,200 years ago and that European genomic structure today dates back to the Upper Paleolithic and derives from a meta-population that at times stretched from Europe to central Asia.

You can read the full paper at the two links below.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2014/11/05/science.aaa0114

http://www2.zoo.cam.ac.uk/manica/ms/2014_Seguin_Orlando_et_al_Science.pdf

It’s been a great year for ancient DNA analysis and learning about our ancestral human populations.

However, I have one observation I just have to make about this particular find.

What amazing teeth. Obviously, this culture did not consume sugar!

Posted in Archaeology, DNA, History | 4 Comments

Life Among the Mohawks in 1644

Fort Orange

Kiliaen van Rensselaer was a Dutch minister affiliated with the Dutch West Indies Company who lived at Fort Orange (above) in 1642 with his wife and children in what is today Albany, New York.  Today, the fort is under an expressway.  He worked with the Mohawk Indians, recording his experiences in a series of letters which were eventually published as a book.

The Van Rensselaer Bowier Manuscripts: Being the Letters of Kiliaen van Rensselaer, is available free at this link.

You can read an article about his findings relative to living among the Mohawks in 1644 at this link.

This map is a map of the river area and Fort Orange on the left between the letters I and S.

Fort Orange map

A map of the Native tribes of the area can be found at this link.

Posted in Mohawk, New York | Leave a comment

American Indian Records on Ancestry

Recently Ancestry.com added several sets of American Indian records to their collection, and some are free.

This link should take you directly to the American Indian Collection search function at Ancestry.

ancestry indian collection

This collection includes the following data bases:

Ancestry Indian collection 1

Ancestry Indian collection 2

Posted in Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Five Civilized Tribes, Freedmen, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Osage, Research, Resources, Seminole | Leave a comment

Connecticut Indians, 1647-1789

In 1922, an index was assembled of the references to Indians in the Connecticut State Library.

This 186 page index covers the five hundred ninety nine documents which were selected about 1845 from the files of the General Assembly by Sylvester Judd, author of the History of Hadley, Mass. and arranged in two volumes of Connecticut Archives known as Indians.

Entries include petitions, court actions, land transactions, accounts, agreements and in some cases, genealogy when it pertains to the issue at hand.

http://www.ramapoughlenapenation.org/wp-docs/Conn_Indian_Archives.pdf

Posted in Connecticut | 1 Comment

Allen County Public Library Native and African American Online Resources

allen county public library

The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana is far more than a local, county, state or even regional resource. It’s one of the premiere genealogy libraries in the country and draws researchers from all states and Canada with its very large collection and dedication to genealogists.  One of its best features is that many of their resources are available online.  However, if you ever get the chance to visit, absolutely, do – it’s a wonderful place!

The ACPL publishes a free periodic newsletter, Genealogy Gems, published by Curt Witcher,  that you can subscribe to by going to the website:  www.GenealogyCenter.org. Scroll to the bottom, click on E-zine, and fill out the form. You will be notified with a confirmation email.

This month’s issue included several research tips and hints about Native American research which I’d like to share with you.  I’m quoting part of an article written by Curt, and I’m inserting instructions that he didn’t include.

Working The GenealogyCenter.org Website–Part Two by Curt B. Witcher

Last month, we took some time to explore a number of marque features on http://www.GenealogyCenter.org. We started with the main page, and that is where I would like to start again this month. On the right-hand side, immediately beneath the search boxes for our free databases and our online catalog, one will find a section called “Family History Archives.” This is one “springboard section” I alluded to at the end of my column last month.

This archive section provides one with direct links to copyright-clear materials that have been digitized from the collections of The Genealogy Center. We have digitizing partnerships with both FamilySearch and the Internet Archive. More than 170,000 local and family history publications are available for free use on FamilySearch.org as a result of this multi-organization cooperative. Thousands of Genealogy Center books are available online through this site. More than 80,000 Genealogy Center books and microfilm are available through the Internet Archive web site, archive.org. As with FamilySearch, these materials are available for free. One can view the items online, save as PDF documents, and even download to a Kindle.

genealogy center home page crop

Be sure to take advantage of this resource by clicking on “Internet Archive” under “Family History Archives.”  It’s amazing.

internet archive

Just take a look at the most downloaded items last week.

internet archives most downloaded

The archives are searchable by key word.

Appreciating the challenges of African American and First Nations/Native American research, The Genealogy Center offers two gateways for those interested in these areas of research. The African American Gateway is organized by states, regions, countries outside the United States, and subjects. Within each area, one will find a significant collection of relevant websites along with a comprehensive list of Genealogy Center resources for the specific state, region, country, or subject in which one is interested. There are nearly 10,000 Internet sites categorized in this gateway. Using this gateway is a good way to quickly access pertinent materials to advance one’s research.

To find the Native American and African American gateways, click on “Databases” at the top of the page on the blue bar.

genealogy center

You will then see the options for both the African and Native Gateways under the “Databases and Files” section.

genealogy center2

The Native American Gateway is organized a bit differently. The first link in this gateway is to short guide on how to begin doing Native American research. Whether just starting or continuing this type of research, taking a quick look at this outline may be quite beneficial.

genealogy center 3

The rest of the links on the left-hand side of main gateway webpage are quick access points to The Genealogy Center collection. The “Microtext Catalog” link takes one to a table that lists all Native American materials in this format. The table begins with a listing of general or multi-tribe materials followed by an alphabetical list of tribe-specific materials. The “Genealogy Center Catalog” link takes one directly to a search screen where one can enter a tribe name, surname, or geographic location to get results specific to The Genealogy Center collection. Under the “Collection Bibliography” link, one will find the additional links of “Tribes,” “Locations,” and “General.” The “Tribes” and “Locations” links are likely the most useful as one can find Genealogy Center-specific materials on more than 150 tribes as well as U.S. states and regions as well as Canada and Mexico. Like the many other snapshots continually updated by Center staff, the Native American snapshot contains major indices and research works to assist one in conducting this challenging research. Further, there are specific materials listed for eight major tribes.

On the right-hand side of the Native American Gateway main page, researchers will find links to “Websites,” “First Nations of Indiana,” “Indian Census Records,” “Cherokee Records,” and “National Archives Guides.” The “Websites” list and “First Nations of Indiana” are not intended to be comprehensive but rather to provide one with some major sites that can offer both solid info and links to other web resources. The “Indian Census Records” section provides several dozen links to important information about First Nations’ enumerations–where they can be found, how to get access them, and how to use that data they contain. The “Cherokee Records” link takes one to the National Archives’ website, “The Dawes Rolls (Final Rolls of the Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory).” More links will be added to this site in the future. This gateway is rounded-out with links to three significant guides to National Archives and Records Administration guides.

Posted in Cherokee, Research, Resources | 1 Comment

Married in the Manor and Custom of the Time

Primus Tyler was a slave, bought by the Quakers and freed. You can read the whole story on Lisa Henderson’s blog, Fourth Generation Inclusive.

I’ve excerpted a piece here from a letter where Primus describes the marriage customs of an earlier time. Ever wonder why you can’t find your ancestor’s marriage – these types of customs might be the reason. Those enslaved couldn’t marry legally, and those in a mixed race marginalized community probably couldn’t afford the price of the license, if they were allowed to marry. Interracial marriage was prohibited. Native people often fell between the cracks and had their own customs, none of which involved going to the courthouse and obtaining a license.

Catlin Station Ind. Mar 24th 1869

Mr Harlan Hamlin, Indianapolis

Dear Sir, Inclosed you will please find a bill of sale conveying me from Elizabeth Edwards of North Carolina to James Siler of Indiana and on the same bill under the hand of the said Siler is a writing relinquishing all claims and demands on me to Elizabeth Tyler my wife showing conclusively that the facts was known & recognized by those of that day familiar with the class. With regard to living witness I don’t suppose I can produce any from they being advanced in age. I have outlived all those that was present at the time I was married according to the manor and custome of such persons in the old times and old Country which was simply to prepare a supper invite in the friends and at the proper time the groom & bride took their places at the ends of the table facing each other after supper the parties was considered duly married and was recognized by the law when not conflicting with the interest of the masters.

/s/ Primus Tyler

Posted in North Carolina, Slaves | 1 Comment

Matching DNA of Living Native Descendants to DNA of Native Ancestors

dna strandsAs most of my subscribers know, I also author the www.dna-explained.com blog.  Recently, the ability for currently living people who have taken an autosomal DNA test from either Family Tree DNA (who I recommend), 23andMe or Ancestry can download their results file and compare it to the file of a Native American male who lived in present day Montana about 12,500 years ago and is associated with the Clovis culture.

We call this ancient Native child Anzick.

It was exciting when Anzick’s file was uploaded to the free (contribution) comparison site, GedMatch, because it allows anyone to compare their autosomal DNA to his.  The results of doing this have produced some real surprises, and I’ve written several articles about utilizing that DNA matching ability, the resulting discoveries and what it all means.

Here’s a list of the articles.  Enjoy!

Utilizing Ancient DNA at GedMatch

Analyzing the Native American Clovis Anzick Ancient Results

New Native Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroups Extrapolated from Anzick Match Results

Ancient DNA Matches – What Do They Mean?

Ancient DNA Matching – A Cautionary Tale

Posted in Anzick, Clovis, DNA, Montana | 5 Comments