Native American DNA Projects

Native DNA in Feathers

I’m often asked about DNA projects at Family Tree DNA that are for or include Native American or aboriginal DNA results.  Please note that different project administrators have different criteria for admission to a project.  Some require definitive proof of descent, some require no documentation at all.  This is entirely left to the discretion of the project administrators.  Therefore, you should NEVER assume that because you match someone in one of these projects that you have Native heritage.  There are various ways to prove Native heritage using DNA which I’ve discussed in the article, “Proving Native American Ancestry Using DNA.”

Furthermore, some of these projects aren’t exclusively for Native American descendants, but you may find Native descendants or families among the project members because of the topic or where the project is focused.

Regarding haplogroup projects.  Some haplogroups include both people who are and who are not Native.  Check with the particular project to understand the nuances.  In many cases, research through the projects is ongoing.

If you know of additional projects which should be added to this list, please let me know.

Native American, First Nations or Aboriginal DNA Projects

Acadia Metis Mothers

Algonquian East DNA Project

American Indian DNA Project

AmerIndian Ancestry out of Acadia Project

Cherokee DNA Project

Lumbee Tribe Regional DNA Project

Mexico and Southwest USA Native Y

Mitochondrial American Indian Founder Project

Mothers of Acadian mtDNA Project

Native People of Southwest Virginia

North Carolina Native Heritage Project

Piqua/Shawnee – no public website – contact admins below,,


Waccamaw DNA Project


Wiccocomico Native American DNA Project

Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroup Projects

Haplogroup A Mitochondrial DNA
Note – Native American DNA is a subgroup of haplogroup A.  See this link for specifics.

A2 Mitochondrial DNA Project
A2 is known to be Native.

A4 Mitochondrial DNA Project
Haplogroup A4 is known to be Native.

B2 Mitochondrial DNA Project
B2 is known to be Native.

Haplogroup C Mitochondrial DNA Project
Subgroups of haplogroup C are known to be Native.

Haplogroup D Mitochondrial DNA Project
Subgroups of haplogroup D are known to be Native.

Haplogroup X Mitochondrial DNA Project
Subgroups of haplogroup X are known to be Native.

Haplogroup X2b4 Mitochondrial DNA Project
X2b4 is currently being studied to determine if it is Native or has a Native component.

Y Haplogroup Projects

Y Haplogroup C
Subgroups of haplogroup C are known to be Native.

Haplogroup C-P39
This SNP defined Native Americans within haplogroup C.

Haplogroup Q Project
Subgroups of haplogroup Q are known to be Native.

American Indian Haplogroup Q1a3a1 – QM3

Related Topics

You may find Native families listed in these projects.

Cumberland Gap Mitochondrial DNA Project

Cumberland Gap Y DNA Project

Early Chesapeake

East Carolina Roots

Melungeon Core Y Project

Melungeon Mitochondrial DNA

Melungeon Families

Mitochondrial DNA of the Middle Appalachians

New Mexico DNA Project

North Carolina Early 1700s

Puerto Rico DNA Project

Southwestern Virginia Roots

Virginia 1600s

Voices in Time

If you’d like to take a DNA test, click here.


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Aboriginal, Acadian, Algonquian, Cherokee, DNA, Lumbee, Micmac, Piscataway, Shawnee, Tuscarora, Waccamaw. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Native American DNA Projects

  1. The DNA studies are important step in understanding our past, but unfortunately, the majority are being interpreted in a cultural and historical vacuum. The geneticists at consumer-oriented labs are reading folklore or poorly researched Wikipedia articles and then interpreting highly technical information based on these semi-myths. The truth is that at least 95% of the indigenous peoples in Eastern North America were exterminated in a relatively short period. The remnants intermarried with each other and the newcomers from the Old World. The people who greeted the early explorers from the Old World were not the same people genetically, as those calling themselves Native Americans today. Many ethnic groups in eastern North America became extinct or almost extinct. The survivors represent the selective “breeding” of people more resistant to European diseases and more likely (because of a variety of physical and personality traits) to have survived the onslaught of diseases, wars and slave raids. Those living in more sophisticated large towns would have been the most likely to have been killed by diseases or carried off in slave raids. Those living in the boonies would have been the least likely.

    • Hi Richard. Geneticists at the labs and universities that I work with are not “reading folklore or poorly researched Wikipedia articles and then interpreting highly technical information based on these semi-myths” and to state such does a disservice to all concerned.

  2. Pingback: Native American DNA Projects - 500 NATIONS | 500 NATIONS

  3. Edith says:


    I’ve been told by family members, that my grandfather on my father’s side was Micmac. We do not have any documentation for a number of reasons including my grandfather changed his last name, claimed to be white on his birth certificate, and I was told there was a fire that burned the records of it. From doing research online, it looks like it’s difficult to find a DNA test that works to detect Micmac. Does anyone know of one that works? My father is still living and is willing to take the test. I’m not doing this to get any benefits. It just would be nice to know for sure.

    Thank you!


    • No test can actually determine the tribe, but if you test at Family Tree DNA, you are welcome to join the American Indian project and you may find that you match people of Micmac heritage.

  4. johnnydee99 says:

    are there studies for people who have the genetic variation that causes what is called Native American Myopathy? It is found amongst the Lumbee. This is a genetic trait I found I carry through a medical utility I uploaded my dna test to. I also have a birth defect associated with this, although I didnt know so til then…and through my genealogy research I have found 1850 newspaper articles about an ancestor who was afflicted with a muscle wasting illness which he eventually succumbed to in his 30’s. He was a Young, and his family migrated to New York in 1803 during the Holland Purchase land sale, from the Virginia/North carolina area. They bought the very first tract in fact, John and Peggy Young. We had no history of native ancestry and only discovered this connection through my dna. I also have family names Barrows, Jackson, Robison, and Hyde, who all seem to have connection to the Lumbee area. Thanx,

  5. Marshall L. Smith says:

    My granddaughter has been tested by “Native America DNA Testing Services”, but there is little in the report that provides any useful information. What DNA testing services might provide better information?

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