Further Analysis of Native American DNA Haplogroup C Planned

Haplogroup C is one of two Native American male haplogroups. More specifically, one specific branch of the haplogroup C tree is Native American which is defined by mutation C-P39 (formerly known as C3b).  Ray Banks shows this branch (highlighted in yellow) along with sub-branches underneath on his tree:

C-P39 Ray Banks Tree

Please note that if you are designated at 23andMe as Y haplogroup C3e, you are probably C-P39. We encourage you to purchase the Y DNA 111 marker test at Family Tree DNA and join the haplogroup C and C-P39 projects.

It was only 11 years, ago in 2004 in the Zegura study, that C-P39 was reported among just a few Native American men in the Plains and Southwest.  Since that time The American Indian DNA project, surname projects and the AmerIndian Ancestry Out of Acadia DNA projects have accumulated samples that span the Canadian and American borders, reaching west to east, so haplogroup C-P39 is not relegated to the American Southwest.  It is, however, still exceedingly rare.

In August of 2012, Marie Rundquist, co-administrator of the haplogroup C-P39 DNA project performed an analysis and subsequent report of the relationships, both genealogical and genetic, of the C-P39 project members.  One of the burning questions is determining how far back in time the common ancestor of all of the C-P39 group members lived.


When Marie performed the first analysis, in 2012,, there were only 14 members in the project, representing 6 different families, and they had only tested to 67 markers. Most were from Canada.

C-P39 countries

My, how things have changed. We now have more participants, more markers to work with and additional tests to bring to bear on the questions of relatedness, timing and origins.

Today, there are a total of 43 people in the project and their locations include the Pacific Northwest, Appalachia, the Southwest and all across Canada, west to east.

If you are haplogroup C-P39 or C3e at 23andMe, please join the C-P39 project at Family Tree DNA today.  I wrote about how to join a project here, but if you need assistance, just let me know in a comment to the blog and Marie or I will contact you.  (Quick Instructions: sign on to your FTDNA account, click on projects tab on upper left toolbar, click on join, scroll down to Y haplogroup projects, click on C, select C-P39 project and click through to press orange join button.)

Marie is preparing to undertake a new analysis and provides the following announcement:

The C-P39 Y DNA project is pleased to announce a forthcoming updated and revised project report.  The C-P39 project has established a 111-marker baseline for our 2016 study and analysis will include:

  • 111 marker result comparisons
  • geo-locations
  • tribal / family relationships
  • C P39 SNP findings
  • new SNPs and Big Y results

The current C-P39 Y DNA study has a healthy diversity of surnames, geo-locations, and tribal / family lines represented.

The C-P39 Y DNA project will cover the costs of the necessary 111 marker upgrades by way of Family Tree DNA C-P39 Y DNA study project fund.

Thanks to all who have contributed to the project fund and to participants who have funded their own tests to 111 markers as part of our study.  To voluntarily contribute (anonymously if you like) to the C-P39 Y DNA project funds and help our project achieve this goal, please click on the link below and please do make certain that the “C-P39 Y-DNA” pre-selected project is highlighted when you do:


Thank you to project members contributing DNA test results to the C-P39 study and for encouraging friends and relatives to do the same!  Thank you also to Family Tree DNA management for their ongoing support.

The project needs to raise $3164 to upgrade all project members to 111 markers.  Many participants have already upgraded their own results, for which we are very grateful, but we need all project members at the 111 level if possible.

Please help fund this scientific project if you can.  Every little bit helps.  I’m going to start by making a donation right now!  You can make the donation in memory or in honor of someone or a particular ancestor – or you can be completely anonymous.  Please click on the link above to make your contribution!!!  We thank you and the scientific community thanks you.

About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
This entry was posted in Canada, Cree, DNA, Miawpukeks, Micmac. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Further Analysis of Native American DNA Haplogroup C Planned

  1. Little Feather says:

    How was all this found? It is a bit confusing for me. I am related to Pocahontas, so what do I do? Thank you, Little Feathercherokee_lady_72433@yahoo.com

  2. Don Greene says:

    Dear friend

    As the Principal Chief of the Appalachian Shawnee Tribe I will offer the opportunity for this study to include our 1,000+ members

    But we will not pay for this for it is to your benefit to have people such as we are, that know their ancestry without fairy tales or wild assumptions in regards to them added to your base.

    Please feel free to contact me at this address if you are interested


    Chief Don Spirit Wolf Greene

    A 10th generation Shawnee Blood Chief

    • I’m glad to see support for DNA testing. Each individual who is interested in testing would order their own test, and would have to provide their own permission to test their DNA, along with payment. DNA testing is an activity that informs us personally of our ancestors and our heritage, and by sharing that information, we learn cumulatively about our human story.

    • Jeffery McNair says:

      How much, iam in philipines country living now

  3. jbower14 says:

    Confused. I’m C3e at 23andme. I thought it (23andme C3e) was P53.1! My paternal line goes to Germany so this is impossible. Also my ethnicity has no Native American, so I’m really confused. Please help! 🙂

  4. Calvin Leger says:

    I am currently taking an MTDNA test for the Nancy Hanks dna project.
    Can those results be used to verify my Micmac DNS as well

    • Calvin Leger says:

      That was supposed to be DNA. Also I am a direct line decendant of Louis Noel LaBauve and Marie Jeanne Rembault.
      I would like to know where to find more information on the Micmac and Acadien.

      • If your mitochondrial DNA goes back to an Acadian line, then yes, mtDNA can help you there. Your mtDNA is that of your mother’s mother’s mother’s line, all the way back through females. If your mtDNA does not reach back to that line, then no, your mtDNA won’t help with the Acadian genealogy. There is a Rootsweb list that I find very useful relative to Acadian genealogy. To subscribe to the list, please send an email to ACADIAN-request@rootsweb.com with the word ‘subscribe’ without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message. You will receive a confirmation e-mail to try & stop “machine” enrollment spam. You can also join the Acadian AmerIndian project at Family Tree DNA which welcomes people who have Y, mtDNA and autosomal tested regardless of where their Acadian ancestor is found in their tree.

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