Of Colors, What Is Left Of Mamma To Test

My Dai said everyone will be rushing to get tested at whereever Carlos Bustamante, the latest DNA guru, will read a result. And I am running to be early in line with poor Mamma. Fighting tooth and nail to push the naysayers out of the way to redeem my H10a1. There are a couple of stamps on envelopes – one she way overdid the postage so I bet all those are her. There is a huge wad of hair, cut off her after it had been too long let go. A sight dirty you mind but the way she squirmed when I cut it off her there might be a couple of roots as well. Her biopsy was 2013. Is that too long ago? I don’t suppose the cremains offer much, but there is what is left of her in Houston – one swab only with a sequenced Family Finder.

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Stamps and Hair – more DNA of Mamma – a butcher, a baker, a candle stick maker, a this one or that or Native Ancestry or understand the Finnish – the Eastern European is easy to understand and of course the English, Irish and French. I am ready for a real test for Mamma and we all can hope with more and varied Native Americans to join our reference populations. (The handwriting reflects her stroke.)

To address the elephant in the room, of course DNA is personal also – I have my families, my in-laws, my friends, one drop law was serious stuff, admixture is important to people’s history. Name the color, any flavor you like and countless experienced stigma of one kind or another. Some time there were land ownership issues, couldn’t vote even if free, couldn’t marry, get called names by your own family – your own father and step father alike while calling one a Squaw would call me an N-Lover. And I was too.

I do not want to learn some powerful company with big shot lawyers have been lying to us that there are not even northern Native Americans in most of the reference populations to compare to – so the lies on the TV by the experts and the best and brightest of the genetic genealogists – me included – cover up for the companies – by omissions – just because so many people, just like me – long to have origins.

“Ain’t right in the head, she just ain’t right in the head.” or, “Its that blood see, look at your mother, but don’t you worry your father comes from the best people – we are the Byrds of Virginia”.

Or as I have often described the day my mother visited me for school lunch at Graymont Elementary, Birmingham, Alabama the year before integration – now there’s some politics for you to ban in the posts. Mother came in with all her swarthy glory, the teacher called me back and asked, “Where is your mother from Cherie”, In the longest, most snide drawl she could muster. I proudly exclaimed, “Green Bay, Wisconsin” (I  have still never been and need to go). The teacher answered, “oh, is that what people from Wisconsin look like?”.

I read some school age groups will be testing for who they are? The admixtures are so up in the air – for fine tuning anything. Of course maybe they are also getting the results read by experts like Dr (is he Dr or just prof?)  Bustamante and maybe their results will be more reliable. And maybe the shows are more general and only referencing large population chunks of ancestry. But that is not fair to all of us who still long for what was promised so long ago, and eight testing companies later – and they are all different at some time, so how can one tell children who they are – what if they change those results in 2 years or 5, or in 6 months?

This is another note I wrote about testing artifacts – envelopes, stamps etc…



My blog with my admixture results from eight companies (two of those also uploads) plus gedmatch…


But for Mamma, I have wanted something more… Something deeper, serious genetic reading.

I was in Canada over ten years, became a citizen of the country and was too stupid to learn French. I have not cared if the coloring comes from a Native American or some swarthy southern French Empire immigrant but the records for Quebec are wonderful but hard to read for me. It is not that she looks different to anyone or many or a few or not – she never fit the family that kept me and reared me, she did not look like them to them and we both were impacted by that genealogy from my birth.

My head implodes when folks say they got the DNA test for admixture – do the haplogroups also. But here I am wondering should I test mother’s au-DNA SNP D9S919 and potentially waste the last of her sample? Or wait until we verify some SNPs samples for possible First Nations ancestry from the north to compare her to?

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Mamma at a few of Gedmatch’s wonderful admixture offerings

shirley admixture ftdna 2018

Mamma at Family Tree DNA a tiny trace of Native American and Finnish. I am still loving and going to lunch on the Finnish – The Leningrad Cowboys with the dear poor lost Russian Choir singing Sweet Home Alabama – Don’t you just love genetic genealogy – Depending on which admixture reading you choose you can name yourself – to be anything – partly – some time.

My favorite Pedigree Collapse story:

(a magnificent read of genealogy – must get the author, Alex, to test) This is a European descent statement/story but clearly it would be true world wide for all populations or regions of peoples.

“…The mathematics of descent has fascinated many people. “If we could go back and live again in all of our two hundred and fifty million arithmetical ancestors of the eleventh century,” Henry Adams wrote in 1904 of those with Norman-English blood, “we should find ourselves doing many surprising things, but among the rest we should certainly be ploughing most of the fields of the Contentin and Calvados; going to mass in every parish church in Normandy; rendering military service to every lord, spiritual or temporal, in all this region; and helping to build the Abbey Church at MontSaint- Michel.” And, more recently, the sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson has written, “The gene pool from which one modern Briton has emerged spreads over Europe, to North Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. The individual is an evanescent combination of genes drawn from this pool, one whose hereditary material will soon be dissolved back into it.”…”




Copy of Copy of shirleys film 5

Mamma and Herman the Squirrel – He would eat from her hand.

New immigrant to America:

Copy of shirley admixture grandmother

Fabulous chart by our own ancestry.com – See below for more detailed information on the French Canadian Salvas and Lizotte families.

cherie 23andme

Me at 23andme with the tiny trace – the kind of thing I am supposed to ignore


My mother’s Quebecois is carried in her appearance – her straight black hair, and the olive skin and deep brown eyes. When my red-haired, curly headed, blue-eyed and lily white father took her to Alabama in 1950, it was said his mother fainted dead away on first sight.


Photo restoration by Justen Everage

More for my mother: https://cherielynnsherstory.com/2018/01/18/our-colors/


LivingDNA is said to be taking on testing of artifacts but I am yet to see a price but you can write to them and ask!


There is also this Australian company but I have not heard a lot about them yet – I will update when I know more … you can write to them and ask!




For Warren – this is information about her lines’ Native heritage was passed around on family trees and posted in genealogy books long before Warren or her mother were interested in genealogy. They did not make this up.

We all need to team up together and demand that Ancestry.com and the other family tree companies help to address truth. We are all victims of undocumented trees – But maybe there are kernels of truth and that truth is my business.

I remember in Israel a song that went around about people who were ‘mixed’ or whatever it was to be called, the song was something to the effect of, “…you’ve got a bush but I’ve got a tree…”

We need more Native Americans and more of every diversity to test – to team up. For the future and for hope.

The following was posted as is in one of the genetic genealogy groups – I AM finding the links to thank all for the credits – made me cry. And gave me hope. I don’t need “them” who ever they are, and “they” do not need me. I just want to know, Mamma wanted to know.

This story belongs to a lot of Americans and Canadians and Mexicans and keep going through the list of all nations of aboriginal peoples – India, the Philippines, Siberia, Africa. From TK…
“…Elizabeth Warren’s autosomal DNA results. Quote from the report by the Stanford Lab shown below. This was an *anonymous* anaysis, with the identity of the person who tested unknown to the researchers:
I’ve analyzed the results of people who have claimed Native American ancestry (not in a specific tribe) and found those with some, and others who did not in fact have Native American ancestry. (One person may have had an ancestor on the Dawes Rolls as a Cherokee Freedman, but did not have actual Native American ancestry.)
According to the study by Carlos Bustamante’s group at Harvard, analyzing a SNP array test with 764,958 SNPs, Elizabeth Warren has a 13.4 centiMorgan segment identified as Native American on chromosome 10, and a total of 25.6 cM of segments, with an average size of 5.8 cM including a series of “broken up” (recombined) segments in a series along chromosome 10. This is entirely consistent with having a Native American ancestor about 8 generations ago, as the study claims. This would be an unadmixed ancestor sometime in the 18th century, with an ancestor likely in first half of 18th century.
If this were say Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, a 13.4 cM segment and a total of 25.6 with an average of 5.8 cM, it would be completely obvious that this person had a relatively recent Ashkenazi ancestor. Many people here who have tested with 23andMe, Ancestry, and Family Finder have seen this themselves, including some well-known people from 23andMe. (For example, 3 of the 6 23andMe “Ambassadors”.) No one says that people shouldn’t talk about this kind of ancestry, because “it’s only 1/64th”.
Many people with Colonial American ancestry, both European- and African-American, claim some Native American ancestry. Most Hispanics don’t explicitly claim specific Native tribal ancestry. Hispanics generally have strong evidence of Native ancestry, and it’s well known that the Colonial Spanish were almost all men. Their children were almost always “mestizo”. (Mixed Native and European.) This was very uncommon among British settlers, because of a more strict “caste system”. Many people who claim mixed Native and British ancestry in fact turn out to have mixed African ancestry, and descend from Colonial Free Persons of Color. The rule of “partes sequitur ventrem” was that the status of slave followed the status of the mother, regardless of the degree of European ancestry on the other lines. In the cases of Free Persons of Color, the African ancestry seems to be almost always on paternal lines. French colonials were different, and followed a multi-part caste system that was more akin with the the Spanish colonies.
Native American slaves did exist in the early British colonies. There also may have been Black slaves imported from the Caribbean with Native admixture. Elizabeth Warren’s ancestor did not claim to be descended from slaves, and there’s no evidence at all that her ancestor was descended from a slave of Native American origin.
The 18th century was a time of massive smallpox epidemics that decimated the Native American population, and many survivors were admixed and had some higher resistance to Old World diseases. This was also true among people who maintained a tribal identity. Elizabeth Warren’s claimed admixed ancestor was one John Crawford of Tennessee, but it isn’t very clear how his listed parents “JH” (Crawford?) and “OC” really were. There are in fact two possible candidates for this couple. John Crawford, her known ancestor, was definitely not (forcibly) “removed” westward with the “Five Civilized Tribes”.
It’s important to remember several things about Native American ancestry and *traditional* tribal identity:
• Tribes were patrilineal or matrilineal. The Muskogeans and Iroquoians were generally matrilineal, and many prominent members had European-American (or even British) fathers, even on both the paternal and maternal sides. The Algonqin tribes had patrilineal clans. At times, these tribes adopted outsiders, but assigned them to matrilineal or patrilineal clans.
• Actual tribal identity had a legal definition in traditional pre-contact tribal law. If a person did not meet these requirements, regardless of having Native ancestry, they were not identified as part of the tribe. Tribal identity was not based on modern legal ideas of a “blood quantum”, the same way that Black slave status was not based on the “one-drop rule” adopted on the 20th century. These were based on either matrilineal or patrilineal descent.
• In the Jim Crow era , between 1910 and 1937, many states across the South and the Midwest adopted the “One Drop Rule” about Black ancestry. Other states reduced their “blood fraction” to 1/16th, which de facto instituted the One Drop Rule. Virginia in 1924 under the Racial Integrity Act decided that there were no Indians left in Virginia, and that everyone had to be classified as either “Black” or “White”. This was instituted because many of the “First Families” of Virginia did in fact descend from Elizabeth Rolfe (c. 1596-March 1617), aka Pocahontas (born Matoaka, and known as Amonute) and they would have had to be classified as “non-White”
• Elizabeth Warren’s Native American ancestor was probably from North Carolina, and so probably wasn’t Cherokee. That person may have been of Algonquin or from another group of Iroquoians. The particular tribal identity of her ancestor is irrelevant, and her family never claimed any specific tribal heritage, and neither did she. Many tribes were decimated in the 17th and 18th centuries, with few survivors, and the surviving descendants assimilated into other tribes or the “White” or “Black” or “Colored” communities. (A good example would be the many descendants of Taptico, the Tapp famly, who on the Y are provably of Native American because they are Q-M3. He apparently was the sole survivor of his Algonquin tribe.)
• While Elizabeth Warren *may* possibly descend from the Rolfe family and Pocahontas, like many people of British Colonial ancestry from the American South, her primary 100% Native American ancestor is far to recent to have been her. Pocahontas was born c. 1596, and Elizabeth Warren’s full Native ancestor was probably the grandparent of her claimed part-Native ancestor, who as I said, was born in the first half of the 18th century. (Someone who was half-Native could have claimed to be “Indian” in the 18th century, depending on which parent was Indian, and which tribe and culture their parent belonged to.)
This denigration of people with part-Native American ancestry verified by DNA testing – or those who claim Native American ancestry but have no genetic evidence for it is a big problem, especially for members of ISOGG and many others here. These claims are extremely widespread among people with any kind of Colonial ancestry, both those who identify as Black or “White”. This is especially true across the South and the Midwest, and among people of French-Canadian descent. This probably includes a few thousand people on this very Facebook group. This puts people who have made such claims publicly into two categories:
1. People who have made public claims about having Native American ancestry based on family traditions, but who have no genetic evidence to back this up. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course. This is exactly why people many people do DNA testing, to find out their true origins, and to verify or disprove claims based on family history.
2. People who have some Native American ancestry, which is backed up by DNA testing and which is somewhat distant, but whose ancestors have never officially affiliated with a legally recognized tribe (in the modern sense). This is real, and part of people’s identity, and shouldn’t be denigrated because it’s “only 1/512th!” or something. This would be the level that the many actual Pocahontas descendants from the Rolfe family would have. My guess is that there are several hundred people in this Facebook group that have genealogical and genetic proof of descent from her.
We have to take people at their word, and how they choose to identify themselves. In some ways, the “One Drop Rule” is still in effect socially when it comes to African-American ancestry, and if people want to identify themselves as “Black” or “Mixed” when they actually have this ancestry, that’s their business. (For example, there are many “White” descendants of either Anthony Janzen Van Salee who was described as a “mulattoe” in legal records, and of “Punch” (“John Bunch I”) and the Bunch family. If they want to claim an African or “non-White” ancestor, which is true, we shouldn’t attack them for it, but we should be glad that people acknowledge their heritage, at a time when they are free to do so without being legally stigmatized.
There’s nothing wrong with people acknowledging their diverse origins, even if that’s a minority of their ancestry. 
Should we start combing through everyone’s posts on 23andMe discussion groups and on Rootsweb and Facebook for such claims, and hold it against them?
This affects a lot of people right here.
We in the US should start to be a more tolerant society, especially now that we have many people with “surprising” DNA ancestry results. We here especially should be “ambassadors” and advocates for people who discover “hidden” identities and come out with them. It’s nothing to be ashamed of…”

I am older, I do not have an agenda. Maybe all peoples of this diverse country need to stay apart. I don’t know you and you don’t know me or my mother. The world is no longer black and white and brown and yellow and red – how ever this might be called.

The mixed cultured, mixed marriage, mixed of small bits or big bits, the mixed was long before DNA could be read.

An old man was asked in the 1960s were there any Native Americans he could remember in the (unnamed) county when he was growing up? He said yes there was the one crazy one up in the hills.

I used to think those kinds of bigots would die out. I was wrong, they multiplied. This is not about the % of some admixed gene – this will be about good people and bad people – nice people and not so nice. My DNA is 100% about loving and sharing family history with all my brothers and sisters and cousins and in-laws and neighbors. Welcome family.

Join us in searching for any ancestry



2 thoughts on “Of Colors, What Is Left Of Mamma To Test

  1. Pingback: Allow AutosomalDNA Testers Into y-DNA (Surname) Groups? Prove Expanded Lines ~ Identify Non-Paternity Events ~ Why Oh Why Would I Research Linear? – Duh! | Cherie Lynn's Herstory

  2. Pingback: My Admixture: Privilege And Unprivileged Envy ~ Don’t Fit Anywhere – Marionetta Strung-Out

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