Dear Auntie, I just did the 23andMe test hoping I could learn more about my ancestors and I was honestly surprised to find out that I’m a Native American/Spanish mix. Is there a test that I can take that will tell me what tribe my ancestors were from?
Hey, that’s very cool! Now the mystery is unraveling and your true detective work begins. 🙂
Genetic tests like the 23andMe use your saliva to find your DNA, then gives you a percentage of where your DNA comes from. However, the test cannot tell you what specific tribe you come from. This is something you will have to work at to uncover.
Here’s what I suggest:
- Follow any leads – use the information you received as a starting point. Some tests claim to give you specific regions of your descendants. If this is the case, use this. For example, the Spanish were largely in the Southwest, which means you could narrow your search to this region.
- Talk with your family – they might know something about your history, or where your relatives may have lived. This can provide some helpful leads, especially if you can narrow your search down by State or by town.
- Tribal websites – as you start to narrow things down, do a Google search for the tribes in the State where your ancestors may have come from. You can find tribes’ official websites and give them a call. Ask for their enrollment department and how they suggest you find your ancestors. For example, some tribes will have an enrollment department, others might direct you to The National Archives Catalog, or other archives that may be found at tribal colleges or libraries.
- Consider Enrollment – if you do find what tribe you’re from consider enrolling with your tribe. You can find out more by talking to your tribal office. Some tribes require proof of lineage, while others require a certain blood quantum for enrollment. This you can find on tribes websites.
I’m so happy for you! And wish you the best of luck as you start to learn more about who you are and where you come from. Self-discovery is a beautiful thing!