Many people in the United States of America have a family tradition of Native American ancestry. There is a new paper about detecting minority components in autosomal DNA. That is the stuff that comes from all eight great grandparents. The paper says that on average African American samples from a scientific dataset contain about 0.4% native ancestry. What is 0.4%?

Well, let us say the current generation was born about 1950. That was the date popular with my first anthropology teacher. Then let us call the average generation about 25 years.

SNP NamePosition (Build 37)HUGO Reference ValueAncestral ValueDerived Value
Y22333148720AAG
BZ643160089AAC
Y22534686350AAG
Y22294914530AAG
YP7306704240AAC
BZ517739247AAT
BZ388292569AAG
YP74614004634AAG
Y221614353022AAC
BZ6815017128AAT
BZ7615165935AAC
BZ5815678462AAG
YP100917281110AAG
BZ3517891743AAG
Y220918051798AAC
YP124618071973AAG
Y220818207170AAG
YP123018597044AAG
Y275018697269AAG
BZ2921163811AAG
BZ3221322098AAG
YP123521783201AAG
BZ5221988185AAT
BZ4622041373AAG
Y278122612418AAT
Y219822825080AAG
Y219722953894AAG
BZ6328626650AAC
YP12362734466CCG
BZ313085515CCA
Y22314606181CCT
Y22304798081CCA
Y22256949449CCT
Y30267116693CCG
YP12377193834CCT
YP39257873571CCG
BZ427958215CCT
Y22248662585CCA
BZ408791604CCT
Y27809761433CCT
Y22199892635CCT
YP122610006352CCT
Y221814184253CCA
BZ2515749472CCG
YP73516376116CCT
BZ4316509602CCG
YP392616576282CCA
BZ6016867805CCT
BZ5016920143CCT
BZ6117448035CCT
YP73617464362CCT
BZ5317957520CCT
BZ2718149273CCT
BZ5418632574CCT
BZ4118897331CCA
Y220719053060CCT
YP123119254773CCT
BZ4819295189CCA
YP123219351201CCT
YP100619440667CCT
YP124921126319CCT
BZ3322128896CCT
Y220022588598CCT
BZ3422720359CCT
BZ2622816094CCT
BZ8222861806CCA
YP103623431415CCT
Y219623646920CCT
BZ233014878GGC
Y22323995524GGA
BZ244705139GGA
Y27466985833GGC
BZ377928269GGA
BZ658505755GGA
YP10088531332GGT
Y22209408770GGT
BZ749764674GGA
BZ6614117402GGA
YP124014411838GGC
Y302714683323GGA
YP122915822488GGA
Y221315834557GGA
YP124315967717GGT
BZ7017044703GGT
Y302817842405GGA
Y221118043999GGA
YP100518144704GGT
BZ2818642795GGA
YP73918984424GGA
BZ4919295581GGA
YP103519308440GGA
YP101119337819GGC
BZ7821147704GGA
Y220321277083GGA
BZ8021412709GGA
BZ4421557654GGA
YP74021711960GGA
BZ4521778042GGA
Y220222017904GGT
Y302922545510GGT
YP100322824646GGA
YP74722968535GGC
BZ4723069733GGA
YP7457192612TTA
BZ397751218TTC
BZ367763738TTC
YP39247782752TTC
BZ558334045TTC
BZ728770743TTA
Y221514385853TTG
BZ5714730789TTC
BZ6915313344TTA
YP109515705584TTG
BZ5916199340TTC
Y221216994660TTA
YP100417863816TTC
Y221018046486TTC
YP101018386344TTG
YP107118783851TTC
Y275419228285TTC
YP124719241035TTA
YP109619290184TTG
YP100721192924TTC
YP123421625596TTC
BZ3021879151TTC
Y303022989959TTC
Y275123338485TTC
BZ6224443001TTA
BZ6714469528CCT
BZ415128521GGA
FGC1066415455814TTC
FGC201015487465TTC
BZ716773393CCA
FGC202017969724TTC
BZ518063861TTC
FGC1066818148788GGA
BZ821098289AAC
BZ621289994TTC
FGC1067221329851CCG
BZ922662949AAG
BZ322802773GGA
FGC203023036871AAC
Y274714174284CCT
Y274815911171TTA
Y274917216758CCG
Y27528757232CCA
Y275316933881CCT
FGC18987357489CCT
FGC484922487320TTG
FGC766313678174GGC
PR5205/BZ5614658470CCT
L31521869914CCT

At generation 9 (or 8 generations back) there are 256 ancestors. One of these is on average about 0.39% of ones autosomal ancestry. That is close to the roughly 0.4% found by researchers. The finding indicates then that 1 in 256 of the average African American’s ancestors we Native American. If you are an African American genealogist and wish to go after that family story of Native Heritage, be of good cheer. There is likely some truth in the story.

Source

Maples, B. K., Gravel, S., Kenny, E. E., and Bustamante, C. D. (2013). RFMix: A discriminative modeling approach for rapid and robust Local-Ancestry inferenceThe American Journal of Human Genetics, 93(2):278-288.

Abstract

Local-ancestry inference is an important step in the genetic analysis of fully sequenced human genomes. Current methods can only detect continental-level ancestry (i.e., European versus African versus Asian) accurately even when using millions of markers. Here, we present RFMix, a powerful discriminative modeling approach that is faster (∼30×) and more accurate than existing methods. We accomplish this by using a conditional random field parameterized by random forests trained on reference panels. RFMix is capable of learning from the admixed samples themselves to boost performance and autocorrect phasing errors. RFMix shows high sensitivity and specificity in simulated Hispanics/Latinos and African Americans and admixed Europeans, Africans, and Asians. Finally, we demonstrate that African Americans in HapMap contain modest (but nonzero) levels of Native American ancestry (∼0.4%).