I recently had a dna test done through Ancestry's dna program Hoping to find out once and for all if the family stories of our Indian lineage was true or just old "grandma said" stories. When my results came back I was at first Very Excited because next to the Native American category on my list of results, was the number 30. I thought that meant I shared dna with at least 30 other people of native american ancestry too. WRONG! It only meant that Ancestry chose Those 30 regions and Only those 30 regions in which to compare my dna with others in those particular regions. At least that is the way I understand it to be at the time of writing this.
What really upsets me is that not only does my dna show NO link whatsoever to Any native americans, but that Ancestry ONLY shows 30 regions of comparison to native americans of the state of New Mexico, parts of southern CA, TX, Mexico, Chile, Peru and parts of Central America. While it is undeniably true that loads of native americans descend from many ethnic groups in those regions, and no doubt where probably most all Indian people descend from as well, my biggest question is, What About the Native American Indians from Nova Scotia, NY (the Mohawks. Seneca etc), All of Native American people from Maine, Delaware, CT, and basically ALL of New England? Do they also come from the core native americans from only those 30 regions Ancestry compared my dna to? What about the Inuits of Alaska? I'm sure its evident I am no expert at anything regarding dna, but why do people only think Native Americans are from the great southwest? In Maine there are blue-eyed Indians who are native americans. I am going to do my research a little better and seek out another dna company to see if they perhaps offer a test that will cover ALL native American areas of the U.S. and Canada etc., that will include Indian tribes. I guess if anyone shares dna with me and they have any native indian links, they might or might not reveal that part. I can tell you that a family shared dna with me who were from Canada and in their tree was the surname Laurent. That is a very well known indian name among the Abenaki. However I could see no link to that name, but that doesn't mean I don't share some indian dna with them, it just doesn't show up as linked to the southwestern regions of America or the 30 regions on Ancestry's map.
Our 4th grt. grandmother(in my generation she is my 4th grt. grandmother, in some of yours she will be your 3rd, or you 5th), but she was said to have been Mi'kmaw Indian from Nova Scotia whose tribe was so diminished by disease during the Indian wars of the 1700's that many of the tribes from Nova Scotia, made their way south into Maine and joined up with the Passamaquoddy and the Penobscot bands. This was evident by the 1870 Indian census which some of them who knew what their ancestry was told of their being St. Francis, Maliseet, Mi'kmaw etc. Many of them married into Penobscot and Passamaquoddy families. It is believed this is how our Hannah MITCHELL came to be in Maine, but we don't know for certain.
Unless I suddenly get some dna match to a MITCHELL or a THOMAS family in Maine or some other family who knows their Indian heritage we may never be able to solve this family mystery with any certainty. I do have the documentation that Hannah's son Joseph D. MOODY was an Indian doctor in Lowell, MA and that Hannah's brother Louis MITCHELL was himself an Indian doctor and lived at Parkers Head I think, or Phippsburg, ME per the census. He and his family were listed as "race-Indian" He named 2 of his children Joseph and Hannah. I can only guess for family members and one being his sister. I also believe that Louis may have taught our Joseph D. Moody many things of being an Indian doctor. Joseph and Hannah's sons William and James were in the Civil War. James was in the 7th ME which was known to have many Penobscot Indians in that company.
My grt. grandmother who was married to one of Joseph D. Moody's grandsons was the one who had the box that Joseph made for his wife Sarah A. (Brewer) MOODY, while he was in prison. I have that box today and have posted a picture of it on my family tree. My grt. grandmother told my father the story of the box and he said that she had some old Indian tools that had apparently belonged to Daniel S. Moody my 2nd grt. grandfather who may have gotten them from his father Joseph D. Moody perhaps. After grt. grampy died those tools stayed with my grt. grandmother and Dad said that whenever anyone in the family was sick, that his Nana would get out those tools which were bear claws, teeth, feathers etc. and she would dance, pray and chant for the sick to get well. When we got the box none of those items were there. Someone probably thought they were too malevolent and tossed them out. (arrrrgggghhh)
I know this is very long, but I wanted to get all of this in because I still believe we have the Indian connection but until the dna company's offer comparisons to known Indian families of Nova Scotia and New England regions, we may never know if our family stories are true or not. I am hoping that over time as more folks do their dna, that someone will match up that can substantiate the family lore. One thing I have noted over the years it that all of our cousins have basically the same indian stories of our family. I have noted discrepancies however in what band of indian Hannah Mitchell came from. Most say Mi'kmaq/Mi'kmaw, but others say Passamaquoddy or Penobscot. Probably all are somewhat true given that those tribes all banded together as mentioned earlier in this novel I've written.
If anyone has more they can add to our Indian story please post. thanks