Richard Thornton | May 9, 2017 | 23
DNA Update: Ancestors near Eufaula, AL, Fort Gaines, GA and Chattahoochee, FL
Important information for labs interpreting your DNA
Alabama Counties: Barbour, Henry & Houston
Georgia Counties: Clay, Early, Miller, Seminole, Decatur & Grady
Florida Counties: Jackson, Gadsden, Calhoun, Liberty, Gulf & Franklin
My professional work continues to be analysis of linguistics, colonial archives, archaeological reports and satellite imagery of the Lower Chattahoochee-Lower Flint- Apalachicola Basin. I have identified important ethnic information that will radically affect how commercial labs interpret your DNA. Most labs will interpret your DNA in regard to its similarity to Canadian Algonquian DNA test markers. This will result in you appearing to have almost no Native American heritage, since the Creeks are an entirely different people than most Eastern Woodland Indians and the people of Peru were entirely different than proto-Muskogeans. Some, more sophisticated, labs will compare your DNA with modern self-identified Muskogeans, mostly Choctaw. If your ancestors are from the region above, you will show slightly more Native ancestry with a Choctaw comparison, but still, it will understated.
This region was never occupied by significant numbers of Muskogee Creeks. It was originally settled by proto-Apalache (not Florida Apalachee), who were from the Amazon Basin, but originally settled around Savannah, GA. Around 1-200 AD, Panoan immigrants from Eastern Peru settled among the original inhabitants. Around 350 AD to 600 AD, Southern Arawaks from South America settled in the region.
In the late 1500s and early 1600s, Panoans from the Georgia Coast fled Spanish repression and settled there. I have found several of the Panoan town names that were mentioned by Captain René de Laudonnière, Commander of Fort Caroline, in the vicinity of Eufaula, AL, Georgetown, GA and Fort Gaines, GA. These villages were originally on the Georgia Coast. In the 1700s, some Itsate Creeks (Itza Maya descendants) from northeast Georgia settled among the aboriginal South Americans. During the latter half of the 1700s, Apalachicolas from farther up the Chattahoochee River and Northwest Georgia settled in the region. Their ancestors were a mixture of South Americans and Itza Mayas.
Of course, the peoples on the Lower Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers were members of the Creek Confederacy, but they were different in physical appearance than Muskogee-Creeks. Be sure to tell your lab that your Native heritage is primarily from Haplo Group C in South America and Mesoamerica . . . not one of the North American tribes that they typically get DNA test markers from.
If your heritage is Uchee . . . good luck. Almost full blood Uchees in Oklahoma are showing up with little or no Native American ancestry. The Uchee is one of the oldest tribes in the Southeast, but their DNA profile is so different than Algonquians, the geneticists do not know how to identify them.
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
Latest posts by Richard Thornton (see all)
- Georgia gave the Uchee (Euchee/Yuchi) Tribe a reservation in 1958! - May 25, 2017
- What does Coosa mean? - May 23, 2017
- The Secret History of Northeast Alabama - May 22, 2017
- Outstanding website created by Alabama Office of Archaeological Research - May 20, 2017
- The People of One Fire’s county agent explains the “Three Sisters Thing” - May 19, 2017