When Darrell “Dty” Crawford was in school in , he was taught that his ancestors, the Blackfeet Nation, were some of the first people to step foot in . Judging by his analysis, his teachers might have been on to something.

On the wish of his dying brother, Crawford took a home test to trace his family’s ancestor. Remarkably, the company claims to have traced his ancestry back at least 55 generations with 99 percent accuracy, as reported by Great Falls Tribune.

For a person of strong Native n ancestry, that’s pretty impressive. The company, CRI Genetics, says this is the furthest back they’ve ever been able to trace anyone’s ancestry in the s, as the tests typically only give about a recent handful of generations before it gets too diluted to trace.

Crawford had an unually high percent of Native n in his results, around 83 percent, with small amounts of European, East Asian, and South Asian ancestry mixed in. Remarkably, up to 73 percent of his Native n heritage was from the same lineage. The more mixed a person’s heritage, the harder it is to trace, so with high percentages like these, it narrows down the field considerably. 

His mitochondrial can be pinned down to the haplogroup B2, one of five haplogroups found among the indigeno peoples of the s. Mitochondrial (mt) is inherited through the maternal line, passed down from mother to child, and the woman who founded this B2 line lived sometime around 17,000 years ago. As far as we can tell, one of the earliest mtDNA haplogroups to reach the s was B2.

However, here’s where it gets a bit strange. The B2 lineage appears to have sprung up in the middle of , near modern-day Arizona, but nowhere near Alaska or Canada, the main entry route into North by ancient people. The most widely-accepted theory of how humans populated the s is that they crossed the Bering Strait, a land bridge that once existed between and Alaska, towards the end of the Ice Age at least 16,500 years ago (although some researchers believe it was actually earlier than this). On the other hand, haplogroup B2 suggests a dferent story. While it originated in Arizona, it isn’t found in native Alaskan populations and it’s relatively uncommon in Canada. This hints that his ancestors may have actually migrated from the Pacic to South and ed upwards to modern-day North .

“Its path from the s is somewhat of a mystery as there are no frequencies of the haplogroup in either Alaska or Canada. Today this Native n line is found only in the s, with a strong frequency peak on the eastern coast of North ,” CRI Genetics said, according to the Great Falls Tribune.

Of course, Crawford’s is jt one person’s, so it would be premature to reach any grand conclions. Nevertheless, Crawford says he encourages anyone who has Native n ancestry to have a test as it could provide some invaluable insights into our understanding of the history of people in

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