Over the next few weeks, I will talk about the discoveries the project has made from the over twenty BIG Ys ordered during the 2016 Holiday sale. One of the tests sponsored by the project was a Mahican lineage, Van Gilder. The results from this test have uncovered a connection between two other BIG Y tested families.
Together, the Van Gilder, Helton, and Woodall families belong to a new Native Americas branch, Q-BZ2034. The Heltons and Woodalls both have traditions of being Cherokee. The Van Gilders are by tradition Mahican.
Q-M3 is the most common paternal lineage among native men in both North and South America. Through project research, we have discovered that there are two main surviving branches of Q-M3, Q-M848 and Q-Y4308. So far, it is Q-Y4308 that connects to the Eastern Algonquian peoples.
However, the new Q-BZ2034 branch is not under Q-Y4308 but instead is under Q-M848.
The table below shows the relationship between the three families. Note that the connections may be over a thousand years old. The project does not have date ranges yet. Date ranges are one of the reasons for YFull secondary analysis which is pending.
|Van Gilder||FTDNA:305504 (Mahican)|
There are several known events that could explain the movement between groups.
First, the Mahicans were pushed into Iroquoian lands by European settlement. Second, the Cherokee absorbed many fragmented groups. Then deeper in time, in the matrilineal cultures of the region, male children may have passed back and forth between peoples with their cultural identity set by the mother's heritage.
Overall, I think we are moving closer to knowing regions of origin and not a single Q-M3 Native origin for the Native Peoples of North and South America.