DNA Expert: Trace Amounts of Native American DNA Could Actually Be Asian

Credit: Edward Kimmel

A recently resurfaced article written by a prominent genealogist explains how Europeans and Americans who have trace amounts of Native American DNA could have Asian ancestors.

In a thorough 2014 article on her website DNA Explained, genealogist Roberta Estes explains that through ancient migrations and more recent Asian invasions of Europe, many North Americans and Europeans who take popular DNA tests may register trace amounts of Native American DNA due to common genes between the two long separated populations.

Estes explains that the Huns arrived in Europe and conquered great swaths of it in starting in 370 AD. They were eventually followed to Europe from Asia by the Maygars in the 800s and 900s, another Asian population that would eventually settle in modern day Hungary.

Much earlier in history, it is widely accepted by experts that most Native American populations came to North America through three ancient migrations from Asia and Eastern Europe.

She explained that a hypothetical person of Hungarian or German descent could be a good candidate for this occurrence.

“Since both the Hungarians and some Germanic people descend from Asian populations, as do Native Americans,” she wrote, “It’s not unrealistic to expect that, as populations, they share a genetic connection.”

After running tests on her hypothetical half German, half Hungarian candidate, Estes received results suggesting that the person could be as much as 0.27 per cent Native American according to at least one publicly available DNA test, in genes Estes says would likely have belonged to a Hunnic or Maygar ancestor.

Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s controversial DNA test suggests she may only be 1/1024, or 0.097 per cent, Native American.

In other words, Sen. Warren may have less theoretically Native American DNA than the hypothetical half Hungarian, half German man from Europe in Estes’ article, and that DNA could have originated in Asia, not North America.