Many people have genealogical evidence of Native American ancestry, but why might this history not appear in their genetic testing results?

There are several reasons why Native American ancestry may not appear.

  1. There is an element of randomness what you inherit from your parent ancestors with each generation. After a long enough time, it is highly likely you will not have any ancestry from a given person in your family tree.
  2. If your Native American ancestor lived more than 200 years ago, it is highly likely you will not have any genetic inheritance from that individual.
  3. Even if the ancestor is more recent, there is still a chance you may not have any genes from that person.
  4. If they were of mixed heritage, you may have only inherited non-Native American genes.
  5. Native American populations are numerous and each is genetically diverse. It may be that the population from which you descend is too different from modern populations to be picked up easily in our tests. That is, you may have Native American ancestry, but it is very different from the ones in our reference set.
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