A Native American man in Montana has what may be the oldest traceable DNA in the Americas, according to researchers.
A report published on Great Falls Tribune revealed that Alvin ‘Willy’ Crawford’s DNA was traced back 55 generations, with a shocking 99 percent accuracy, making his lineage the longest ever traced by the ancestry testing company, CRI Genetics.
CRI Genetics is one of the many modern “biogeographical ancestry” companies. They trace a client’s genetic makeup through time and space, attempting to find its origin in the evolution of humankind.
The length and accuracy of Crawford’s lineage are so rare that the firm told Crawford’s family that it was ‘like finding BigFoot.’
For Alvin Crawford, the test was merely done to assuage his brother, Darrell “Dusty” Crawford, who died of a heart attack shortly before the results of CRI’s genetic testing had concluded.
Darrell Crawford lived on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Heart Butte, Montana. He had long believed that their ancestors came to North America during the Ice Age, through the Bering Land Bridge, an ancient human migration route from Asia to the Americas.
The test also revealed the origins of his Blackfeet ancestors. According to the DNA results, Crawford’s ancestors are from the Pacific Islands. They later journeyed to the South American coast and traveled north, according to a preliminary analysis.
Moreover, the company tested Crawford’s mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), a genetic material that is passed down through mothers.
An analysis showed that Crawford is part of the mtDNA Haplotype B2 group, which originated from Arizona around 17,000 years ago, the Great Falls Tribune reported.
This group is one of the four major Native American groups in North America.
These groups are called clans, and all trace back to four female ancestors; Ai, Ina, Chie, and Sachi. According to CRI Genetics tests, Crawford hails from the Ina clan.
This DNA group’s closest relatives are found in Southeast Asia.
CRI Genetics explained:
“Its path from the Americas is somewhat of a mystery as there are no frequencies of the haplogroup in either Alaska or Canada. Today this Native American line is found only in the Americas, with a strong frequency on the eastern coast of North America.”
As for Crawford’s ancestral makeup, the results showed 83 percent Native American ancestry. Though some of this was a mixture of various Native threads, 73 percent of that came from the same heritage.
The remaining 17 percent were comprised of about 10% European, about 5% East Asian, 2% South Asian and less than 1% African.