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Saturday, December 9, 2017

mtDNA Marker C16278T Found at the Pre-Columbian Norris Farms Archaeological Site
This early study of ancient Mound Builders' DNA always appears in my disappointing searches for the raw data on the Windover Bog site in Florida (a lost cause, since it is being withheld from public view). So I've had to settle for what I'm given. But last night I suddenly noticed something that was there all along.
What became obvious this time, in Table 1 of the data, is the DNA marker indicated for the "Other" mtDNA haplogroup found in the pre-Columbian Norris Farms site: a specific marker, "16278T", which I happen to share, and which is considered an "extra" in my own DNA classification.
As an "extra", it means that most people in my classification (now tentatively W1-T119C; formerly, simply "X") -- do not share the marker with me.
The classification labelled "other" here, is just another designation for "X" -- the unwanted orphan clade of Native American mtDNA. The strictly North American clade. This paper was originally published in 1999, some years before mtDNA genetic research into Human origins began to make real progress (with the Genographic Project). It essentially blazed the trail for them.
Herein lies the key evidence:
It is the marker C16278T, listed beside the specimens designated "other" on the table. (The "Standard" for that marker is the chemically reversed T16278C).

Bear in mind that these "others" aren't just lab samples; they're the remains of real, pre-Columbian Human beings who once lived in this land. And I just happen to share that particular genetic variation with them -- along with significant identifiers in the rest of their genomes, presumably. I also share with all these individuals, markers 16189C and 16223T.

Oddly and mysteriously, a second marker for "other" was left unidentified and designated simply as "?". My question is: why?

It has absolutely nothing at all to do with one of the two so-called "contaminating sequences" mentioned in the footnote, also found in one of the haplogroup A samples. Because the contaminating sequences are not even listed there (they were in fact quite deliberately omitted from this published data table, presumably for good reason).

I also wonder how they determined those omitted (yet worthy of mention) sequences were "contaminating". And I wonder if it might have been a better idea to list those data results as well. But most of all, what's with the "?" ? What data was omitted there, that was not the so-called "contaminating sequences"?

Now for comparison, this is my own personal mtDNA report from James Lick's mtDNA calculator (an excellent analytic tool, by the way). I simply uploaded my raw data into his genius program, and it quickly generated a very conveniently detailed report for me:
I also have markers associated with haplogroup "X". In fact, my defining markers are split almost equally between haplogroups X and W. I got on board with Genographic Project mtDNA research, way back near the beginning of it, circa 2006. My haplogroup classification has since been revised several times over the years, thus:
  • Originally, officially, X (per the Genographic Project)
  • then, officially, W (per FTDNA)
  • tentatively estimated, W1 (per various administrators, genetic genealogists, i.e. unofficial 'authorities' on the subject)
  • tentatively estimated, W1e (again, per various unofficial 'authorities')
  • until presently, W1-T119C is the 'official', 'authorized' verdict. The last is again per FTDNA, following full sequence testing and analysis.
Yet I don't fit perfectly into that group, either; and the only reason there isn't a separate haplogroup classification for my mtDNA type, is because it is so rare.

And while it is true that I definitely have the 119C marker, I still do not fit very well into the European version of that particular clade / sub-clade. As shown both by James Lick and Family Tree DNA, my mtDNA has both, some extras and also some missing markers for that group:

Compared with the RSRS standard.

Compared with the rCRS standard.

Regardless of how you look at it, it all boils down to the same conclusion: I'm very closely related, if not an exact match, to the rare ancient mtDNA found in the Norris site (and probably also to the covered-up Windover Bog site), which has been referred to variously as "X" and "other".

...And which carries so many mysterious question marks, besides the starkly visible one that has tagged them in the c1999 published Norris Farms site data.

Are my ancestors the so-called "Giants" of North America? I know this: my American Indian family members are all unusually tall in height. My mother, uncles, great-aunts, and grandmother are all much taller than me (and I'm average, not short at all).

And that's just one prime example of physical characteristics I've inherited from my maternal lineage. Let us not forget that DNA is a physical characteristic too... Shall we discuss cheekbones? ;)

My DNA is the key that will open the shadowy, stuffy closet door to reveal, not skeletons, but the cowardly, greedy, selfish, bigoted -- real "frauds" -- in the whole "wannabe" controversy. "Wannabe" (like "Pocahontas" and "Princess") is a derogatory racist slur, which must be confronted and corrected.

My maternal grandmother's testimony, in her letter to me. (This is not the whole letter, only the relevant part.) I still have the letter.

My original certificate, issued to me by the Genographic Project. I still have it.

On Mitosearch, although they have me labeled "Not Tested" for HVR2 mutations -- I was indeed subsequently tested, so they just need to update that. My HVR2 markers are listed in the FTDNA data tables above.

This chart reports two 'exact' (i.e. zero genetic distance) 'matches' for me, who both share the same common ancestor (an adopted orphan). That erroneous 'match' was based on the available data at the time of the report. They're no longer listed as exact matches on FTDNA, based on subsequent testing. They're now shown to have a genetic distance of "3". So, probably distant cousins. In fact, I have no "exact" matches on either FTDNA or on Ancestry (where I received autosomal testing and analysis).

It shows a total of 25 of the closest matches to me (including myself), in their database. As you can see, some of my closest matches are haplogroups X. Variations of X shown here, are found in Europe, while I am related to the American line. Based on these facts, it is crystal clear to me that Mitosearch does not contain much data for Native American mtDNA.

This simply suggests that Native Americans of the mtDNA X haplogroups generally are reticent about publishing or going public with their personal data. I've met many people (including non-Natives), who are fearful of doing so, for whatever reasons. It is their right to choose, and I don't judge anyone for it, because it is perfectly understandable. (I, on the other hand, personally refuse to fear anything other than God Almighty. The truth means that much to me.)

The defining marker for my present haplogroup classification, T119C, is not found in any of the European X haplogroups listed there. Is it seen in any Native American groups? That question remains unanswered. The data in the Norris Farms site study is based only on HVR1 mutations.

While I do not fit exactly into the haplogroup, W1-T119C, it just happens to be the closest match for me based on the current, standard mtDNA classifications. On Family Tree DNA, which analyzed my mitochondrial samples, I currently have only 7 matches (including the two mentioned above who are also listed in Mitosearch), and those have shown up just fairly recently, after I completed further testing. For years I had none, zero matches of any kind. Then one or two popped up, which have since been removed or downgraded. And as seen above, currently none are exact matches.

The closest match on the list, "MB", with a genetic distance of "1", is from a very old, colonial Virginia family. Much like the paternal side of my own tree, which being Pilgrims from colonial 17th century Massachusetts, Long Island (when it was still a Dutch territory), later New Jersey (dating back prior to the Revolution), and the southern Appalachians (Tennessee, Alabama, the Carolinas, and Georgia) -- very reasonably may also carry some Indian blood (a completely separate issue, as I'm concentrating here on my mtDNA / maternal lineage, with the aim to prove that it is indeed genetically Native American).

I figure "MB" is probably a maternal second or third cousin of some sort. Likewise, my other reported matches are likely more distant, maternally related cousins.

Looking more closely at my maternal history alone, I find that it apparently originated solidly in Columbus county, North Carolina. All trails lead back to that region, and no further. Oh, the irony... And Cherokee was not the only tribe living there prior to modern European colonization. There were also the Waccamaws and Tuscaroras, among others. And many of those tribes also occasionally intermarried with one another. So the plot thickens.

What has brought me here, is the brick wall I keep running up against, while tracing my maternal lineage. I can't get beyond my gg-grandmother, Cely Bird. I know nothing about her parentage or siblings, or very much of her marital history, other than the facts of her marriage to Steven Hilburn (my gg-grandfather) and evidence of a possible previous marriage to a man named Powers.

The Powers, Hilburns, and Birds (also the Elkins and Nobles, among others) were all fairly well established North Carolina families, in those days (early- to mid-19th century, as far back as I'm able to document it). Hilburn is sometimes spelled Hilborn or Hillborn. He married a woman known only as Cely or Celia. My grandmother said she was "Cely Bird", and showed me a photograph of her.

Their daughter (my g-grandmother) Polly's name was misspelled "Dolly" in the marriage books. Polly Hilburn married George Washington Elkins. Remarriage was very common in those days, as now. However, then it was more often due to death rather than divorce. However their marriage to each other is the only one that I've seen documented.

Certain 'helpful' genealogists have dared suggest directly to me, that Cely Bird's real surname was Powers. But that is nothing more than false, speculative, conjecture. If you want to learn the facts about a family, ask the family -- don't go to self-appointed, profiteering "authorities".

If that were true, if Cely Bird's maiden name was really Powers -- where did "Bird" come from? My grandmother didn't just hatch that up from some wild daydream. And she didn't just decide one day to fantasize being American Indian, a persecuted minority. Get real. Anyone who knows my grandmother (and she was quite well-known in her community), would trust her word over that of any stranger to the family. Hell, anyone could LOOK at her, and see the woman (along with her closest family members of past generations) is Cherokee. But she's gone now, so I am left here to defend her and my family, alone.

There are photographs and other evidence, including family testimonials, but the best clue I have is my mtDNA. So, I would be very interested in studying the specific genetic markers for the various "Native American X" haplogroups. But where is that information? It's hidden, that is the problem. Apparently that is some sort of shady State Secret. And it's very unfair to people like me: people whose Native American ancestors "assimilated" into the general society. People whose Native American ancestors married "outsiders". People whose Native American ancestors refused to acknowledge treaties, refused to be 'removed' to 'reservations', far away from their own native homelands where they were born and raised...

There is a very rational explanation why I can't find sufficiently adequate (i.e. "official" or "authoritative") documentation for my gg-grandmother (Cely Bird), gg-grandfather (Steven Hilburn), and their parents and siblings -- other than in sketchy and often illegible censuses or marriage record books. It likely either never existed, or has since been destroyed, perhaps deliberately. Perhaps during the Civil War, or in some of the notorious courthouse fires.

But that doesn't mean they didn't exist. They existed, and still do -- in my genome.

There are never any good or innocent reasons for intentionally with-holding the truth and covering up facts, especially from your own family. There is never any justification for denying or stealing a person's rightful identity, their family history --- just because you decide to 'disown' them for some petty reason: greed, politics, power.

That's why I am so open and forthright. I have moral standards, learned from my elders. Fear NOTHING, other than God Almighty himself. I know the truth; but I can't stand all the deceit, all the unnecessary confusion, the outright lies.

I would like to begin with the Windover, Florida, Bog People raw data. Where is it? I need to know.

Here is another paper regarding the Norris Farms site:

Awesome! The following paper, published in full, c2015, reports haplogroup X among the ancient mtDNA of particularly significant Mound Peoples (remember, Cherokees were originally Mound-builders, too). X was rare, even then. And while I am not an exact match, I do share the 16189C marker with those individuals. The finding of X is in itself, very encouraging, but also the fact that they're still looking at ancient lineages. Bravo, keep up the good work!

I'm still waiting for Windover Bog site information, nevertheless. I will never forget what happened there. It is unconscionable, what they did.

My most recent, revised certificate from FTDNA:

(Some updating is needed, in many areas.)

This may be helpful. And indeed, according to this, I have markers for W. But that doesn't mean W cannot be Native American. Obviously, I was initially classified X only because my specific clade or group is so rare that it was originally quite arbitrarily classified with X. Later, they managed to tease out the finer distinctions.

Polly Hilburn Elkins, my maternal g-grandmother. I know quite a lot about her, although we never met personally. And if I could show you the picture of her mother, Cely Bird Hilburn, it would instantly end the whole debate. Pictures are indeed worth thousands of words, yet are temporal; whereas memories (and genes) last forever. And any fool can see that this woman is at least mostly Native American. Chances are very good that she was even as much as full-blooded.

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