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Tracing Aztec Lineage

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By LasFlores - Posted on 13 April 2016

A lady in one of my other genealogy groups asked if there is a way to trace one's family back to the Aztecs. Any and all information will be appreciated.
Thanks, Gloria

when I had my MTDNA (Mother to Daughter only) it came back that my first Mother was Native American Group A. In Mexico she would have been Nahua and that was part of the Aztec Nation. I have no idea what DNA the men would have had.. Unfortunately I have had no luck tracking that line back any further than 1850 or so in Michoacan, Mexico.
Linda Castanon-Long

The short answer would be no, its very unlikely that someone can factually find of what native tribe their descendants were from, for once, there was too much mixture after the establishment of the colony to say that a line of native ancestry was of a single party, Aztecs were one of many Nahuatl tribes (although some writings would argue that all Nahuatl were Aztecs) and the ones favored by the Spanish, which in turn made their documentation highly romanticized, consequently many people think in all natives from the Mexico region as Aztecs, but the there were many others and vary by regions. Also is important to note that this subcultures are distinguish by language and not biologically, is obvious that while the different tribes migrated, some of them would mix along the way. Thus wouldn't be impossible to find an Aztec with a Chichimeca dna.

I wouldn't say impossible though, may be as time pass, or like when related to some lineages like the Moctezuma's, that were somehow documented and established, their "Ducado" still exist, many other tribes married their aristocrat kids with Spanish to keep their wealth, etc. They may be traceable.

Now if someone wants to know if they have Native blood, regardless of which tribe/culture they come from, then that's easier, as Linda mentioned, dna can't give a bit more information*, also good old plain genealogy with documents can provide many clues, But focusing only on finding this facts is very counterproductive, and for many, disappointing. I personally don't recommended. Mexico, as much denial as there is been for decades, was in fact a "melting pot", all the way from Africa to Asia, from South America to the North, is way better to open the "vault" of our ancestry and be surprised by its content.

*Note, it was known that Asian natives were brought and many were left in Mexico, specially from the Philippines, (and the same the other way around), their christian names makes it impossible to trace with documents, although very small in number, some people may have their dna, but would be considered "native dna" simply because they are Hispanics, don't take my word for granted, as far as I remember these groups are not yet fully distinguishable from each other.

On the PBS show "Finding your Roots," Sandra Cisneros was given a test that she was the first to receive as it was a new DNA test to show from what tribe, Nation one was from. Several people have left comments to find out what test that was but they have been ignored.

"Which DNA test did Sandra Cisneros take to show her Mayan roots? Dr. Gates mentioned it was new"

I thought all of us of Native Americans from New Mexico and Mexico who show Native blood had our DNA traced back to Mayans, no?

Emilie
Port Orchard, WA

> To: research@lists.nuestrosranchos.com
> From: sarod77@hotmail.com
> Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2016 16:21:32 -0700
> Subject: [Nuestros Ranchos] Sandra Cisneros
>
> On the PBS show "Finding your Roots," Sandra Cisneros was given a test that
> she was the first to receive as it was a new DNA test to show from what
> tribe, Nation one was from. Several people have left comments to find out
> what test that was but they have been ignored. "Which DNA test did Sandra
> Cisneros take to show her Mayan roots? Dr. Gates mentioned it was new"
>

I really don't know anything about this subject only added what I had seen on PBS and thought I would share so maybe an expert or someone with more knowledge would add to this conversation.

The new dna test was performed by Stanford professor Carlos Bustamante. I'm
by no means an expert on indigenous DNA in Mexico, but I do know there are
measurable differences within the various tribes in Mexico, many of which
do not trace back to the Mayans.

Saludos,
Juan Aguayo

On Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 6:21 PM, wrote:

> On the PBS show "Finding your Roots," Sandra Cisneros was given a test that
> she was the first to receive as it was a new DNA test to show from what
> tribe, Nation one was from. Several people have left comments to find out
> what test that was but they have been ignored. "Which DNA test did Sandra
> Cisneros take to show her Mayan roots? Dr. Gates mentioned it was new"
>

The new dna test was performed by Stanford professor Carlos Bustamante. I'm
by no means an expert on indigenous DNA in Mexico, but I do know there are
measurable differences within the various tribes in Mexico, many of which
do not trace back to the Mayans.

Saludos,
Juan Aguayo

On Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 6:21 PM, wrote:

> On the PBS show "Finding your Roots," Sandra Cisneros was given a test that
> she was the first to receive as it was a new DNA test to show from what
> tribe, Nation one was from. Several people have left comments to find out
> what test that was but they have been ignored. "Which DNA test did Sandra
> Cisneros take to show her Mayan roots? Dr. Gates mentioned it was new"
>

As Juan Aguayo pointed out, the test provided to Cisneros (and, I believe, Jessica Alba in her episode) was provided by Dr. Carlos Bustamante at Stanford. His website https://bustamantelab.stanford.edu/ provides an opportunity to fill out a questionnaire if you are interested in his study on Native American ancestry. The link is on the lower right of the page. The test is not available to the public-- what we saw in the episodes is just a special opportunity given to a few people.

Here's our chance to express our interest, though, and maybe Dr. Bustamante will make the test available to us in the future!

Rosalinda

thanks to all for the conversation and information. I will go the site and show my interest.

glad i already did

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