According to the New Mexico project on FTDNA:
“DNA studies on Hispanics show a higher European admixture. *Anthropologist Andrew Merriwether and colleagues conducted a study on Hispanics living in Colorado. Using classic genetic markers they estimated an admixture of 67% European and 33% Native-American.
He further tested their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) which is a test to find the origins of your great, great…grandmother, going back 10’s of thousands of years. This one ancestor which is your families “Eve” so to speak, showed up as Native-American 85% of the time and European in origin 15% of the time. Thus showing that the majority of unions in this admixture were of European males and Native-American females.”
Why does my maternal genetic history reflect a European female rather than a Native American female (The Mystery of Juana Ortega)? I’ll be honest, since skin color and appearance aren’t reliable indicators of genetic heritage I was really hoping for a strong Native American ancestry. I think many Americans desire that feeling of rootedness and since my family is Hispanic it wouldn’t be far-fetched at all to assume.
I haven’t researched my father’s side but that’s largely due to 1) not being close to or identifying with them and 2) not being able to get truth from them. For example, as I was preparing my family history for Case 2, I noticed my father’s birth certificate clearly states that my grandfather is white (ok, not uncommon, all of my ancestors are listed as white) and that he was born in Texas. My paternal grandfather is most definitely not white (I could be wrong since I’m going by phenotype) and he recently won his immigration case allowing him to stay in the US after some 50+ years of living here, paying taxes, and owning a business. I’m certain he was born in Puebla. I hope I don’t get my father or grandfather in trouble, but how does that happen? Let’s pretend my father’s name is John Peterson Jr. I would assume my grandfather’s name was John Peterson and my grandmother’s name was Woman Father’slastname Mother’slastname (Spanish naming custom). Well, my grandfather must have provided a false name on the birth certificate. According to the birth certificate my grandfather’s name was John Mother’slastname. He took my grandmother’s mother’s maiden name for the birth certificate and no one questioned it!
This would probably show up as the much desired Native American I was hoping for but since it’s on my father’s side it has the potential to fade over a handful of generations. I didn’t inherit something genetically lasting from him or my paternal grandmother. I’m still young enough to be able to say DH and I would like to have children in the future, so I must ask, what would they inherit from me? Let’s say we lost our immigration case, went back to Europe and started a family. After 5 generations would I be that darker-skinned, strong-cheekboned woman in old pictures my family thinks might have been a Real Native American? I guess that happens more often than not.
At this point in my research my maternal line is still in New Mexico.
*Interesting tidbit: My paternal grandmother A. Juarez Rangel was born in 1941. I was able to find her parents on the 1940 census and her Texas credentials check out. I noted that the year before she was born, her family had some cousins staying with them that have the same last name (his real last name, not Rangel) as my paternal grandfather, her future husband. Hmmm.