European and African descendants settled the continental US during the 17th-19th centuries, coming into contact with established Native American populations. The resulting admixture among these groups yielded a significant reservoir of cryptic Native American ancestry in the modern US population. We analyzed the patterns of Native American admixture seen for the three largest genetic ancestry groups in the US population: African American, European American, and Hispanic/Latino. The three groups show distinct Native American ancestry profiles, which are indicative of their historical patterns of migration and settlement across the country.
Native American ancestry in the modern African American population does not coincide with local geography, instead forming a monophyletic group with origins in the southeastern US, consistent with the Great Migration of the early 20th century.
European Americans show Native American ancestry that tracks their geographic origins across the US, indicative of ongoing contact during westward expansion, and Native American ancestry can resolve Hispanic/Latino individuals into distinct local groups formed by more recent migration from Mexico and Puerto Rico.
We found an anomalous pattern of Native American ancestry from the US southwest, which most likely corresponds to the Nuevomexicano descendants of early Spanish settlers to the region. We addressed a number of controversies surrounding this population, including the extent of Sephardic Jewish ancestry. Nuevomexicanos are less admixed than nearby Mexican-American individuals, with more European and less Native American and African ancestry, and while they do show demonstrable Sephardic Jewish ancestry, the fraction is no greater than seen for other Hispanic/Latino populations.I.King Jordan, Lavanya Rishishwar, Andrew B Conley, "Cryptic Native American ancestry recapitulates population-specific migration and settlement of the continental United States" bioRxiv (May 30, 2018) doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/333609