How far back can you trace your family? Most of us can trace our families back for a few decades, but one Montana man can trace his much further. In fact, his DNA is the oldest in North America!
Darrell “Dusty” Crawford, a member of the Blackfeet Native American tribe, was always told that his people came to the area over a land bridge in Siberia thousands of years ago. Members of the tribe told a different story. Shelly Eli, an instructor at Blackfeet Community College, said, “We’ve always been here since time immemorial. There’s no oral stories that say we crossed a bridge or anything else.”
And she was right, at least in Dusty’s case. A DNA test traced his family back 17,000 years – that’s 55 generations! But that’s not all. The results showed that his lineage was actually older than the land bridge that connected Siberia to America.
This means that his ancestors probably came by boat instead, and from the Pacific Islands, not Siberia. His ancestors can be traced directly back to Peru and across the Pacific Ocean.
The scientific test showed that he belonged to a DNA group that lived in Arizona around 17,000 years ago.
Most people are not all of any one nationality, but instead have a mixed ancestry. For thousands of years, people have been marrying and having children with people of different races. A Caucasian person could have a mixed background with English, Scottish, German, French, or Scandinavian DNA. Many Hispanics have Native American DNA in their family lines. The same is true for Dusty. His family goes back thousands of years, but he is not fully Blackfeet. The test showed that most of his DNA is Native Americans, some is European, and he also has tiny bits of Asian and African DNA.