Autosomal DNA Results and Indie [Jackson]

[I recently received a question from a friend whose DNA results I manage.]

Q: I was looking over these results & I’m confused. I have always been told that my biological father’s mother was like half Cherokee Indian. I didn’t see any makers on the results for that. Could you please explain?

A: DNA test results are intended to help interpret known genealogical situations as well as to provide basic genetic information. So, Let’s take a look at both.

On the Genealogical Side:

Your biological father’s parents were Elmer and Lura.

Lura’s parents were George Scoggins & Minnie Estelle Jackson. If Lura was half Cherokee, one of her parents must have been full Cherokee.

The 1900 Census shows George living with his parents, all of whom are identified as white. I haven’t found them in the 1880 Census, but George’s father, Sylvanus “Bud” Scoggins is in the 1870 Census also as white. So, it doesn’t appear that George would be the source for Lura being Cherokee.

The 1900 Census shows Minnie Estelle Jackson with her parents, all of whom are identified as white. I don’t have anything on her parents, James H. Jackson and Indie E. (?) before 1900. Now, Indie (or India) is an interesting name. I suppose it is possible she was Cherokee, but if so, based upon the 1900 census, which said she was white, she is more likely white. That said, family stories often get twisted in the retelling. Knowing that Minnie’s mother’s name was India, I can speculate that the name could of morphed to Minnie’s mother was Indian. Because this took place in Georgia, a Cherokee land, I can see how if people thought that Minnie’s mother was Indian, she had to be Cherokee.

On the Genetic Side:

You inherited about 50% of your DNA from your father.

He inherited about 50% of his DNA from Lura and you received about 25% of your DNA from Lura.

Lura inherited about 50% of her DNA from Minnie and you received about 12.5% of your DNA from Minnie.

Minnie inherited about 50% of her DNA from Indie and you received about 6.125% of your DNA from Indie.

If Minnie was 100% Cherokee, I’d expect you to have about 6.125% Native American. DNA has a “stickiness” that results in the actual transfer of DNA not being 50% every time, but more like 45-55% every time. If Indie was 100% Native American, and every generation dropped more Native American markers, I could easily see your Native American amount to be between 4% and 8%. (100x.45x.45x.45x.45).

Your Family Tree DNA results indicated 99% Europe and 1% Central Asian.


All this said, DNA testing ethnic makeup is not an exact science. When the testing companies indicate your ethnicity, they are comparing your markers to people from the area with, purported long ties to the place, to the markers you have. It isn’t an exact science, but much better than existed only a few years ago.

Certainly, I would want to do more research on Indie E [Jackson] before I gave a definitive answer to your question, but at this point, I suspect that a family story metamorphed. I suspect that the name India/Indie became race of Indian and her being Indian became her being Cherokee.

Of course, I could be totally wrong. As I say, DNA results aren’t definitive, but I think the Indie story makes a lot of sense. I’d hold onto that notion until we find something that contradicts it.

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mtDNA & Minerva Tolliver Mannin

A cousin recently asked about Minerva Tolliver Mannin(g)’s Native American background. She wondered “if [I] have any evidence that Enoch and Minerva Mannin were Cherokee?” I told her that I no such evidence and I don’t believe she did (because of my X-Chromosome analysis). I then pointed her to my blog article “DNA, the X Chromosome & Minerva Tolliver Manning.”  Then, I thought about the issue a bit more.

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is quite simple. You receive your mtDNA from your mother. I received mine from my mother, but my son received his from his mother and none from me. Also, mtDNA doesn’t change much over time. That means my mtDNA is the same as my mother’s, which is the same as her mother’s (Madonna Montran), which is the same as her mother’s (Ida Barber), which is the same as her mother (Sarah Blackhurst), and the same as her mother (Fanny Taylor).
The same process is true for Minerva Tolliver Mannin(g)’s descendants. All of her children have her mtDNA, however, only her daughters carry that DNA on to their children. To prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Minerva was Native American, if we find a descendant of her daughter’s daughter’s daughter and that person is tested, the haplogroup that descendant is in would prove the descendant was Native American.
Haplogroup Migration Map
Courtesy of
Native Americans have mtDNA haplogroups A, B, C, D, and sometimes X. My mtDNA haplogroup is T2b, which clearly identifies my maternal ancestry to be from Europe. If the female descendants of Minerva are A, B, C, or D, we can be certain that Minerva was Native American. I Minerva’s female descendants are I, J, K or T, U, V, or W, we can be fairly certain that Minerva’s female ancestry was from Europe.
The key in using mtDNA for genealogy, or any DNA for that matter, is to determine who should be tested in order to prove a particular question. In this case, the proof comes from finding a child of the female line of Minerva and have that individual tested.
I’ll admit, my research into descendants of Minerva is not complete. I welcome anyone who has information regarding her descendants, particularly female descendants, to help me fill in the many blanks and gaps that I have. That said, this is what I think I know.
Minerva Tolliver Mannin(g) had five daughters, Nancy Ann, Sarah Jane, Mary Ermaline, Gresella, and Prudence.
Nancy Ann married Jessie Monroe Barnett. They had four daughters
·      Flora Belle, Sarah A. Sadie, and Nettie. I have no further information regarding Sarah, Sadie, or Nettie.
·      Flora Belle married George Wesley Horn. They had two or three girls, two of whom died as children. One child, Helen Elvira Horn, married Harold Anderson and lived until 1968. I have no records regarding her children.
Sarah Jane married Joseph Hatfield Bryant. They had five daughters.
·      Nancy Ellen Bryant married John M Horn. They had one girl that I know of, Mary A. Horn. I have no marriage information or children information regarding her.
·      Adella Mamie Bryant married Elmer Boaz Knowles. They had five daughters. One died as a child, leaving four to consider.
·      Elsie Lillian Knowles married Vernon Smalley. I have not information about any children of theirs.
·      Clara Lavina Knowles married Luther Elbert Parker. I know of one child of theirs Elsie Joan Parker.
·      Lorraine Grace Knowles married Richard Markham Taylor. They had three daughters, two of whom may still be living. I also have information regarding several of those children’s children, so this line may be my best area of further inquiry and contacts.
·      Bessie Katherine Knowles married Albert Dickerman. They had one daughter that I know of, Lillian Katherine Dickerman.
Mary Ermaline married Thomas N Jones. I know of no children of them.
Gresella (or Greselle) is a mystery to me. I have no marriage or child information regarding her.
Finally, there is Prudence. I believe she was married twice. Once to Frank P. Bare and again to someone surnamed McDonald. I don’t know of any children that she had.


If you are descended from any of these individuals, I would really like to hear from you. I would like to fill in Minerva’s descendants as well as I can. Please contact me either through commenting on this blog posting, directly via my email address (dontaylor50 (at), or though Facebook (
I will also try to contact any of the descendants that I do know of, particularly in the Knowles, Taylor line and see if any of them would be interested in doing a mtDNA test to prove conclusively if Minerva was Native American or not.
I plan to continue working on my own and fill in whatever descendants that I can.

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