7/24/2013 at 2:13 AM
Since I have been very involved in updating the family tree with our ancestors, plus all the extensive DNA testing I have done to confirm the obvious, I must support the general opinion that the Aleut bloodlines have been severly diluted through the introduction of foreign-born males, primarily those who were workers for the Russian-America Company. However, it should be noted that even though these men who took Aleut wives were of Russian nationality, there weren't necessarily "white" Russians.
A close analysis of my genetic disposition, as inherited by my mother and father's distinct family lines, shows some suprising results. For instance, my degree of Aleut blood quantum is lower than my BIA certification. Also, rather than showing what I would think to be Finnish or Russian heritage, I was matched to Mordvin (Finno-Ugric), Nogai (Turkic-Mongolian) and Chuvash (Turkic-Mongolian) ethnic groups as the closest genetic matches to my SNP markers. I also had genetic matches to Russian Caucasus people, both the Lezgin and those of Vologda in Northern Russia, in addition to Ukrainian and Lithuanian. It put my total Slavic-Baltic quantum at 13% and an even larger percentage from my Turkic-Mongolian background (17.5%).
Anyway, the more I discover about the roots of our ancestors, the more I realize that we are unlikely to be exactly what we have always thought. I think this is because most people didn't realize the amount of Aleut Creoles that were the offspring of Russians, So, regardless of how we find our appearance to be and if that somehow translates into a percentage in our minds, it is best to get yourself a DNA test and be for certain.
If you truly want to know your roots and to pass that information along to the next generation, the oral history is only going to go so far. The combination of written records and DNA testing is the logical progression towards learning your real genetic identity.