First National Day of Mourning, Thursday, November 26, 1970

Reblogged from MassMoments eMoments (

On This Day…in 1970, a group of Native Americans attending a Thanksgiving feast in Plymouth walked out in protest. The Indians and their supporters gathered on a hill overlooking Plymouth Rock near a statue of Massasoit, the Wampanoag leader who had greeted the Mayflower passengers 350 years earlier. The protesters spoke about their long struggle to preserve their land and culture. The fourth Thursday in November was not a day for thanksgiving and feasting, they declared, but for grieving and fasting. As most Americans continued to observe the holiday in what had become the customary way — with football, parades, and family gatherings — the native people of Massachusetts began a new tradition: a “National Day of Mourning,” held in lieu of Thanksgiving celebrations.

A century ago, when heavy immigration brought large numbers of southern and eastern Europeans to the United States, civic groups and educators set out to “Americanize” these new citizens. At settlement houses, workplaces, and public schools, immigrants were taught to see the Pilgrims as models for their own families. The story of the “First Thanksgiving” was a key element in the curriculum. The tale of Pilgrims and Indians sharing a feast of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie became part of American lore.

The problem is that the familiar version of the “First Thanksgiving” is largely a myth — a myth that misrepresents the experience of the native people at Plymouth in 1620. The traditional Thanksgiving story evokes, and is usually taught as, a benign and mutually beneficial relationship between the Pilgrims and their Indian contacts. Many Native Americans believe this happy fiction hides the truth of how they were dispossessed of their lands, their religion, and their traditional way of life when the English colonists came to Massachusetts.

Even the phrase the “First Thanksgiving” is a misnomer. The Wampanoag Indians who lived in Plymouth Colony before the arrival of the Pilgrims considered all of nature to be a sacred gift from the Creator. They had been holding ceremonies to give thanks for plentiful harvests or other good fortune from time immemorial. The English settlers were also accustomed to setting aside a day of prayerful thanksgiving for divine providences; indeed, the English proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving for their safe arrival at Jamestown years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. The celebration that took place at Plymouth in the fall of 1621 was a traditional harvest celebration. Thanksgiving Day as we now know it would not develop for another 200 years.

After an abundant harvest in the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims decided to celebrate by holding a three-day feast with games and gun-firing. One of the colonists reported, “[M]any of the Indians [came] amongst us [including Massasoit and 90 men] whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation.” Food historians say that the menu probably featured duck, geese, turkey, pumpkin, squash, corn, and fresh and dried fruits, and berries (but no pies, since there was not enough flour or butter for crusts). The Indians would have understood this as the sort of gift-giving and celebration that they were accustomed to sharing with friends and allies.

Sadly, the good relations that marked the early contact between the Plymouth colonists and the native people did not last. Within a few decades, tension between the newcomers and the native people turned to open conflict; by 1700, warfare and disease forced most of the region’s surviving Indians onto reservations controlled by whites.

Political and religious leaders continued to declare days of fasting when times were hard and days of thanksgiving prayer when they were good. By the beginning of the eighteenth century, thanksgiving days in the fall had become annual events. The morning was spent in worship at the meetinghouse; the afternoon, feasting on the fruits of the harvest. An increasingly mobile population welcomed the annual Thanksgiving as an opportunity for loved ones to return home. By the second quarter of the nineteenth century, the day was a nearly sacred family occasion in New England.

In the 1840s, Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of an influential women’s magazine, launched a campaign to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. New Englanders had taken the custom with them when they moved west, but it was observed on different dates in different states and territories. Hale hoped that a national day of thanksgiving would strengthen family ties and bring unity to a country approaching civil war. Hale finally succeeded in 1863, when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that the fourth Thursday of November be set aside to give thanks and praise for the nation’s blessings. Not surprisingly, white Southerners considered Thanksgiving a “Yankee holiday”; it was not widely celebrated in the South until the Spanish-American war reunited the nation against a common foe.

As Thanksgiving became a fixture of American culture, the story of the “First Thanksgiving,” with its misrepresentation of the native experience, remained largely unchanged. In 1970 the protest in Plymouth began the process of educating the nation about the history and survival of the Wampanoag people.


Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday, by James W. Baker, University of New Hampshire, 2009.

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War, by Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking, 2006).

Plimoth Planation’s articles on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: An American Holiday, An American History, by Diana K. Appelbaum (Facts on File Publication, 1984).

“Thanksgiving: Memory, Myth and Meaning,” in Plimoth Life, Vol. 1, 2002.

Thanksgiving Invites–Anyone Dead or Alive

Who’s On Your Guest List?

How many times in life have you been asked; “If you could invite anyone dead or alive to dinner, who would be your quests?”  And sometimes this question has a follow-up or two: “Why?” And, “What would you say to them?”

My Honored Guest List:

I would first invite Jesus Christ who has always been there for me and my family in good times and bad. He would lead us in a prayer of thanksgiving for our food and this special time together. He also would keep the conversations focused on what’s truly important in this life and impart a special message to us just before our time together ended.

For entertainment, I would invite the truly unique talent and voice of  Elvis Presley with his Jordanaire backup band. Elvis was more than a pop or rock n roll artist. His early love of music came from his spiritual and gospel beginnings.  In fact, I’d ask Elvis to sing “How Great Thou Art.”  “How Great Thou Art” appeared on the title track of Presley’s 1967 gospel album which won him his first Grammy. And then his live performance of it earned him yet another Grammy in 1974.

Mamma, Roy, and Uncle Johnny Mixing It Up with Family

And sitting around the table with today’s extended family would be my maternal grandparents, Roy and Loretta, and their son, my uncle, Johnny.  These are the people who loved and cared for me in my formative years.  These are the family members that taught me the importance of family and what it means to be a part of a nurturing environment.  I was so very blessed to have them in my life.  As I wrote in several of my posts over the past two years they all had qualities that made them larger than life in my eyes and my heart.

I recognize that my invite to them this Thanksgiving is solely selfish yet, they still could bestow their wisdom and guidance on those family members who followed after their passings and I would love for everyone to get to know these ancestors.

My grandfather, Roy, exemplified what it was to be “man of the house,” family provider, and strong in his silence rather than speak anything derogatory about others.  And, Roy could enlighten my brothers and other male family members about his days’ times and how extended families flocked together during hard times to more than just “weather through.”  Instead, families received their greatest gifts of quality times and fighting the good fights in trying times of survival mode.  Our son, Bobby, who says that Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday because of time spent with family would truly enjoy conversing with Roy.

I truly believe ’til this day that Mamma Loretta is my spiritual guide.  And, I talk with her nearly daily. I believe granddaughter Kylie and other female family members would thrive around Mamma and be in awe of some of the stories she could share from her past. Meanwhile, our daughter Jennifer and mamma could compare notes about women’s schedules of yesteryear vs. today’s women’s roles and responsibilities. Please believe me when I say my mamma was well ahead of her times and was a self-made female who shared her zest for life and confidence in going for it with me.

Uncle Johnny lived his life to the fullest in his short 37 years on this earth. He was always upbeat and full of energy.  Johnny had an overall great aura, if you will.  Everybody loved him and loved being around him because he added fun into our lives.  I just know our son and Johnny would get along famously because Jeff is so much like how I remember him.

A Line from Shapespeare…

Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow That I shall say good night till it be morrow?

Unlike today’s thanksgivings when we so look forward to having the long day of preparation, hosting, clean up, and travel home come to a close, the end of this day would be the absolute hardest despite and because of all the good times with lost loved ones and reflections of memories now past.  Here’s where we rely on our faith to get us through it.–knowing that we will all be together again some day.

It’s All About That “Baste”

To lighten this somewhat solemn and somber ending to this post, I thought I’d share this clever parody of Meghan Trainor’s It’s All About That Bass:

And, now I’m asking you–“Who would be on your guest list?”

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


What’s on the Thanksgiving Table in your Home State?

My Blog’s Second Year Anniversary

Two years ago this week I wrote my first blog post.  My purpose was to collect, clarify, authenticate, preserve, and publish all relevant genealogical information intended as a legacy to my family.  I want to leave them with as complete and accurate an accounting of our family’s past; to honor those who came before us; to remember loved ones who have passed on; and, to spiritually ground me through a greater sense of ancestral identity and history.

On this my blog’s second year anniversary, with nearly 200 posts behind me, and hopefully many more to follow, I thought I’d go back to my second post Our First Thanksgiving in Plymouth and bring it full circle to how we celebrate Thanksgiving with our families today.  As it would happen, just as I was preparing to sit down to write, a New York Times Facebook post appeared on my Facebook page “The United States of Thanksgiving: 50 states (and D.C. and Puerto Rico), 52 recipes.”  The narratives include historic information about the people and foods of the area and the interactive displays include a drop down so readers can easily navigate to their favorite state to see what’s hot for Thanksgiving there without weeding or scrolling through all of the recipes.  The recipe windows are initially displayed in their minimized form, but when you click on the + sign the recipe window expands to include a picture and a link to the New York Times Cooking section that includes their article’s full narrative for that selected state and the recipe section’s full tools and options.  So I concluded, what better way to include my family’s cultures in our traditional Thanksgiving celebrations than to highlight The Times narratives and recipes for the primary states of our ancestors origin!

Colonial Settlements of My Immigrating Ancestors

Of my nearly 11,000 documentedImmigration to America ancestors, the first ones immigrated primarily from Great Britain, Ireland, and Europe West. Upon their arrivals, they settled primarily in five of the first 13 colonies: i.,e., Jamestown, VA; Plymouth and Boston, MA; New Haven CT; Raleigh, Wake County,NC and Southern MD.  So, I will provide links to each state’s recipe page that I discovered in The Times Facebook post.

  1. Virginia:  Corn Pudding
  2. Massachusetts:  Clam and Chouriço Dressing
  3. Connecticut:  Quince with Cipollini Onions and Bacon
  4. North Carolina:  Sweet Potato Cornbread
  5. Maryland:  Sauerkraut and Apples

I believe my favorites would be Maryland’s Sauerkraut and Apples and North Carolina’s Sweet Potato Cornbread.  I’m going to give them a try for this Thanksgiving with our extended family of about 30.  I’ll let you know how well they are or aren’t accepted.  You know, most everyone is at least somewhat reticent to change–but I’m gonna give it “the old college try”.

Our Ancestors’ Periods of Sleep Differed from Ours – Are We Doing It Wrong?

Familial Sleeping Disorders

Our daughter and I have sleeping disorders which prevent us from getting a full night’s rest filled sleep.  One of the best benefits of leaving my career job a few years ago was finding time to take a nap in the afternoons (not recommended, by the way) when life’s activities permit.  But, daughter continues to suffer through ongoing sleep deprivation while being a full time wife, mother of two young teens, church volunteer, and holding down an extremely demanding supervisory job that often consumes more than 50 hours a week in commute and projects.

Sleep deprivation in and of itself is unhealthy for us.  But, I notice that we tend to hold onto or fail to close our minds to life’s pressures and to enjoy life in the moment. Proper rest helps us put our life situations into perspective.  Sleep allows our brains to help us let go of and to effectively cope with life’s emotional baggage.

So, this past year our daughter stepped up her game.  She had a physical, which showed nothing apparent that would interfere with her sleep.  She did a body cleanse, switched to clean eating and proper hydration.  She probably lost about 20 pounds (which put her at a very healthy weight ).  She maintains a steady physical exercise program (where she is the class instructor).  And she works out  strenuously about six times a week.  This year’s new addition also included adding the sport of bicycling at least once a week with a team of church friends.  Each outing includes a mostly rural ride of about 25 miles.  Now that’s a full schedule if I ever saw one.  Yet–her mind doesn’t close off the day’s activities and she dozes at best most of the night.

Well, I came upon Collective Evolution’s article today that includes scientific and historical evidence to suggest the way in which most of us sleep might not actually be good for us.  Could, in fact, daughter’s mind and body be trying to tell her there’s a better way?  See what you think and let me know.

Below is Collective Evolution’s article in its entirety:

Our Ancestors Didn’t Sleep Like We Do – Are We Doing It Wrong?
October 2, 2014 by

Evidence continues to emerge, both scientific and historical, suggesting that the way in which the majority of us currently sleep may not actually be good for us.

In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a paper that included over 15 years of research. It revealed an overwhelming amount of historical evidence that humans used to in fact sleep in two different chunks. (1)

In 2005, he published a book titled “At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past,” that included more than 500 references to a disjointed sleeping pattern. It included diaries, medical books, literature and more taken from various sources which include Homer’s Odyssey all the way to modern tribes in Nigeria and more.

“It’s not just the number of references – it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge.” –Ekrich (source)

What Was Found In The Research

Ekirch’s research found that we didn’t always sleep for an average of 8 hours straight. Instead we would sleep in two shorter periods throughout the night. All sleep would occur within a 12 hour time frame that started with 3 or 4 hours of sleep, followed by being awake for 3 hours or so and then sleeping again until the morning.

There was also some research done in the early 1990’s by psychiatrist Thomas Wehr. He conducted an experiment where 14 people were put into complete darkness for 14 hours a day for an entire month. By the fourth week the participants were able to settle into a very distinct sleeping pattern. The pattern was the same as Ekirch suggested of how we were meant to sleep; the subjects slept for approximately 4 hours, woke for another few and then went back to sleep until morning. (2)

“Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society. By the 1920’s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.” (source)


Possible Reasons As To Why It Was Like This

One reason could be that this type of segmented sleep is what really comes natural to the human body, at least that’s what Wehr’s experiment suggests, but there are other theories.

Historian Craig Koslofsky suggests:

“Associations with night before the 17th Century were not good.  The night was a place populated by people of disrepute – criminals, prostitutes and drunks. Even the wealthy, who could afford candlelight, had better things to spend their money on. There was no prestige or social value associated with staying up all night.”(source)

Things changed, however, in 1667 when Paris became the first city in the world to light its streets, and eventually throughout Europe staying up at night became the social norm, and then the industrial revolution happened:

“People were becoming increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency, certainly before the 19th Century, but the industrial revolution intensified that attitude by leaps and bounds.” (source)

Eventually, we got to the point where parents were forcing their children to sleep at a certain time, and forced them out of the segmented sleeping pattern that was more dominant.

Many Sleeping Problems May Have Roots In The Human Body’s Natural Preference For Segmented Sleep

Ekirch believes that many modern day sleeping problems have roots in the human body’s natural preference for segmented sleep. He believes that our historical sleeping patterns could be the reason why many people suffer from a condition called “sleep maintenance insomnia,” where individuals wake in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep. This type of condition first appeared at the end of the 19th century, approximately the same time segmented sleep began to die off.

For most of evolution we slept a certain way. Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology.The idea that we must sleep in a consolidated block could be damaging, he says, if it makes people who wake up at night anxious, as this anxiety can itself prohibit sleep and is likely to seep into waking life too.”  – Psychologist Greg Jacobs (source)

According to Russell Foster, a professor of circadian [body clock] neuroscience at Oxford:

Many people wake up at night and panic. I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern. But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural. Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centers where sleep is studied.” (source)

As far as what people did during this in between time of wakefulness, Ekirch’s research suggests that they primarily used the time to meditate on their dreams, read, pray or partake in spiritual practices.

Related CE Articles:

The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions and How They Affect Your Health 

Alternative Sleep Cycles: 7 – 10 Hours Are Not Needed

How Cumulative Sleep Debt Is Impacting Your Brain Functioning and Alertness





Rated BP-14

This Post contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age

When both your parents have Alzheimer’s dementia you often live your life in the midst of turmoil with only an occasional few moments of reprieve from strife, unrest, anxiety, confusion, and other medical maladies.  That pretty much describes my yesterday. And then, after spending the night and regulating blood pressures, blood sugars, and personalities, there comes a totally unexpected moment that returns love and laughter to the family mix.

Does this happen with your family during mealtime? Or, is it just a phenomenon in ours?

It happened while at the lunch table and the parents “quite normally” started discussing/comparing bodily fluids and functions.  So, our family’s octogenarian patriarch adds a recitation to the conversation, as follows:
man on toilet

Now I’m sitting in all my bliss,

Listening to the trickling piss,

Every once in a while a fart is heard

Which gives the warning of a coming turd! –AHHHH

All of us–mom, dad and me–belly laughed. Here I am in my 60’s, and never before have I heard my dad come out with this little rhyme. But it will always be one of those funny moments not soon forgotten and one that I quickly shared with the rest of the fam via instant messaging!

And for those of you interested in the poem’s author–I couldn’t find one when I searched online.  Gheez, could it be a dad original?  He does remain a man of unfiltered communication, one of quick wit and also one on occasion who has been known to be full of it.  With my forever love and respect, I share this my readers in hopes those in similar situations who need a laugh found one in this post.

D’ya Ever Attend a “Reveal” Party?

  As 60 Minutes nonagenarian reporter Andy Rooney used to say; “D’ya ever…”


Well, I’m saying it now; “D’ya ever attend a “reveal” party?”  I would bet Andy in all his 92 years never did.  Reveal parties are a new 21st century phenomenon that began in the United States, possibly on the Today Show  in 2010 when TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting reality TV persons Josh and Anna Duggar cut into a cake that was dyed pink inside to learn that they were expecting a baby girl.

Yes, some expectant parents are inviting family and friends to share their reactions to their “boy or girl” news — a trend that some have called “presumptuous” and “narcissistic,” while a growing number of expectant parents are embracing the excuse to party before delivery!  So, when family called for a celebratory occasion, I kept an open mind and looked at the reveal party as another life experience opportunity–and, to do life with family.

How does it work?

My grandchildren had their ultra-sound doctor write down the baby’s gender and seal the news in an envelope. Vowing not to peek, they gave the envelope to a friend who made the color filled cake (pink or blue) based on the ultra-sound results.

Boy or girlWhen we arrived we were given our choice to wear a pink or blue beaded necklace to display our personal gender prediction.  I chose blue.  They also had a large gift-wrapped box that was taken outdoors to open.  When the expectant parents unwrapped it, a bouquet of gender appropriate balloons floated up to the sky.

Then, we all sat down to a great spaghetti dinner prepared by our party’s host–our daughter-in-law.


But, what about party gifts?

Nope.  I researched for proper gender reveal party etiquette.  No baby gifts!  We did however choose to take a bottle of wine for our hosts, as you would for other dinner invitations.  We just knew that after the event had ended and all the clean up was done, that the grand parents to be could surely use a nice relaxing sip or two.

All in all, it was a fun time and another opportunity for the two families and friends united by their children’s relationship to meet and greet and share good times before the big event.

Oh, did I forget to mention?

It’s a boy!



Blessed Assurance

“Blessed Assurance” is a well-known Christian hymn. Fanny J. Crosby, famed blind hymn writer wrote the lyrics in 1873 to the music written by Phoebe Palmer Knapp, (both were members of the St. John’s Methodist Church in New York City).

It may have been blind Miss Crosby’s example that encouraged Phoebe Palmer Knapp (1839-1908) to write the tunes for more than 500 hymns.

As the story goes, Fanny was visiting her friend Phoebe at her family’s home in Brooklyn when a large pipe organ was being installed.  So, Phoebe played a new melody she had just composed on a piano. When Knapp asked Crosby, “What do you think the tune says?”, Crosby replied, “Blessed assurance; Jesus is mine.”

The hymn appeared in the July 1873 issue of Palmer’s Guide to Holiness and Revival Miscellany, a magazine printed by Phoebe’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. W. C. Palmer, of 14 Bible House, New York City. It appeared on page 36 (the last page) with complete text and piano score, and indicated it had been copyrighted by Crosby that year. It is not certain that this was the first printing of the hymn, but it certainly helped popularize one of the most beloved hymns of all time.

As to Fanny’s inspiration for the lyrics, it is believed that she may have derived them from Hebrews 10:22 “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings…;” or, Philippians 1:21  “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Well, it just so happens that the Arts Director at our church is named Daniel  C. Palmer. Daniel is a graphic artist, song writer, singer, keyboardist, guitarist originally from Texas–whether there is an ancestral connection to Phoebe Palmer Knapp, I’m not sure).  But, our video rendition over 140 years later of Fanny and Phoebe’s Blessed Assurance song below (recorded at our church on August 3, 2014), is my way of sharing my love for this ever growing community.  Here, we believe you will see we are more than ministries and sermons–we are devoted to doing life together through our love of Jesus Christ.  Daniel Palmer is lead keyboardist and backup singer, Dana Robinson is lead vocalist; and, Chesapeake Church’s very own Reverend Robert Hahn, plays lead guitar on this occasion in Huntingtown, MD.

I hope you enjoy this old-time hymn that I recorded from my camera phone from our auditorium that is now being renovated to make room for others to join us. If you’re in our neighborhood, I hope you will check us out.

‘Great Surprise’—Native Americans Have West Eurasian Origins

November is National Native American Heritage Month.  In honor of this occasion, below I share with you National Geographic’s article from November 2013:

“Great Surprise”—Native Americans Have West Eurasian Origins

Photo of a Native American mounted on his horse.

Native Americans may have a more complicated heritage than previously believed.


Brian Handwerk

National Geographic


Nearly one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe, rather than entirely from East Asians as previously thought, according to a newly sequenced genome.

Based on the arm bone of a 24,000-year-old Siberian youth, the research could uncover new origins for America’s indigenous peoples, as well as stir up fresh debate on Native American identities, experts say.

The study authors believe the new study could also help resolve some long-standing puzzles on the peopling of the New World, which include genetic oddities and archaeological inconsistencies. (Explore an atlas of the human journey.)

“These results were a great surprise to us,” said study co-author and ancient-DNA specialist Eske Willerslev, of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

“I hadn’t expected anything like this. A genome related to present-day western Eurasian populations and modern Native Americans as well was really puzzling in the beginning. How could this happen?”

So what’s new?

The arm bone of a three-year-old boy from the Mal’ta site near the shores of Lake Baikal in south-central Siberia (map) yielded what may be the oldest genome of modern humans ever sequenced.

DNA from the remains revealed genes found today in western Eurasians in the Middle East and Europe, as well as other aspects unique to Native Americans, but no evidence of any relation to modern East Asians. (Related: “Is This Russian Landscape the Birthplace of Native Americans?”)

A second individual genome sequenced from material found at the site and dated to 17,000 years ago revealed a similar genetic structure.

It also provided evidence that humans occupied this region of Siberia throughout the entire brutally cold period of the Last Glacial Maximum, which ended about 13,000 years ago.

Why is it important?

Prevailing theories suggest that Native Americans are descended from a group of East Asians who crossed the Bering Sea via a land bridge perhaps 16,500 years ago, though some sites may evidence an earlier arrival. (See “Siberian, Native American Languages Linked—A First [2008].”)

“This study changes this idea because it shows that a significant minority of Native American ancestry actually derives not from East Asia but from a people related to present-day western Eurasians,” Willerslev said.

“It’s approximately one-third of the genome, and that is a lot,” he added. “So in that regard I think it’s changing quite a bit of the history.”

While the land bridge still formed the gateway to America, the study now portrays Native Americans as a group derived from the meeting of two different populations, one ancestral to East Asians and the other related to western Eurasians, explained Willerslev, whose research was published in the November 20 edition of the journal Nature.

“The meeting of those two groups is what formed Native Americans as we know them.” (Learn more about National Geographic’s Genographic Project.)

What does this mean?

Willerslev believes the discovery provides simpler and more likely explanations to long-standing controversies related to the peopling of the Americas.

“Although we know that North Americans are related to East Asians, it’s striking that no contemporary East Asian populations really resemble Native Americans,” he said.

“It’s not like you can say that they are really closely related to Japanese, Chinese, or Koreans, so there seems to be something missing. But this result makes a lot of sense regarding why they don’t fit so well genetically with contemporary East Asians—because one-third of their genome is derived from another population.”

The findings could also allow reinterpretation of archaeological and anthropological evidence, like the famed Kennewick Man, whose remains don’t look much like modern-day Native American or East Asian populations, according to some interpretations.

“Maybe, if he looks like something else, it’s because a third of his ancestry isn’t coming from East Asia but from something like the western Eurasians.” (Read about history’s great migration mysteries.)

What’s next?

Many questions remain unanswered, including where and when the mixing of west Eurasian and East Asian populations occurred.

“It could have been somewhere in Siberia or potentially in the New World,” Willerslev said.

“I think it’s much more likely that it occurred in the Old World. But the only way to address that question would be to sequence more ancient skeletons of Native Americans and also Siberians.”

Intriguing questions also exist about the nature of the advanced Upper Paleolithic Mal’ta society that now appears to figure in Native American genomes.

The Siberian child “was found buried with all kinds of cultural items, including Venus figurines, which have been found from Lake Baikal west all the way to Europe.

“So now we know that the individual represented with this culture is a western Eurasian, even though he was found very far east. It’s an interesting question how closely related this individual might have been to the individuals carving these figurines at the same time in Europe and elsewhere.”