How Much Native American Am I? | Blood Quantum Calculator & Chart

How Much Native American Am I? | Blood Quantum Calculator & Chart

Posted By PowWow Articles February 5th, 2019 Last Updated on: January 29th, 2021

Just got your DNA test and want to know more? Or maybe you want to validate the family stories about your heritage? If so, you may be asking, “How much Native American do I have in my blood?”

It is no surprise that many of us have a mixture of ethnicities in our blood. One of those dominates which come directly from our parents but if we consider our grandparents or our great-grandparents then the story changes a little.

A very frequently asked question is the percentage or fraction of Native American a person is and there are many ways to depict that but first, we must clear out some things so that the calculations are clearer, easier and more accurate. The real question is what percentage of a particular ethnicity you have on paper in comparison to what you have genetically.

Keep in mind that having Native American ancestry in your DNA does not make you part of a tribe. Being a certain percent Native American is more than just blood; it's about being a part of a tribe, community, and culture.

Related Info – How Much Percentage of Native American Do You Have To Be To Enroll With a Tribe

If you look at the Oral History of the family that tends to be a little inaccurate as it becomes either diluted or condensed as the time passes. 

An example of this can be seen that if someone's grandmother claims that she is 3/4th, she might not really be that because maybe she has more ethnicities that came from her grandparents further. Plus how does one have exactly 2/3rd of ethnicity because each person has four grandparents?

So yes there can be some sort of ambiguity so the story that you hear might not be the whole truth. It takes two people in each generation so the fraction can only be divisible of 2 or 4 but not 3. So in the case of grandparents it ¼ and in the case of great-grandparents, it's 1/8. This is the mathematical form to add some sort of clarity.

Blood Quantum Chart

blood quantum marty two bulls

It is not actually as hard as it sounds just because it has math in it.

Let’s take a look at it.

First and foremost we must know that the DNA of a person is diluted in half so for that reason each ancestral generation is reduced to half because it makes more sense this way. So if for instance, a person mother has 1/8 of a particular ethnicity then the person they would have a fraction of 1/16 because they inherited half of their mothers DNA. So by this, you can calculate.

After that, you find the common denominator. I know this is a lot of math but we are dealing with genetics here so this is necessary. So if you have, let's say the numbers 1/16 and 2/16 then they are easy to add because they have the same denominator. Although if you have two number with different denominators like 2/16 and 3/32 then you will make their denominators the same in order to add them. So you multiply 2/16 with two and you get 4/32. Now you can add both these fractions.

Now once you are done with this, you move on to adding the numerators or the top numbers together. Once you have added those you have the fraction of the Native American Ethnicity that you have in you on paper and you can now convert that into percentage form and know exactly. For this, you must know fractions in your family tree to make sure those are accurate.

So in simpler words, we get the equation:

Mothers blood degree + Fathers blood degree = Total blood degree/Total divided by half = Childs blood degree

Blood Quantum Calculator

blood quantum marty two bulls 2

All this mathematical game was too easy to be true. But now you have to figure out how to prove this particular information. This is where genetics step in. If we talk about Native ancestry then the answer varies upon the purpose i.e. general interest, tribal identification or tribal membership etc.

For this, you can, of course, take a DNA test from Family Tree DNA called Family Finder which will further provide you with the percentage of ethnicity you have including Native American with the addition of the list of cousin matches. You are also offered additional tests in the case of relevance to figure out if you descend from the Native person paternally (male) or matrilineally (for both the sexes).

Information that will be useful is that the Y DNA is inherited by males from their fathers and the mitochondrial DNA is always inherited by their mothers. These particular tests of the mitochondrial and Y give you very specific information. On the other hand, Family Finder provides you with the information of your ethnicity judging by all your lines giving you more in-depth and accurate information. The only thing it cannot tell you is that from which lines or line the Native American heritage came from.

The information is such that a person can be considered a full Native tribal member although the person might have just half Native American Heritage. So what do we learn from this? It is that you should always enjoy and cherish your family history and heritage. Another thing that you must keep in mind is that tribal memberships were not based on percentages in history at least not until the 1800s and early 1900s. You must also know that your ancestor was either an Indian tribal member or was not one and this is based on the tribal status of their mothers. In history, there was no concept of halfway or mixed so percentages and fractions did not really matter.

By DNA testing, the percentages will also help you figure out from where you got the Native American heritage from. The calculations are translated as:

For instance, if you are 50% / Half Blooded Quantum meaning One Parent

If you are 25% / One-Fourth Blood Quantum meaning One Grandparent

12.5% is One-Eighth Blood Quantum meaning One Great-Grandparent

6.25% is One-Sixteenth Blood Quantum meaning One Great-Great-Grandparent

And so on, showing that this is how the percentage helps pinpoint where you got your Native American heritage from.

Read more about Blood Quantum laws.

If you want to confirm Native American heritage then a DNA test is the best way. It can also do so in a variety of ways such as how is the heritage descended on you with the tests of Y and mitochondrial DNA. Depending on whether the person is a male or a female and how the person descends from his or her Native ancestors. If the person gets the Y or the mitochondrial DNA test done then there could be an abundant amount of information added in the person’s family history. In the case of some people, DNA testing is used to deduct and discover if they have a Native ancestor. So if accurate information without any ambiguity is what you are looking for then the best way to find out is through DNA testing and also finding out the percentage you have on paper.

What percentage Native American am I?

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58 thoughts on “How Much Native American Am I? | Blood Quantum Calculator & Chart

  1. Sheela J Grant says:

    Hello! It is my understanding that 23&Me & use some government documents for your estimate. It is only an estimate. The percentages, I’m told, don’t work like a pie chart. For example if it says 50% Italian & 2% Chinese, …, it doesn’t mean you are half Italian. It means you have a higher chance of having ancestors from Italy than from China based on their estimate & these estimates change over time. Also, they do not have all the samples, so they may not have a sample group for your ancestors. As for the government documents, they may be inaccurate. Some of your native ancestors who lived off the reservation may be documented on the census as “white” sometimes, at other times “black”, yet other times “mulatto” based on the census takers knowledge & experience. … I was told again that your best bet is to go by what your elders have said. They are more trustworthy than someone who stands to make money off of you. As for native heritage & nations, if someone on the nation recognizes your family as being part of their nation, then you descend from there. However, the connection may have been lost & things not documented. It doesn’t mean you can’t learn about that part of your heritage, just that you can’t be member of a tribe. Blood quantum shouldn’t matter for you the way it does with the tribes. …

  2. Denise Duarte Walker says:

    I did my DNA results and just got them back on 12/10/2020 and it shows 95% Indigenous American and 5% Sub-Saharan African/Africa (this was the first time i took my DNA then paid to have an Advanced DNA done) and when i received that on 12/10/2020 it showed 47.7% Central America, 8.2% Pima county:Sonora and 6.6%Fennoscandian (these was the top 3) but when i called the rep to have them explain this to me they informed me that i had way over 50% Native American Indian Blood and German followed by French, italian Jewish Russian and African. What is my next step i would like to learn from what tribes i am from if I am Native American

  3. Javier Nuno says:

    I found out I am 50% Native American through a dna test. I don’t know what to do with this information because I thought I was more Spanish than anything. I don’t want to claim a clan or tribe because I think it would be disrespectful but I would like to know more about my new found ancestry.
    (51.6% Native American, 37.5% Spanish/Southern European)

    • Terri Smith says:

      I am 1/16 cherokee and do have my card i have a son and daughter and the have kids of their own are the eligible to get a cherokee card to?

      • Little-Feather says:

        I wish I could manage to get my card as well. I’m like 1/4 Cherokee. I was told it came from my paternal grandmother. My mother, now passed, was supposed to have Native American, but she never did a DNA. Just wasn’t first and foremost on mind’s as we were growing up.

    • Jennifer Thorpe says:

      That’s the silliest thing I ever heard! Why would you think it would be disrespectful? Most Mexicans are native Americans Aztec Indians were native Americans..

      • Hello, my grandmother and grandfather were both full blooded Indian. I ordered the accestry DNA test and will be taking the test soon. I will be very proud to have a native American Indian heritage. I know there is more steps to take I am so excited I guess that explains why I love horses and the mountains and so many other things in life!
        Sincerely Linda

  4. If I have a baby with someone that had a parent that is an enrolled member of a Chippewa tribe and considered half and my mother was enrolled as a quarter what would are children be considered? Not quite good enough for anything or at least considered a descendant like I am at only an 1/8? Or can they be enrolled.

  5. Angelique says:

    My DNA states that I am 40% Native American. How do I find out what tribe my mother and fathers family belonged to. and also this fraction everyone is talking about Blood Quantum

  6. I’m full blooded Native American. My mother 100% Diné(Navajo) and father 100% Lakota(Sioux). I’m glad I don’t have to deal with blood quantum and my future kids. Don’t wanna lose the blood, cultures and traditions.

    • This article oversimplifies the DNA aspect. We inherit 1/2 of our DNA from our father and 1/2 of of our DNA from our mother. However, we don’t inherit exactly 1/4 of the DNA from each of our grandparents due to the randomness of what DNA is passed to us from our parents. So, we could actually have more or less DNA from a particular grandparent. On average, we could possibly get 25% of our DNA from each of our grandparents, but our actual DNA ethnicity percentages will usually not match exactly what we show “on paper.” If siblings take the same DNA test, each of their ethnicities can vary.

    • It’s nice you can say you’re recognized as full blood but I disagree that just because one is not full traditions are lost. I’m nowhere near full and I know my history and where I came from on my moms side and so do my cousins and friends that have gone on to have mixed children as well. It’s too bad tribes took away the right to be enrolled after you drop below a quarter because I look and know more then some that are considered more then me.

  7. My grandfather was 100%. So I would be 1/4 at least,( my mother has some not sure how much.) I can go on the registry. My youngest brother is already on it and he is part Italian because of his mom. I consider myself native. I just don’t hold very much of anything else and don’t look the part at all. Native genes are dominate I guess? But should I? Or having 1 grandfather 100% pointless? I’m not sure how much my father is I just know he was what they said like 80%. Is it worth the research to find out how much I am?

    • If you can prove your grandfather is or was considered a full blood Native American in that tribe that would make you a quarter of your mother or father were mixed with something else. To prove it like I did to use the IHS hospital other then where my mom was enrolled I had to show her enrollment papers and match it to my birth certificate. My grandfather was considered half because only one parent was considered full blood and he married outside making my mom a quarter which makes me able to prove myself as a descendant that way. My mom had brought me and my brothers off and on to the IHS where she is from so I was always able to go there whenever I wanted with no questions ask but I moved further away from that reservation and wanted to use White Earth in Minnesota’s hospital which is another Chippewa reservation. I was told as long as I could prove I was a descendent I would be ok. Look into it and if you can find documentation and have your birth certificate to prove who your parents are against the enrolled member you can take it from there. I had my mothers original paper and ID put away after she passed and already knew where I stood before her passing. I look more native to some then French, German or black accept I stick out more I think when I let my big curls down, but the way I look at it, it’s not my fault I’m not considered more.
      Good Luck!

  8. Amber says:

    My grandfather is 100%, I have no idea the percentage my grandmother was. My father would be 1/2 at least so I would be 1/4? My mother has native blood aswell so I’m not too sure how much. My youngest brother is on the registry. I want to get on there aswell. Considering if he can then I can aswell cause his mother is Italian so I definitely can.

  9. Maury McDonald says:

    If one parent is 2/4 and the other 4/4 what is the quantum of the child? furhter if that child has offspring with another 4/4 what then is the resulting quantum??

    • Alison Houser says:

      My great grandmother was 1/2 Cherokee and lived on Indian reservation in NC ,how much Indian does that make me?

      • 1/16. Not enough to enroll or even been seen as a descendant in most cases from what I’ve been told or read. I’m an 1/8 and only seen as a descendant since my mother was an enrolled member and only recognized as a quarter using how the tribe figures it out quantum percentages where she’s from.

  10. Adam Cook says:

    By census I am roughly 3% Croatan and Pee, by blood I’m less than 1%. Was raised Croatan, was told I was Native American all my life. DNA tests and blood percentage are just another way I feel that people are trying to extinguish our culture and people. They say we’re white people playing Indian, not upholding sacred teachings and ways of life of a people destroyed by disease, war and over 100 years of racism. I wish we could do away with these concepts and live how our grandfathers and grandmothers believed.

  11. My mother has said that her mother was from England her name is nora drake her father was Faris old or olds and he was Cherokee my mother name is febe,olds she change her name to eva olds her sister mattie olds I just trying my mother’s family

    • Quiana Wade says:

      Thank you for this clarification . Many of my family members are on the tribal council but our ancestors are so mixed . But this definitely helps . It’s hard when your down to fractions with the lineage . Oral history helps especially documents and plenty of research.

      • Lalasha Yarborough says:

        My mom is philipeno and black and my dad is Cherokee and black what percent am I?

  12. Paul Goodnough says:

    My grandmother (maternal) was born on the Indian Territories before it became Oklahoma. the 1910 US Census state that she and my Great Grandmother were “Indian” The family “tradition is that my Great Grandmother was found by settlers on the Trail from Missouri to thre territories and was brought into the family , and that she was considered “Black Dutch”. My Grandmother stated to me that her mother was from the Kiowa-Apache tribe near the Stockade of Ft. Sill. No birth records from the pre statehood days is making it hard for me to trace true lineage. the K-A were not listed as a tribe on the Dawes Rolls, so i am at a quandry.

    • My papas was the chief of Cherokee Andy mama’s was full blooded. How much do I have? I got told I’m over half

  13. Monica Verdugo- Thomas says:

    I’ve done my DNA test and it shows 63% Native American… of course this mean nothing since I’ve no clue what Tribe or anything else. At a lost as to where begin to search.

    • I got back my DNA and am 12.5 % Native American. I am like you at a lost as to where to begin my search.

    • Willow says:

      What blood tests are you guys using? I would like to do one and I know there are many different ones out there.

  14. Tammy Lyle says:

    I am 16% American native, l don’t know where l fit in and if l have a right to belong in group.

  15. Jeannette Clarke says:

    Where and what is the name of test I have to take to get the quautam test done , is it by blood or saliva ? My great grand father is Cherokee and Choctaw need percentages in blood line of blood quantum . What the name of the tests ?

  16. I do not claim any Native heritage. I am Welsh on my fathers side and English on my mothers side by birth, and yet since childhood I have identified with the Navajo people, I love to read about the country and have three Navajo pen pals. I have no idea what is inside my head and I do not share this with others as a matter of course, I just know that I have a spiritual connection. It may sound strange but it keeps me happy.

    • If my great grandfather Indian roll card says he was 1/64 Choctaw then how much am I? I know I have enough Indian blood to become a tribal member because my cousins ( my dad’s brother’s kids) are enrolled with the Choctaw nation and we are from the same generation.

    • Courtney Brown says:

      I have nothing in the blood. It only shows DNA markers to link me to a 4th great grandmother and her parents. They were Creek. But as the blood quantum calculator proves, this is how that blood is watered down. So I’m completely white. I am not allowed to claim them, and any no one in the Creek or Seminole tribes will bother with me. According to the DNA, the 5th great grandfather was someone well known. But again, I am not allowed to claim him, as too many white people do that. Even though I have DNA links to his other living descendants, and a direct line from his daughter. I may as well have never found out.

  17. mamie steeds says:

    hi i had my dna done it says i m 1percent native how do i find out how much that is and what tribe

  18. Patricia Cole says:

    I was going thru my Ancestry DNA results and i came across Chief Red Bird and it says that he is my 5th great-grandfather, does that mean that i have some Cherokee in me? Which would make me very proud.

  19. Anna Madewell says:

    hi I recently summited an Ancestry test for my DNA.the results determined I am 75% Native American. How do I go about finding out what tribe I am etc.

    • JudyAdkins says:

      By DNA testing through 23&me and I am 24.6% Native American. It seems to come from my mother’s side but was told by my paternal grandmother that she was part Cherokee and my paternal Greatgrandmother (my grandmother’s mother in law) was full blooded Blackfoot and spoke only that language. My paternal half brothers and paternal cousins do not show any Native American blood on DNA testing. Can you explain why the Native American blood is not showing up? Thanks.

      • Rose M. Richardson says:

        Simply that you need to get YOUR Dad’s DNA ran to show the genetics that resides on the Y chromosome that you do not carry. A full blood male cousin, not a half cousin would also do the trick.

  20. Tawana giffen says:

    My great grandmother and grandfather was full-blooded Cherokee what percentage would that make me

      • I am 93% Cherokee . My dad use to talk about a reservation over in the Arizona I didn’t know a whole lot about it but I know he used to want to take us to the reservation raise us up with his tribe
        I’ve been told I look a lot like the Cherokees with the dark skin and high cheekbones . I would love to get to know that part of my family something my dad always wanted my dad’s no longer around he was also very dark-skinned .

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