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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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carl

My mother was a purebred Choctaw and through Ancestry I am finding many relatives in Mississippi who are recorded as “Mulatto”. They had a close relationship as a mixed African Americans with the Creek and Choctaw.

I want to know can Mulatto be half Indian too because there are not any Caucasian in our family in the 1700-1900’s?

Dallas LeDoux

Hello my percentage is 19/32 how much would that be actually like less then half or more then half how close is that to being full blood

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Sheela J Grant

Hello! It is my understanding that 23&Me & Ancestry.com 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. …

Denise Duarte Walker

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

Sandi

Search for DNA Consultants website and their Native American DNA study. Purchase a kit, submit it, and they will break down all of your indigenous ethnicities.

Javier Nuno

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

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

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.

Rachael Smith

No, if you are 1/16, you kids would be 1/32, which isn’t enough DNA to be considered for membership. It takes a minimum of 1/16th to be considered a member.

Jennifer Thorpe

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..

Linda Wilson

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

Noah

he didn’t say Mexican, he said Spanish…

Angelita

I am 70% Navajo. I need more information how can I register

Roxanne

Where do you live. This will help you find your tribe.

Tricia

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.

Angelique

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

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