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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Dorsett People and DNA

My newest dog Holly is a mysterious dog. She arrived on my front porch after roaming about a mile away close to the river. She weighed 23 pounds. I am guessing she was not killed for food by coyotes in that I cut off about 6 inches of matted hair off of her. A mouth full of hair protected her body.

She is now a beauty of undetermined origins. The Vet said if I had a spare $50 I could send her DNA off to find out what sort of dog she was. I think good dog is good enough for me.

But DNA is something we all can do to find our ancient ancestors from thousands of years ago to hundreds of years ago. has recently told me I share DNA with the early settlers of Georgia and Florida and the early settlers of Virginia and North Carolina. This was no big surprise to me in that I know the migration paths of my family in addition to the fact that all four of my grandparent's families go back to early to mid 1600s.

This leads to the third community Ancestry linked me to which was middle Mississippi. This group is due to the fact that the early colonist formed what is called an endogamous group. There was not that many of them. So they married cousins and a lot genetic material of this group makes many distant cousins today appear to be fourth cousins.

The Dorsett People originally lived in Northwestern Canada. They were replaced by the Thule people who became the modern day Inuit people. Vikings came to this region and encountered people who may very well have been the Dorsett people.

What happened to the Dorsett?
Dorset stone long house 02
Remains of a Dorsett Longhouse, Cambridge Bay Weather
There was shared technology of the day shared from Dorsett to the Thule. The Thule describe the Dorsett in their oral histories. They describe how the Dorsetts were tall and ran away easily. The Dorsetts did not use bow and arrows to hunt land mammals. They chipped holes in the ice to capture sea mammals for food. Intricate art and a rich culture was left behind by the Dorsett.

Ours nageant (Musée du quai Branly) (3034045389)
dalbera, Musee de quai Branly, Paris, France
The Dorsett were active between 500 BCE (BC) until 1500 CE (AD). The Thule began migrating into Greenland around the 11th Century. From the pattern of the rapid migration of the Thule, the Dorsett's strong adaptation to living in a polar climate probably facilitated their adaptation and spread.

DNA evidence indicates that the Thule and Dorsett did not intermarry. Archeological evidence indicates that the Dorsett were in steep decline about the time Thule invaded with their superior warfare ability. They thought a small tribe called the Sadlermiut that lived in Northern part of the Hudson Bay could have been the Dorsett. But their DNA indicates they were related to modern day Tuniit. Unfortunately, the last members of the Sadlermiut died out around 1902 due to European diseases.


  1. Wow, that's intriguing and rather sad. I've thought about the
    DNA testing but that is as far as I've gone with it.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

    1. You will be surprised how interesting the test results turn out to be. I was not wanting to spend the money. It seemed like a waste. However, my mother was tested and comparing hers to mine made it quite interesting. But I can understand not doing it. It is like how much I thought a cellphone was a waste of money at first and then I was hooked. Of course no where as useful as a cellphone.

  2. That's very interesting, I don't know much about this topic so I thought Inuits were the first. Thank you for your teaching!

    Today on my Journey To Courageous Living D is Daring to be gentle with yourself: come, check it out.

    1. I had something to pop up about Vikings and the Thule somewhere as I browsed the internet. Sad to think the whole lot are gone forever.


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