Changing Planet

Genographic Project DNA Results Reveal Details of Puerto Rican History

Let’s go back 520 years ago to the year 1494 on the island of Vieques, off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico’s mainland.

Tainos, the largest indigenous Caribbean population, were living a life based on the cultivation of root crops and fishing when upon the shores arrived Columbus and his fleet, having crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the second time in as many years. At that point in time everything changed.

What’s written on paper has told us much about what happened next. What’s written in the DNA of today’s Puerto Ricans can tell us some more.

(Photo by B. Anthony Stewart/National Geographic Creative)

National Geographic’s Genographic Project researches locations where different groups historically intermixed to create a modern day melting pot. Collaborating with 326 individuals from southeastern Puerto Rico and Vieques, the Genographic Project conducted the first genetic testing in the area with the goal to gain more information about their ancient past and learn how their DNA fits into the human family tree. The results, just published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, paint a picture of vast historic complexity dating back some 5,000 years, to the first Caribbean peoples.

Our Genographic team learned some key pieces of information that helped us gain more insight into the peopling of the Caribbean. Most surprisingly, we found that roughly 60% of Puerto Ricans carry maternal lineages of Native American origin. Native American ancestry, higher than nearly any other Caribbean island, originated from groups migrating to Puerto Rico from both South and Central America. Analysis of the Y Chromosome DNA found that no Puerto Rican men (0%) carried indigenous paternal lineages, while more than 80% were West Eurasian (or European).

This leads us to conclude that the Y chromosomes (inherited strictly paternally) of Tainos were completely lost in Puerto Rico, whereas the mitochondrial DNA (inherited strictly maternally) survived long and well. This stark difference has been seen in other former colonies (Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica), but the gender dichotomy appears strongest in the Spanish-speaking Americas. A look into the rest of the Puerto Rican genome using the Genographic Project’s custom genotyping tool, the GenoChip, sheds some light on what may have happened during Spanish colonial times to create this ancestral imbalance.

The average Puerto Rican individual carries 12% Native American, 65% West Eurasian (Mediterranean, Northern European and/or Middle Eastern) and 20% Sub-Saharan African DNA. To help explain these frequencies in light of the maternal and paternal differences, I used basic math and inferred that it would take at least three distinct migrations of hundreds of European men each (and practically no European women) to Puerto Rico, followed by intermixing with indigenous women. It also would necessitate the complete decimation of indigenous men (but not women), to account for those numbers. These results are surprising and also shed light into a dark colonial past that, until now, had remained somewhat unclear.

Migration Map
(Map courtesy The Genographic Project)

These types of analyses, not just across the Caribbean or the world, but across a specific population’s DNA, can have strong historical implications and at the same time help paint a new picture of world history. Learn more about how DNA can inform you about your own personal past, and help us uncover some new secrets of world history by joining The Genographic Project.

Dr. Miguel Vilar is the Science Manager for National Geographic's Genographic Project. Miguel is also a molecular anthropologist and a science writer. His fieldwork has taken him to remote places throughout the South Pacific, East Africa, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean. In the laboratory he researches the modern genetic diversity of human populations from Melanesia, Micronesia, North and Central America, and the Caribbean. Miguel has published in several anthropology and genetics journals, as well as popular science magazines.
  • Laura Santiago

    This is exciting. Thanks, can’t wait to submit my swab to NG.

  • Aleida Encarnacion

    Me hice esta prueba hace alrededor de 3 años. Soy de Vieques, Puerto Rico y mi resultado es Haplogrupo A2. Con este articulo puedo entender porqué uno de mis compañeros se molestó al recibirlos, ya que creía ser indio y salió europeo. Me interesa tener más información sobre mi proveniencia a ver si algún día podemos encontrarnos.

  • J Rivera

    I am Puertorican and paid for my genetic composition privately just to find out “who I am” I found I am 71.4% European with varying degrees of Iberian, Italian, French, German, Ukrainian and Ashkenazi Jew! 10.6% Native American 7.5% Sub-Saharan African 0.1% Middle Eastern and 10.2% “Unassigned” happy to be a true melting pot recipient!

  • Ilia Bauman

    Very interesting facts. I wonder about my own a
    family tree.

  • Nelson W. Canals

    The basic findings of your reseach has already helped to build the foudations of a novel project to restore the sovereigty that the Tainos had over their original teritory, BORIKEN. The social movement BORICUAS POR UN NUEVO PAÍS has declare that BORIKEN is our original Mother Land and not Spain or the USA. We need your help to better define the “BORICUA GENOMA” that could stablish our biological base. You coul write me to my E-Mail or call me ; 787-344-7668

  • Rodrigo Cruz

    INTERESANTIIMA INFORMACION….como maestro le hare llegar la misma a mis estudiantes…gracias y adelante.

  • Eugenio Alvarez

    Based on percentages besides the 3% unknown DNA our ancestry is mostly European then African followed by Native American; why waste energy about Boriken as a new motherland? There is nothing noble about this new movement Nelson it just tries to create another separation on human race. Yes it’s in our background and blood but surely is not a majority.

  • Ana Torres

    I am interested in knowing my ancestors and my Taino Dna…How do I find out.


  • Jaime Pereira

    Nelson Canals. Your “social movement” holds as much relevance to our political future, as it would to consult the spirits of our dead Tainos on this matter. Your declaration of Borikén as our original motherland is an exercise in redundancy, as this is a point we all understand and is not up for debate.

  • Yvette Martinez

    How does one become able to participate in this study?

  • Andes Guerra-Mondragon

    I have a feeling the Tainos were part of a global tribe of island people extending as far as French Polinesia due to the similarities in the art they left behind and their “ato” configuration of thei habitats.

  • D Kirby

    Mr. Canals,
    Not only does the genetic history support your project’s hopes and desires, so do I and, surely, many others. The decimation of the indigenous male population and theft of your nation are an historical disgrace. Best wishes for the success of your project, Sir. The GenoGraphic Project is doing wonderful work.

  • Gaspar

    Los espan~oles estaban mas mezclado que una batida de 20 sabores antes de venir a Puerto Rico, durante cientos sino miles de an~os se mezclaron con moros,nordicos ,romanos, judios,celtas,grecos y solo dios sabe cuantas otras razas.

    • Lisy

      Sî, es cierto. Acabo de ver un documental “Las llaves de la memoria” por el director andaluz, Jesús Armesto, que busca la raíz de la identidad mestiza en Andalucía y unica en Europa.

  • David Valentin

    I recently had my DNA analyzed by 23&me, i meet the criteria you described European,African and Amerindian . Also I have Jewish, middle eastern, British and south Asian Indian heritage. PR’s geneology is very diverse and complex. My maternal family is from vieques

  • Tito Stevens

    I was born and raised in San Juan, P.R., and lived there until I was 18 years old. My Geno 2.0 results are as follows:
    51% Mediterranean 26% Northern European 19% Southwest Asian 2% Native American
    Note: In some cases regional percentages may not total 100%.
    Not a drop of Taino blood or anything else except the mix of Southwest Asian and Native American..
    So, what does that make me?

  • JJ

    Nelson, déjate de payasadas.

  • Jessica Torres

    We are 65% Eurasian…how is Spain NOT our motherland? Live in Peace and quit with this nonsense. Without the US, PR would be like Cuba or Haiti…third world. Awful. Leave it alone.

  • Eduardo Torrech

    I would like to read about the geological formation of the Antilles Islands and how they come to be the way they are.

  • samantha

    Ok, now tell us something new us pertoricans didnt know. -_- we were taught this first grade. And infact the women were rapped not willingly intermixed. Yes it a dark past but this old news. and not all full blooded tainos were wiped clean. Some escaped into other islands like Cuba, dominican republic, and other surrounding places some even leading to Florida. And guessing this a dna project is of very few selected people. There are puerto ricans who have a higher percentage in their native roots. Just so you know.

  • Ivonne

    What do you mean when you refer that the average Puerto Rican individual carries 12% of Native American DNA? Native Americans may refer to indigenous peoples in North and South America. I would like to know the specifics.

  • Luis Bruno

    No surprise. Columbus and his gang arrived killed the males raped the women.

  • Karen

    Wao! not surprise with the results! We have blend so many times that is amazing! Now it would be nice to see if the same results would come out from the southwest part of the island and the central part of the island, since we r closer in the west to two of the countries,that back then had the most African origin population and the central where people tend to be more fair skin and lighter color eyes

  • steve

    Thanks National Geographic for sharing this article ..

  • Ariel Ayala

    Very interesting. Decimation of indigenous men (Tainos), is unclear. But base on different accounts, many perished to hard labor,deceases and slavery, but the majority escape to neighboring islands, joining forces with their former enemies the Caribbean. Since they lost everything to the Europeans, including their women…

  • Sandra Cubi-Harris

    I found the genographic results enlightening and it has fueled my curiosity to find out more about my own family’s DNA. As a child and adolescent my history lessons of Puerto Ricans included mythology of the Tainos escaping obliteration in the hills of the island. It would seem that the males did not. Many of the stories I heard growing up included claims of having direct Taino lineage as a result. Further exploration is certainly warranted.

  • Olga Valentin Reyes

    would love to find out more about your efforts.


  • Antonio

    Great article but I think that limiting your gene pool to the southeast of the island and Vieques area could mislead some results. All over the island you can find people with Taino heritage, specially on the center of the island and the northwest, that there’s a self proclaimed Taino community which could shed some light on the Taino genetical lineage

  • Nsantiago

    Most of our paternal ancestors were murderers and rapists. I guess history is written in blood and tears.

  • mayra

    am so happy somebody finally think like me I really like to know

  • Francoise Padro

    I would like to participate. I’m born and raised in Puerto Rico.

  • jose f cruz

    Viequez had 9 diferent flags before belonging to P.R. Including Dutch
    I belong to a taino tribe by maternal birth an d paterna birth
    My wife is caribe from viequez by mother and taino by father. And my dougter is 50-50

  • Felix H. Alomar Pabon

    I took this test but with FamilyTreeDna and my results are: Direct Paternal Ydna R1b-P312-DF27 European and direct Maternal Mtdna H European…My Population Finder results are:

    Europe (Western European): French, Spanish 44.87%
    Middle East: Druze, Jewish 24.13%
    Native American: Maya, Columbian 16.85%
    Africa (West African): Yoruba, Mandenka 14.15%

  • Eli Encarnacion

    When you mentioned in your studies the geographical outline did you include that European migration is the lead source of all migrating nations including the USA.

  • Marisol Suárez

    Greetings for your study! I would really like to keep receiving more information about its progress! Nevertheless, when we, puertoricans talked with our grandparents many, many of them informed about their ancestors and, yes, a great number of them were European males who migrated to our Island and intermixed with indigenous women(among other ethnic mixes). This is well known in our Island, and, with truly due respect, so it is our colonial past: not a surprise for us!!!

  • Maria E. Cordeiro-Hernandez

    Nelson, te deje mensaje en tu telefono, pero me interesa mas informacion del proyecto, he estado viajando a la Isla por lo menos cada 3 meses en el ultimo a~o, entre otras cosas tratando de conseguir casa para regresar luego de mas de 30 a~os de “exilio” por razones personales, no siguiendo ningun sue~o Americano. Lo que me saco de la Isla ya no es un peligro para mi vida. Pero pienso que si logro regresar puedo hacer una difernencia en un pais donde la ignorancia, el odio y la intolerancia, han llegado a niveles ridiculos pues siempre son los mismos ignorantes gritando. Volviendo al proyecto, dejame saber que abarca y hacia donde se dirige. Mi numero de telefono es (774)328-8364. Espero recibir contestacion.

  • Luis A. Covas Sr.

    I wonder what would have been the result if instead of the southeastern part of P.R. the study would have been of the central mountain region of the Island. Is a known fact that area persisted with Spaniard descendants (white blue eyes) and last strong hold of Tainos seeking refuge (Guayama-Carite-Cayey, Utuado, Adjuntas ).

  • Luis M. Guzmán

    Excelente información.Me es de sumo interés.A sus órdenes.

  • maria feliciano

    I would love to know how to fine info..of my heretige….

  • HC

    Nelson…., is your comment based on the hopes to instigate a personal political agenda??? Hummmmm???
    If so, rest assure that PR does not have any desire to be part of Spain. That is past history. Today, Spain offers nothing to the world as they are having huge problems, certainly, not having to add more to their plate, or us Puertorican. I be part of Native American Heritage than be part of the murderers Spaniards who committed attrocities against the Tainos in the name of religion and gold.
    No to Spain. Don’t delude yourself.

  • Jesus Navas

    Real Cedula de Gracia, an old law established by the Spanish, could explain some mayor European migration later on to Puerto Rico and its influence in our dna. I did took the test because I was curious.

  • Rick Santiago

    Los apellidos y color de ojo son factores incluidos en este estudio? En nuestro caso dicen revelar un proceder Judio Sefárdico.

  • Ody Cintron

    Saludos, a mi entender es exactamente lo mismo que se ha dicho SIEMPRE. Somos una mezcla de 3 razas (africana, europea e indigena). Claro que los Tainos guardan relacion con los Indios Americanos y Euro-Asiaticos, pues dichos Nativos llegan desde Eura-Asia a America atravez del estrecho de Bering y luego al Caribe.

  • Hector F. Gonzalez- Benitez

    Please send me information on how I can help.

  • Luis E. Laó González

    Now we the people of Puerto Rico can be considered as Native American. This status, I consider it a highly privilege one. Also we have such a strong European ancestry that is unbelievable. We come from all parts of the planet including the heart of Africa. Nevertheless, we are mighty proud of our ancestry!

  • Pablo Astacio

    Very interesting article keep up

  • yahaira


  • Karlo R. Claudio

    I am happy that a study like this reveals more of us – Puerto Ricans -.

  • Tomás Ballester Tió

    With all due respect Mr. Canales. I hardly doubt a DNA, study equates to our political future. I’m as Puertorriqueño or Boricua as any and all that are associated to your political movement but I do not share your political view.
    Our political views are so different that we might as well all be Martians.

  • Nydia

    Is 326 individuals from a 3.8 million population a considerable representative sample for this type of research? Did you take into consideration that Vieques also has Dutch and French influences? Thanks for the info, but I do have reservations in regards to your results.

  • alexander santiago afanador

    Ciertamente el estudio se basó en una region especifica; así que existe un % de diferencia en la misma; estoy de acuerdo con el Sr. Covas; sobre dicho estudios.

  • alexander santiago afanador

    De acuerdo con el comment del Sr.Covas; para llegar a una conclusion se debe realizar estudio con personas de toda la region de la isla.Soy de utuado y muchosvde mis conocidos y fam sud perfiles son indigenas.Claro que existen varios con perfiles caucasicos.

  • Jonathan Gonzalez

    326 persons from the south east coast only? We can’t jump to universal conclusions of such small sample. For example we know that some Tainos escape to the central and mountain zone of the island. Also the African slave population were bigger at the haciendas zones which happen to be at the coasts. Even when PR is such a small territory each zone evolves differently and any DNA study should consider that.

  • Juan Pagan

    This is an impressive study, but reminds me of that philosophical question that our beloved Juan Boria always asked… and I quote “y tu Abuela a donde esta”?”…

  • Bibi

    Muy interesante de por cierto pero ya yo se de donde vengo….Mi abuela es española nacida y criada se mudo a NY cuando tenia 19 años conocio a my abuelo que es 75% Taino 25% africano…mi abuela tiene ojos azules y mi abuelo piel trigeña…..Estoy bien orgullosa que naci en Puerto Rico y que mi mezcla es una de tantas.



  • Michael Baez

    Honestly, this information simply concluded what I kept thinking through high school after my world history classes. It was always taught to us that spaniards came, killed the men, took the women as trophies-typical european tactic to subjugate a population back in the 15th century- and after years of breeding you attain our results. What they do not state is that we also have much of the african descent from the slaves the spaniards brought over, who also intermixed with the lower class citizens of the colony-those who were confirmed descended from tainos- as a result our structure holds dna from the three main origin points-native america, eurasia and africa. A fun topic but sad that they needed to do extensive gene maping to find this out when it was mostly common knowledge in junior and high school courses in puerto rico…

  • Madeline

    Ese cuadro asi lo tengo pintado por el gran pintor Cajiga, desde el 1981. como la ves. eh.

  • Yolanda Flores

    I wonder where I can RECEIVE information about where I can get tested for DNA and saver, my maternal grandmother was Taina, yme like to know where I can find information or someone can explain me … thanks.

  • Dr. Carlalynne Melendez

    Naguake Community (Our Abundant Land Community) is a community that uses the indigenous culture as the driving force to achieve community self-sufficiency and sustainability. Our community has a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors and traditions rooted in our indigenous heritage. This heritage is deeply reflected in the school-community activities, programs, and projects that have been implemented to achieve community improvement at the social, cultural and economic levels. We claim our indigenous heritage and identity based on multidisciplinary studies in the fields of anthropology, ethnography, sociology, geography and biology. These studies were conducted in the communities that make up today Naguake Community; located in southeastern region of Boriken. Also, and very important, we claim an indigenous heritage based on results from genetic studies conducted in our community between 2010 and 2012, in which 60 percent of our population have indigenous genetic marker (mtDNA). For more information you can read about this study in the following link:

  • Rafael A. Delgado Simonet

    Thank you for the information. I have tested with Family Finder and my DNA is as follows:
    – Y-DNA Haploroup R1b1a2 – R-M269.
    – mt-DNA Haplogroup A-2z.
    – 64.94 % European, 25 % Midle Eastern, and 10% Native American.
    P-312 who walked the prairies of southern France, Europe, was my ancestors.
    My paternal, Delgado family, is from San Miguel de Abona, Tenerife, Islas Canarias.
    My maternal, Simonet/before Simo, were from Alaro and Soller, Mallorca and came to Mallorca from Cataluna with King Jaume I from Aragon when he invaded in 1229.

  • Javier Ruiz Casillas

    Born 1967
    Father Julio Ruiz Martinez
    Mother Leonarda Casillas Negrón

  • Carlos Muniz

    I have read most of the comments here, and we boricuas do not learn to appreciated anything. This we can used it as a start to a whole of the population. And you have to consider that science is not cheap. But we all know that we boricuas are more Tainos than anything.

  • Jorge Gonzalez

    Let’s go back 520 years ago to find the photographer who took the picture. National Geographic still depicting Puerto Rico as the agrarian economy it was 70 years ago. As for the differences between paternal and maternal DNA, it is easy to explain: slave Native men don’t get to reproduce, slave women reproduce the offspring of their owner/rapists – History of the Americas. Oh, and we did have a similar / parallel system to keep track of our origins centuries ago, though not as accurate: trace back the last names in your family. That’s why patronymics and matronymics are important. In my family, for instance, we still trace back twelve generations, keeping track of our roots from Spain, Italy, Greece, even Holland. You should pair the two systems for mutual corroboration. And do hire a younger photographer in this era of smart phones, please.

  • James Francis Jr.

    I was born in Harlem New York in 1955, to this day I’ve never met my father, my birth cert: says James Francis from St.Thomas V.I. But my family tells me my father is Benjamin Cordero from Puerto Rico. Would love to know the facts before my last breath is takin, it matters not which, jus want to send my three boys on the right path:-). Would love to submit test, GOD BLESS

  • esther centeno

    aguadilla puerto rico
    my mother name is amalia medina laguer
    my father name is tomas centeno luciano

  • esther centeno

    my mother name is amalia medina laguer
    my father name is tomas centeno luciano

  • Nilda Marrero

    Whats my history?

  • Amarylis Torres Nogueras vda. de Esquilin

    Este studio es muy interesante me gustaria tener mas informacion. yo se que por el lado materno mi visa abuela era espanola y que tengo rastros judios atraves de ella.

  • Victor Flores

    I dont believe the study. The University of Puerto Rico had done a study, where it clearly shows that 62% of ALL Puerto Ricans have Native American DNA. Yes we do have European and African blood also, but the study, very scientifically well done concludes that we have Native American in us, by a huge percent.

  • Lourdes Moya

    From where is this study?, because should be others before this, because what the result of this study is the same as taught in the UPR by Dr. Cadilla since the 70’s. There is no surprised for me.

  • Felipe Soto

    Reading the comments it is clear to me that people are confused about the origin of the genetic information. The information in mitochondria is inherited only form the mother and in PR more than half the people carry mitochondria inherited from Taino women. The information in the Y chromosome is inherited only from the father, and in PR that seems to have been inherited mostly from European men (my own Y originated in North Africa, most likely moor). The genetic information in the other chromosomes is inherited from both parents, and in PR that information is about 10-12% Taino, about the same amount Sub Saharan African and the rest (up to 70%) European. In summary our genetic make up reflects the interaction between the three groups that have shared the island in the the 500 years. Some individuals will have more African genetic heritage, others more Taino and some more European. In the end we are all a blend and that is part of being Puerto Rican

  • Luis Arroyo

    Im sorry,but 386 individuals do not represent 3,600,000 islanders plus the 5,100,000 living stateside.
    Thats 8,700,000 people represented by 386 CHERRY PICKED INDIVIDUALS?

    What about the hundreds of thousands of non Spaniard European and Mideast families (Father+ Mother+ Children )that immigrated to Puerto Rico after the “Royal Decree Of Graces”? Irish ,French,Corsican Italian, Even German Surnames are as common as Spanish Surnames.

    Look at PR’s Governor. Alejandro GARCIA PADILLA.
    PR state secretary Ingrid BIAGGI Vila.
    Then you have David BERNIER,who is acting governor when Padilla is out on business.
    Jaime PERELLO. Even east INDIAN Asians such as Eduardo BHATIA.
    Then theres the pro statehood politicians.
    Former Republican Governor Luis Fortuño BURSET
    Minority leader Thomas Rivera SHATZ.
    Former Governor Pedro ROSELLO.
    US Congressional “Resident Commissioner” Pedro Pierluisi.
    Historical Figures with Irish ancestry, Ramon POWER GIRALT. (First person to describe himself as “Puerto Rican” before Spain’s government/ Monarchy)
    Hyram BITHORN ( First Puerto Rican in major league Baseball.), Alejandro O REILLY oversaw construction of EL MORRO. Cayetano COLL (COLE) Y TOSTE ,Island historian.

    My point is, I could easily have done the study at Rincon and said Puerto Ricans are 10% Anglo Saxon.
    Done it at Yauco and said 60% are Italian/French Corsicans. Done it with 386 Loizans and said 60% are sub saharan african.

    Puerto Rico is an island of immigrants. Not just the US proper and Canada.

  • Marianne

    Actually, Puerto Rico was discovered in the year 1493 by Cristobal Colón (Christopher Columbus) on his second trip, although some historians debate on the theory that it was discovered by Martín Alonso Pinzón in 1492 , during which time, he was separated from Colón.

  • Linda

    Some people either did not read this report carefully or just don’t understand what they read. It is not saying that Puertoriqueños don’t have Native American blood. It is saying that they have found no Y chromosomes with Native American DNA. Since women are XX chromosomes and men XY, that means no male Native American DNA is found in anyone. There is plenty X chromosome Native American DNA in everyone. So yes borinqueños son una mezcla de indio, europeo y africano. Relax people. What is so sad is to realize that the Taino men died off without any male offspring surviving and the female Tainos were misused by the conquistadores, and gave birth to boys and girls with Taino X chromosome.

  • Luis Arroyo

    For those confused with Taino vs “Native Americans”..

    Tainos ARE Native Americans. They are a branch of the Brazilian Amazon ARAWAK family of Natives who migrated thousands of years ago northward toward Venezuela, Guyana the lesser Antilles and Finally Puerto Rico.

    I guess we are Brazilians too. 🙂

  • Fern

    This study has been already done by the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, this is not new… (is not the first time)

  • Mr. Virgilio Santos

    Como hacer tal estudio de toda una isla con solo personas de una región, q pasa con las demás personas….

  • Alma Vázquez

    I find it appalling that this experiment could even be considered a reliable source of information, since the population sample of individuals is so minimal and regionally specific. For this experiment to be considered reliable, an extensive study of thousands of individuals from all municipalities in Puerto rico needed to have been taken. Moreover, as a member of the high school graduating class of 2014, I can attest to the fact that I have been taught about colonialism, triangle trading, the massacre of native indian men by europeans, and the sexual enslavement of native women in our history classes since I was in the 3rd grade. This year, as a part of my Puerto Rican history class curriculum, we discussed in detail the fact that european women were initially prohibited from traveling to the West Indies, since it was considered “unsafe.” European men who were married were also prohibited from traveling to the West Indies, since the Church believed they would be tempted by the “savage women throwing themselves at them.” Therefore, pretty much the only europeans that were allowed to travel to the West indies were single, middle-class, working men. When the europeans arrived on the island of Puerto Rico, the Taino men tried to revolt and seek their freedom. Most died. The rest, were enslaved and overworked, along with the women, until they died of exhaustion. Since their slaves were dying, the europeans began to buy African slaves. And so the triangle trade was born. I am so sorry that you had to spend so much money, effort, and boundless amounts time to figure out something that you could’ve asked a middle school history teacher. Any teacher. Any student.

  • M. Vazquez

    I was born in Ponce,P.R., my parents had both Taino & Spanish parents. My maternal grandfather/mother were from the Canary Islands and my paternal grandmother was ‘Taina’, she died at 100 years old. I’d love to assist you further with your study. Please feel free to contact me.

  • Carlos Rodriguez

    While there may be a percentage of the population that carries indigenous mitochondrial/maternal DNA, the absence of paternal DNA clearly indicates anabsence of said population. Additionally, the question should be: Of those with said DNA, what is the highest, and the mean percentage ofi ndigenous blood/DNA in the samples? I’d wager that the percentage is too low to meet the BIA’s requirement for being indigenous. Assuming a child of mixed awncestry has 50% indigenous DNA, his son has 25%, his grandson 12.5, etc. Assuming also that there have been no indians in PR since the 1600’s, itbecomes likely that even the “purest” of these samples contains anything more than traces.

  • Elisabet

    Did you notice how many people are last name GONZALEZ. That is very Spanish, in specific. …Spaniard. in other words of Spain origen.

  • Dr. Carlalynne Melendez

    Don’t confuse mtDNA with over-all DNA. In our community we have 60% indigenous mtDNA…thus we claim our indigenous heritage via our maternal side (mtDNA). Please read the study so you can respond accordingly. The study has a very high level of confidence. . Here is the link:

  • Martin Nieves

    Some comments here make reference to an UPR study. Said study only sampled mtdna and the results do NOT conflict with this NG article. What NG has done is a more complete study that ever done before by also looking at Y-DNA. I have tested Y-DNA, mtDNA and autosomal and fit into the percetages described here.

  • Marc

    I have traced my paternal lineage back to the early 1600’s in Spain, where Church records list my forefathers’ baptisms, marriages, and funerals. A DNA study I had done goes back further, with a 99.9% match with Turkish DNA. I have a large family that traces it’s Puerto Rican roots back to the days of Columbus. Our migration as ancesctral records and DNA searched suggest is: Turkish origins, then Pomplona, Spain possibly in the Middle Ages, then from Pamplona to Fajardo…

  • Maekiaphan Phillips

    Takahi (Greetings) Within the past 3 years I have had several DNA testing done to find my Taino Heritage. I cried when I got the results because it made me realize the injusted did to our Taino men and more so our Taino women. After reading your post it confirms what I learned in my mtDNA, my Family Finder and my brother’s Y DNA testing. Our Father was born in Vieques in 1909. My maternal 6 great grand parents were A lmestica, abt. 1720 Ramona, abt. 1725, Espinosa abt.1725, and Rivera abt. 1730, my paternal 3rd grandfather was Pedro Encarnation born abt 1800 all from Vieques and Culebra. I am thankful for DNA testing because a few years ago I only new the name of my paternal grandparents Justo Rivera 1881 and Maria Bermudez 1871. I have meet so many people thru DNA matches that are just as excited as myself to meet new cousins. I have found that every Spanish name from Vieques and Cuelebra along with Puerto Rico are in my Family Tree.
    I would like to say Hahom (Thanks) for all your work and effort and I hope your organization would be interested in joining with Opi’a Taino International, Inc. of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands because they have started a Tribal Registry for Taino, and Kalinago people.
    Again I say Hahom (Thanks)

  • Maekiaphan Phillips

    Takahi (Greetings) I am the President of Opi’a Taino International, Inc. of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Because many of us here on Island are from parents, grandparents and great grandparents from Vieques, Culebra and Puerto Rico I am trying to get a grant that would test 50 people within our three islands along with 10 from Tortola that will prove the mtDNA of Taino women still exist in our islands. On July 30, 2014 on St. Croix a proposed Bill acknowledging Amerindians will be the focus of Legislation. This is a historic step towards the future of Taino descendants.
    Hahom for all your hard work and dedication to this project.
    my contact information is 340-514-5665 or email

  • Boriqua de Humacao

    Este estudio escientifico demuestra la verdad, y un gran parte de unos de Uds que han dado comentario aqui demuestan lo bruto que somos (co*o).

    Many of you who have commented here are probably dismayed that the results show the our African heritage is greater than our Taino heritage. Yes, we on average are mostly Caucasian, but most of us on average are more African than we are Taino. However, because it doesn’t conform with the idyllic mythical imagery that has been taught to use since we were toddlers, you choose to find fault with the study. Mind you, none of you have any credentials to cast aspersions on the study’s result, yet you feel as though whatever it is your abuelita or middle school teacher told you carries more weight that a scientifically researched genetic evaluation.

    It’s not necessary to take samples from all 3 million of us to paint a genetic picture. Read a book or at least do a google search about how to develop statistical studies. Learn about uniform distributions, extrapolating, margins of error and estimating. A 386 sample is actually more than enough to get an accurate result of the island’s genetic distribution. The team who did the study more than likely used modern and widely accepted statistical methods the perform the calculations. There is nothing wrong with having African genetic information. Me da pena aveces saber que naci en una islas llena de estupidos, brutos y inutiles que tambien son racistas contra si mismas.

  • gladysery

    My haplogroup is j1b1 , east euroasian to middle east. Their linage from Turkey, Anatolia. The concentration of this haplogroup can be found in UK, irland, and some in Italy. Some said this group are the Hititas so named in history.

  • CR

    Boriqua de Humacao, you couldn’t have daid it any better! No entiendo porque muchos sienten la necesidad de discutir con un estudio científico cuando, me imagino, la mayoria tan siquiera conocen los todos municipios de la isla. Idealisan la herencia taina y minimizan nuestra herencia africana pero les guste o no, no importa cuanto griten, discutan, y dejen ver al mundo sus ideas racistas, idiotas y arrogantes van cambiar sus ADN. Lo que deberian hacer es realizar que esta historia vive en nuestras venas, entre todo ese conflicto nacimos nosotros, una mezcla bella y sentirnos bendecidos de ser lo que somos. Dejen de ser una vergüenza para Puerto Rico y nosotros, los puertoriqueños con educacion.

  • Nelson Nieves

    What ever it is, I am proud of having Puerto Rican heritage, I consider my self tri-racial and I am very ok with that. My people please don’t despair, just love each other at the end it doesn’t really matter. Love you all !!!

  • Carmen Rabell

    My family is from San Sebastián y Canóvanas. I madre the DNA test of both familias. All of the menos were caucasian, and my granmother from San Sebastián was native American while my granmother from Canóvanas was Africana (from West África). None of us are from Vieques or Culebras.

  • Carlos

    Algunos comentarios aquí muestran que hay muchos malentendidos.

    1) El hecho de que la persona promedio en Puerto Rico tenga un X% de amerindio no significa que el X% de los habitantes de Puerto Rico son amerindios o principalmente amerindios. Así, el Sr Flores dice que la Universidad de Puerto Rico determinó que “un 62 de TODOS los puertorriqueños tiene ADN amerindio”. Con esto Flores concluye que son ante todo amerindios. Eso no es un razonamiento correcto. Puede darse el caso de que todo tengan ADN amerindio, pero todos tienen solo un poquito y todos o casi todos tienen más genes europeos.
    El artículo lo dice: los resultados que se dieron son del promedio.
    2) El “Southwest Asian” no tiene nada que ver con amerindios sino con un origen del Cercano Oriente. Para que entendái eso: un español promedio tiene 48% de “Mediterráneo” 37% de Europeo septentrional y 13% de “South-West Asian”
    3) Si bien es verdad que los europeos mataron a gran cantidad de amerindios, en especial a los hombres, también ocurre otra cosa: muchas amerindias también prefirieron tener hijos de europeos o mestizos que de indios. Esto fue así durante muchas generaciones. Esto se debía a que los europeos o los más blancos tenían un mejor nivel social.

  • Miguel A. Sanchez

    Don’t claim to have extensive knowledge of DNA studies. But, I did stay at a Holiday Inn. All kidding aside, your result of 0% indigenous paternal lineage is online with something I learned in college. 2/3 of island natives (mostly males) were literally worked to death before the first slaves set foot on the island. It was a Holocaust and the reason why Europeans began to ship slaves from Africa. Otherwise, they would have never spent the time and money to transport labor over 4,000 miles. By the way, Roberto Clemente (RIP) and my God Father (RIP) were the first that instilled in me a sense of where I came from. However, I didn’t know anything about my Heritage, or what happened 500+ years ago, until I made my way into a university lecture hall and a Puerto Rican Professor from Oxford opened my eyes. So, I applaud any organization or individuals out there that share the history. In reading your articulate report, I can see that we’ve only scratched the surface. I’m also curious about my DNA and “The Genographic Project.” Please count me in and thanks again for your contribution to the Puerto Rican experience.

  • Miriam Soto

    Want to subscribe too have my DNA tested. I have researched my family four generations back on my fathers side in Sabana Grande.Aquired pictures of my great grandparents and they look European. On my mothers side I was able to go back to my grandparents from Cayey, and they, also look European. When people meet me they think I am American from the states.

  • Vizuil

    Apparently people love to regurgitate well known information and then add their own scientific analysis in a attempt to appear intelligent.. As you observe the many faces that comprise Puerto Rico it’s easy to see the main influences are that of Spaniards and Europeans…The Taino prescience is also very visible and the African existence is minimal at most but also very real….DNA is not needed to clearly see the obvious intermingling and down right lustful addictions that took place between those who stole and those who tried to defend what was rightfully theirs….The Spanish influence is by far the heaviest and it’s no surprise that’s why Puerto Rico is a Spanish speaking island and so many Puerto Ricans are white…All in all Puerto Rico has a diverse heritage but instead of worrying about DNA we really need to focus on the drug addiction and violence that is destroying such a beautiful people… We all share the same blood if you really care to go back to the beginning of creation instead of just focusing on the last few hundred years…. It’s one love one blood!

  • Alty Agostini

    Like Madeline of Canovanas, I too, am curious regarding the picture shown in this article. I also own a print of that painting signed by the artist himself, Cajigas. So I guess Mr. Stewart just took a photo of the painting and put his own name on it. Shame.
    As regards heritage, I was born and raised in PR by a father of Italian roots and a mother of Spaniard roots, both going back many generations. I’m happy with that. To those of you wanting to know more, good luck with your search, but please, whatever you do, don’t make it about politics.

  • Dr. Yolanda Salvá Vargas

    I worked as biology and genetics professor at UPR-Utuado. I participated in this proyect as an individual not as part of the group they selected to study because I was very curious of my genetic background. I am from Caguana, Utuado, Puerto Rico. My father always was telling me that the indians lived in caves around Caguana and Angeles. His grand-grandmother was an adopted little indian girl. In the other hand, the Salvá family came from the Canary Islands or Spain. From the side of my mother I’m not very sure, but probably they had african origin.
    This is my mtDNA genetic background. What really impact me was my Neanderthal and Denisovan background!!!
    •34% Mediterranean
    •21% Northern European
    •16% Native American
    •13% Sub Saharan African
    •13% Southwest Asian
    2.7% Neanderthal
    2.0% Denisovan
    I am not worried about the results, they are really very interesting. What is really important is what I have achieved, my feelings, my family and my contribution to the society.

  • Gloria Cuevas

    I have read the comments and I am very interested in participating in this study. What information do you need from me? My maternal grandmother was Carmen Reyes Flores. I believe she was born in Ponce, PR around end of 1800 or turn of the century.

  • Greg Mark

    Well, at least it’s heartening that the education system in PR is strong enough that a high school senior has the chutzpah to lecture NG on how to conduct science. Depressing that he’s so wrong, but still. Because, you know, self-esteem!

  • Sandra Diaz

    Puerto Rico was a province of Spain in 1898, we were part of Spain, that is why the similarity between Canary Islands and Puerto Rico ae remarkable. My great grandfather and great grandmother came from Canary Islands. My dna probably has some of the guanche (canary aboriginal inhabitants) or north west african ( some islands of the Canary Islands have over 20% of north west african ancestry). We puertoricans are as spaniards as those living in the Canary islands. The US invasion in 1898 did not change our DNA, we are still spaniards.

  • Maria Hernandez

    Fascinating! Will definitely submit my swab!

  • Laurence Daley

    Laurence Daley [Garcia-I~niguez Enamorado] please do not omit the Indigenous mitochondrial sequences of Eastern Cuba.

    I write in the memoirs of my family In: “Love and War in Cuba” (in advanced preparation): My mother’s (Leonela García-Iñiguez Ramírez, 1910-2007 ) mitochondrial DNA (see Figure XXX Maternal mitochondrial haplo-group) and thus that of relatives, siblings, and myself was/is haplogroup Haplogroup A2d1 Family tree DNA Sample number 12182), A2d. Genograph extends this to A2d1. My mother’s mother was Rafaela Ramirez Enamorado, who was daughter of Manuela Enamorado Cabrera (1854-1948 ), and presumable granddaughter of Mariana Cabrera of the Cabrera band of the Sierra Maestra, Cuba. This mitochondrial DNA is “Native American. ”

    Please advise if more information is of use to project…

    Laurence Daley
    Professor Emeritus

  • Verónica L. Cruz Pérez

    Ell estudio tá bello. Nunca recibbí mi resultado de ADN taíno Las muestas fueroon en el Municipio de Hummacao. Una doctora dirigente de una entidad Guakkia Ke se llevo mi ADN y nunnca entrego los resultados. Me siento triste y molesta…..A mi vecina Annie le dieron un diploma sin sello de laboratorio y sin firmma de genetistaa. Yo amo National Geographic y tanks por ese artículo, pero quiero mi resultado Adn.

  • Alexander Lobaina

    Mitochondrial DNA Analysis Reveals Substantial Native American Ancestry in Puerto Rico
    J. C. Martinez-Cruzado, G Toro-Labrador, V Ho-Fung, M Estevez-Montero, A Lobaina-Manzanet, D. A. Padovani-Claudio, H Sanchez-Cruz, P Ortiz-Bermudez, A Sanchez-Crespo
    From: Human Biology, Volume 73, Number 4, August 2001, pp. 491-511

  • nesly

    I don’t care what happened to my “grand-grand-… parents (in french) : what I see, it’s wars, hate : – No best way of loving and those kind of ‘experiment’ give nothing more for people on the Earth ay this time ! … only give a job for some ! 😉

  • Brenda Reyes

    I would like info on how I can submit my DNA

  • Gia Podobinski

    I’m appalled at the absentmindedness some people have shown with their comments, and that’s not to mention that some of them can’t even write correctly. People, the study that National Geographic has conducted pretty much resembles UPR’s own study. What’s “written” in our DNA counts more than what our “abuelitos” and “maestras” taught us. Thanks to modern technology, it is now that we can truly find out what blood runs through our veins and whether you like it or not, European DNA takes the lead in Puerto Rican ancestry. These studies don’t lie. They are scientific studies and not political garbage like the one many of our grandparents and teachers taught us while growing up. Be proud of who you are and tell your kids the truth about their ancestry. I am proud to be a Puerto Rican of Spanish/Polish/Italian/French/Jewish & Middle Eastern descent and I don’t see the need as to why I should get offended or embarrassed. It is what it is. You can change the history written in a text book but you can never change the history written in your DNA. Live with it!!

  • Ishlah Ali

    This just demonstrates what was learned by the Vikings. Kill off the men, take the women for themselves. Instead of raiding and leaving, you colonize by rape. Vikings loved RAPE!!!!

  • Gloria E. Rodriguez De Aviles

    Exellent work, very informative, keep up the good work

  • Laurence Daley

    In Cuba I knew a number of people in the montains of old Oriente Province with neo-Taino phenotypes, It seems that there, perhaps in Baracoa, there still exists males with neo-Taino Y chromosome

  • Mariano Núñez

    The same sizw is .00905% of the population. Is that enough to make the call about the average person. Also, the region of the island, would it show a difference is one were to test areas in the center and west? Does the metropolitan area have a different make up since it has always been the area of Puerto Rico that has had more contact with the restofthe world? Interesting reseach nonetheless.

  • Jeff Crew

    I would like to participate. Please send me what I need. Thank you.

  • Jeff Crew

    I would like to participate. Please send me signup info. Thank you.

  • Steven Roberts

    You should check for the Phoenician Y chromosome in Polynesians. I’ve always thought it was a fascinating theory that the two greatest navigating cultures could be related, and that would settle it one way or the other.

  • Tamara A Rivera

    Interesting investigation. Sadly it provides evidence of the abuse
    the spaniards commited against our ancestors.

  • evelisa Vélez Cardona

    We are since Great Grand father from San Sebastian,.The information I’ve receive is that owr background is Spanish. I will like to participate in a study to obtained additional information.

  • evelisa Vélez Cardona

    My family since great-grandfathers live in San Sebastian, PR. I have pictures and my family told me they all came from Spain. I will like to participate regarding this data. Thanks.

  • Carl Sledge

    I think with more time and testing, the project will find there was an Atlantic crossing by Europeans from what is now called France (flint flaking tools and few artifacts have been found on an island near Augusta, Georgia, in the Savannah River, that carbon date around 20,000 years old) this matches with the cave dwellers living in France of the same period and might be where the neanderthal DNA that shows up in eastern native Americans comes from, they had no immunity to smallpox which killed off 95% to 100% of many eastern tribes when 1400’s European invasion began

  • Lester

    Interesting but I don’t know why the results are so surprising. They are consistent with the historical record. It is well known that Puerto Rico was colonized by Spanish men who did not bring their wives and mixed with the native women. The Taino population was decimated by disease and overwork and their DNA survived only trough the women.

  • Lester

    Interesting but I don’t know why the results are so surprising. They are consistent with the historical record. It is well known that Puerto Rico was colonized by Spanish men who did not bring their wives and mixed with the native women. The Taino population was decimated by disease and overwork and their DNA survived only through the women.

  • Daniel C Lawson

    Please send me an address to send the cost for the genograph testing kit. Also the address to send it to and any other necessary information. Thanks, Daniel.

  • A.Torres

    For you nay Sayer’s and doubting Thomas’, do a little research on basic statistics and things like standard deviation.

  • Domingo Hernandez

    In my opinion this study was worth while. Yes the basic school teachings in Puerto Rico was that we for the most part are a tri-racial people. Yet for the past 20 years the top inteligencia was writing the Taino contribution completely out of the picture. Any claim of Taino ancestry was dismissed as fantasy. Now we have scientific data. Taino quantum goes from 5% to the average of 15% and tops at a minority who have 39% . Another surprise is that among the average Puerto Rican the Subsaharan African quantum passes the Taino by only 5 point which is a very small number, meaning that in general terms we tend to have as much Native American ancestry as African. Also many readers seem not to know that this is not the only study done. Martinez Cruzado did an island wide study and the result tend to be the same. The studies do show a small totally European population and a totally African descended population of 5% each. Other studies point at a mestizo population an a biracial population of about 10% each. l

  • Dr. Miguel Vilar

    Thank you for your comments and the constructive discussion. For anyone who is interested in participating in the project, please follow the link at the end of the blog by clicking on the words “The Genographic Project.”

    To answer some of your questions, the analysis included only 326 individuals, yet the results were consistent with what other (larger and smaller) studies had found. That said, the more participants we have, the more confident we can be about what we can say about a population.

    For comparison, a recent study in Cuba found that “the average European, African and Native American contributions as estimated from autosomal AIMs (Ancestry informative markers) were 72%, 20% and 8%, respectively.” Those numbers are somewhat different to what we found in Puerto Rico. However, they found two Cuban men who carried Native American paternal lineages in a study that looked at 384 male samples. These results are fascinating, and very relevant to our understanding of Caribbean history.

    So, please continue to comment, and join the project helping us better understand Puerto Rican and Caribbean history. Who knows, you may also carry a lineage that has never been seen before?

    Thank you and best wishes,
    Dr. Miguel Vilar

  • Carlos M. Fraticelli Diaz

    My grandfather on my father side came from a French island of the cost of Genoa, Italy that was a possession of the state city of Genoa with is now parte of Italy, but it was ceded to France in 1769 they speak French and aslo a Italian dialect. My grandfather from my mother side his family came from Canary Island (Spain ) but the people from Canary Island are considerd in Spain as ( Morros which were Arabs blood… and Jews(also knowed as cochinos) with Jews blood ) all Spaniard last names that finish with the letters ” Z ” were either Arab and or Jew blood that had change there original last names and would sound more Spanish and or Christians , because in the Spanish Inquisition if they won’t renounce their religion and change their names they were to be put in the stack and burned . So I guess that not all Puertorricans are from spainsh blood as the historians want you to belive !!!!……………..

  • Aaron Carapella

    326 people from Southeast Puerto Rico?? You mean where most of the white people settled? Try sampling people in the central mountains of PR, near Villalba and even the western section, and you will find people who are predominantly Taino everywhere. This is not a balanced sampling, but rather a focus on an area where mostly white people settled. Also, you see literally no black people going west on the island.

  • Charles

    What hasn’t been discussed here is the impact that the Canarian population has had, not only on the Eurasian component of the Puert Ricans, but also on the African component as well. My grandma is of Canarian descent and clusters with Berbers and Egyptians. She has around 20% African DNA. Most Berbers have anywhere from 5% to 40% African DNA. The Canarians were an important source of colonials into the Americas. Specially to Cuba, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. More or less in that order. The Spanish (the peninsulares as the Canarians call them) figured that the Canarians were more adapted to the tropics, so would do better in those areas. Many of these women that have African mitochondria are in fact of Berber descent. That is because the transatlantic slave trade favored men over women 2 to 1 to work in the fields. Also, Puerto Rico underwent a deep depression between around 1620 and the mid 18th century or so, so African slaves were mainly imported into Cuba and other parts of the Caribbean and of course mainly to Brazil. You cannot by any means do a genetic study isolated from the historical and cultural context of the Island and draw conclusions based on that. Also, Puerto Rico was traditionally segregated and regionalized. The Canarians went mainly to the mountain areas to grow coffee and tobacco (as my family did as far back as the 1700’s). The elite sons of peninsulares settled mainly on the west coast, the Native American (the few males that survived), settled mainly in the area of the south west. And the Africans settled mainly in the coastal and particularly the north eastern coastal area. Again, without understanding these elements, you will take all this genetic mumbo jumbo out of context. Here are some blogs in regard to these matters:

  • Tita Torres de Llompart

    This is a very interesting project! As a puertorican, I had lots of questions about my heritage. Having great grandparents from Corsica and Spain, I have always questions from where I come from. Looking at my relatives some medium-dark skin complexion, other very light with blue eyes. So, I did buy the kit for $199, my husband as well, he is from PR also. We got our results back. For my results my first reference group is Greek then Puerto Rican!! For my husband, who’s Puerto Rican also, came 1st reference group German then Italian.
    Personally I found this study very fascinating and very accurate even some people do no trust the results!!
    Gente boricua, la poblacion puertoriquena en general es una mezcla de Europeo- Mediterraneo, Indio-Taino y Negro!! Aceptenlo. Los que llegaron con C. Colon, llegaron y se limpiaron a todos los tainos y se quedaron con sus mujeres. Luego trajeron a los negros de esclavos y estos se mezclaron tambien con la poblacion! Somos una de las mezclas raciales mas interesantes que existe!!

  • avida rosa

    I would like to be part of this project. My sister resemble taina, my brother and I look middle eastern and my other sister looks European. And we are all from same dad. Definitely would love to know our dna. Both of our parents were born in Puerto Rico.

  • Serrano

    To: Gia Podobinski from San Juan
    I like how you did not include AFRICAN on your list of DNA… So please include it next time and then you can say that your proud! ” y tu abuela donde esta” 😉

  • A. N. Rojas Borges

    Soy hijo de cubanos. Mi abuelo maternal era lampiño. Quiero saber cual es mi % de cubano nativo.

  • Anidia Montes

    Thank you for the very interesting research and information. I am absolutely intrigued. I’d not be opposed to being part of your ongoing research. Please point me in the right direction!

    Kind Regards,
    Anidia Montes- born in Santa Isabel

  • Luis A Salgado Lopez

    Please if you need my blood for further study you are welcome to use it, you did a great research. the puertorican race was developed after 500 years of mixed genes wich developed a beautiful race.

  • Josef Deida

    I never get tired of showing my DNA results to my students. I’d just like to know how my DNA markers got from Europe, especially Greece, to the Caribbean.

  • Rich V

    I’m not sure this is the “first” study of it’s kind, unless it’s being very specific.

  • Christina

    May you please clarify in which issue specifically were the results of this study published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology? I cannot locate it in any issue from 2014. Thanks.

  • Miguel G Vilar

    For those who would like more information about the original AJPA academic article, please follow this link:

    Thank you for your interest, Dr. Miguel Vilar

  • Terry

    In part and in common sense terms, your results reflect the idea that it is hard to resist falling in love with a “cinnmon girl” (Neil Young song)!

  • Octavio Perez Ruiz de Porras (Toby)

    “I am a blend of many, mix of an unadulterated sacred creation, I am Puertorriqueῆo” – Octavio Perez Ruiz de Porras

  • Nancy Carter

    I am already part of the genographic project and I agree with your new findings. The Spaniards landed and mated with the women and killed off the men to ensure they wouldn’t be attacked. these Spaniards had African slaves on board who escaped and also mated with the taino women. after them came many other seafarers who did the same. The Puerto Rican people are quite a mixture of races.

  • J. Oluwole

    It was quite interesting to read the comments,questions ,criticisms and objections in this forum about the admixture of Puerto Ricans.
    I really don’t understand why there seems to be some ignorance on the part of knowing African history.Africa is a continent not a country like Spain. Read and know the history of the African people. It is more rich and diverse than Spain’s.
    Be proud of your African ancestry.

  • Eric

    Tragic history that confirms the aggression of the western Europeans and the genocide that they are capable of. Still continues today – the war on ‘the other’ and extra judicial killing on a large scale never stops does it?

  • Herman J Cestero

    Something is awfully wrong in here. Even the smallness of the sample, that I consider insufficient to give a statistically significant result, justifies a 60% female prevalence and 0% male prevalence. It is estimated that the island was inhabited by some 50,000 Tainos at the time of discovery. But due to slavery (many died as slaves), disease (worst decimator) and slaughter (after the rebellion Ponce de Leon had 6,000 of them killed), by 1515 (7 years after first settlement in Caparra), the Taino population had been reduced to mere 4,000 and by the end of the XVI th. century they were reduced to a couple of dozens Tainos on the island. Even supposing that those 4,000 Tainos in 1515 were all Guaninas (Taino Eve’s) and 0 Agueybanas (Taino Adam’s) and that all (100.00%) of the population in Puerto Rico ((about 150,000) at the beginning of the XIX th. Century were Taino women descendants from those 4,000 Guaninas, by 1832 the population had grown to 355,000 (more than doubled) thanks to de Cedula de Gracia, and by the end of the XIX century it was nearly one million, all of them European stock families and African slaves. Let’s forget that Puerto Rico population had gone up to 150,000 in 1800 from less than 50,000 in 1765 when there were no Guaninas around. The 1800 to 1832 population doubling should have had a dilutional factor of 50%, (10% less than current mtDNA seems to reflect) that is supposing that all 150,000 in 1800 were Taino women descendants and that not a single woman has entered Puerto Rico since 1832. We know that the first settlement in Caparra had women including Ponce de Leon’s wife, and even with a predominance of male migrations to the island, we know that thousands of women came from all of Europe and Africa to the island before 1800. Even if we postulate a male contribution of mitochondrial material (defying common knowledge) something is very, very wrong. Instinctively I think that the base, Taino reference material is wrong or contaminated. Otherwise we have to postulate faulty analytical equipment or an absurd constant infusion of Taino female mtDNA by a bacteria or virus that has preserved the material for 500 years. WRONG, WRONG – no way to explain it. Maternal mtDNA as well as paternal Y chromosome DNA have a lineal flow without affluents other than mutations, and then mutations are mutations where specific lineages begin. It is more like water running in a pipe that a water sample all the way to the aqueduct is the same as at the spigot, not like a river where new water keeps entering the stream.

  • August Anthony Croe

    It should be taken in consideration that the Mt- DNA can only be transmitted by females and all males carry the Mt-DNA of their mothers, while fathers are responsible for the Y chromosome which can also be trace for its origin. How ever this study in particular is focused up on the native American Mt-DNA and their corresponding Haplo groups or the particular code of their genetic migrating Eve`s of PR. This means that if you had a Spanish, African, Anglo or a Taino father, it does not alter the Mt-DNA of your Taino mother and there for you would be consider a Taino in this particular study no mater your physical appearance or the origin of your father, grandfather and so forth. So in principle, if your mother was a Taino and your father a Carib your Mt-DNA will be from a Taino.

  • Digna Marrero

    Both my parents are from Puerto Rico. I have been doing some research on my family tree, and have found it very challenging to find information. I would be so excited to be part of this process. Please contact me and let me know what I need to do to be part of this project.

  • Elizabeth Olivencia Maldonado

    This is all so interesting. I would like to no more on this. I was told that my Grandfather from my mother’s size was Taino, I think my grandmother from my father’s size was Italian and the other one from Spain. I don’t no where my other grandfather was from. Send me some info as how to find out

  • Dr. Carlalynne Melendez

    Places such as Guavate, Guayabota, Matuyas, Jacana, Jagual, Emajagua, and Cayaguas are located in the southeast region. These places form part of the Sierra of Cayey, which was a refuge for our Taino ancestors escaping the colonization taking place at the time in the Turabo Valley, the coastal valleys of the Guayanes, Maunabo and Humacao Rivers; and the south coastal plains in Guayama and Salinas. When we think of Taino survival in the 16th century we automatically think :”Indieras” and that is not entirely true. The Guavate region was also populated by the descendants of the Tainos…during and after the colonization period. The Guavate and southeast region has a strong indigenous mtDNA genetic presence.

  • Danny Gonzalez

    The level of historic ignorance in the comments here by fellow Puerto Ricans is astounding. The great majority of the Spanish that came to PR during the last 500 years were good people. Many were farmers, carpenters, cattle ranchers, businessmen, architects, fishermen, political refugees, people trying to find a better life. They were not all “rapists” and “murderers”, they were not all “evil conquistadors”. There are many accounts of Spanish soldiers in San Juan who would fall in love with Puerto Rican women of color, abandon their posts, and flee to the interior mountains. Not all intermixing was the result of rape. Even though the treatment to the Taino was indeed horrible early on, the truth is most were killed by diseases, with Taino slavery having been abolished by the Spanish crown in the early 1500s. Even before the arrival of Columbus, the Taino were being killed off and enslaved by the neighboring Caribs. So learn to accept it. Most of our culture, language, traditions, heritage, and yes, even DNA came from Spain. You are not this full blooded exotic Taino indian that many of you wish you were.

  • Bajari Coriano

    The samples were taken from the southern coast , there you have it ,it is well known who inhabited the southern coast ,its surprising that a higher number of african Y chromosome was not found , but its not surprising that 0 % of the subjects were amerindians. To find the Taino Y chromosome you would have to go to the center of the island . Also check las Marias ,Arecibo
    if they were looking for male amerindian dna contribution they were looking in the wrong places.
    Anyone that knows history knows that only garrisons of Soldiers came with no women ,but it does not zero out amerindian y chromosome that will be found at a lower percentage than the mitochondrial dna

  • Arlene Passalacqua

    This does not surprise me one bit. In 1514, due to the lack of Spanish wives on the island, the Spanish Crown granted permission to Spaniards soldiers to MARRY native Taíno Indians. Producing a strong line of children. So even if most of the original Tainos were decimated by illnesses, the female Taino /male Spaniard offspring had immunity to survive these illnesses. This is one of the main reason why we have 60% Taino DNA down the female line an next to nothing on the male.



  • Gabriel Haslip-Viera

    To Dr. Vilar

    First, I want to congratulate you and the team on the study and the results of this study—especially the data on both the mtDNA and the y-chromosome in comparison, but I also have a question.

    Is it possible for you to tell us how many individuals sampled came from the Naguake Community as opposed to Vieques or other locations, and can you provide a separate summary set of mtDNA,y-chromosome, and autosomal results for this group?

    Would very much appreciate this information.

    Sincerely, Gabriel.

  • Dr. Carlalynne Melendez

    The findings of Dr. Vilar’s research HAS helped to build the foundations of our community (NAGUAKE)…a project to restore the sovereignty that the Tainos had over Boriken. NAGUAKE is the base of the first indigenous community building project based, not solely on genetics, but ethnohistory, anthropological, geoanthropological, biological, and community studies carried out over the past 14 years . Dr. Vilar has helped us define the “BORICUA GENOMA” that HAS helped established the biological base of our community. Our community participated in the first “community base” genetic study in the Caribbean; thus establishing and setting a precedence in this type of genetic research.

  • Itaia Muxaic de Ricart

    The psychological behavior of “boricua” women and men compared seems to indicate that women tend to evidence some norms that one can observe among indigenous women in the Americas, while “boricua” men seem to evidence some tendencies one can observe among Spaniards. That is probably originated due to adoption of different behavioral characteristics by women and men. There are still a some thousands of “boricuas” who overwhelmingly represent the indigenous phenotype. Jayuya is known in context of indigenous heritage. Even in the Dominican Republic one can observe at times “Quisqueyanos” that evidence indigenous phenotype. Very few women from Europe migrated to the Spanish and Porgtuguese Americas between 1500 and 1800. Many of the “white” Latin American families during this era were the result of “assortative mating” – with the “lightest” of sets of siblings marrying similar from other families. In 2014, the majority of the 500+ million Latin Americans , whatever their color – carry some elements of female indigenous DNA. The “Taino” were Arawak from the Amazonas region in South America. Arawak ethnic groups still live along the center of South America from Venezuela all the way to Argentina. There are also Caribe ethnic groups in the northern Amazon region. “Taina” are the titles of several films in Brazil about a young indigenous girl that protects the environment of the Amazon. (Search youtube title “Selecao Taina 3”. But the latest star was played by a 5 year old “Tupi” indigenous girl – who first had to be tutored in the national language Portuguese.)

  • Maria C Vazquez

    I am Puerto Rica and had my DNA tested through 23andme, and also have downloaded all my Raw Data to To all of you, I have ordered the kit here from National and sending it out today!
    Although I know who my family is, I love to know more as history and Culture has always interest me. So I will be awaiting for my results to see what they tell me as well. To all of you that is reading this note.. It’s important to let your children know where we all came from.. Not only are we leaving them our HIstory from our ancestors, They will have your DNA to prove it!

    “Happy New Year” family from Yabucoa, Caguas, Cidra, Humacao, y Maunabo. Maria

  • Jaime Salazar Bello

    Afirmar hipótesis sin base, no es científico sino Prejuicios, D. Miguel. La emigración española fue de principalmente hombres, sólo el 17% fue de mujeres, con prohibición expresa de las mujeres solteras. Basta leer los abundantísimos estudios de la emigración europea, española principalmente a la América Colonial, recomiendo entre otros a Peter Boyd-Bowman “La emigración española a América”, Jose Luis Martínez “Pasajeros de Indias”, Nancy O´sullivan-Beare “La mujer española en los comienzos de la colonización americana”,.

    Mis paisanos y antepasados del Valle de Carranza (Vizcaya), emigraron también a esta isla, se puede leer a Birgin Sonesson, y puede verse la casi prevalencia de varones.

    Por tanto repita sus sus modelos matemáticos, porque los hombres indígenas tuvieron que competir durante casi 525 años con una continua e importante emigración masculina, de otras partes del mundo. Los resultados parecen coherentes, sin oscuros pasados coloniales.

  • José Alberto Pagán-Lugo

    These results of more aboriginal maternal lines corroborate what we learned at school and heard from our elders: That the colonizers physically abused of the male slaves, native Americans, and blacks as well, often to death, and sexually abused, most cases, of the female slaves. Unbiased history books teach that, and well done movies, like Roots, and historic novels, etc., too.
    36% Mediterranean, 22% Northern European, 16% Sub-Saharan African, 13% Native American, (Esto es Taíno, please!… Where is the confusion? ), and, 12% Southwest Asian.

  • Jason Holloway

    Just want to point out a fact I figured y’all would have caught. You painted the picture of Columbus discovering Puerto Rico in 1494… He claimed it for Spain in 1493. Thought you might want to fix it, you do have a reputation to maintain.

  • Hector Bird, M.D.

    I am not sure that a sample of 326 volunteers from a population of over three million, can represent that population. In this case the volunteers all proceed from a particular region of Puerto Rico (Vieques and southeastern PR). To generalize the findings from these subjects to the entire population of Puerto Rico is a bit of a stretch. The findings don’t even apply to residents of Vieques and Southeastern PR. In order to make such generalizations you need to report findings from a random sample of Puerto Ricans.

    • Hector,

      Your point is well taken. However, as was noted in the manuscript, we found that after sampling several hundred people we found that adding new people to the project was not adding new lineages. And we also found that the same lineages we found had been reported by other groups thoughout Puerto Rico, and were not specific to Southeastern PR and Vieques. I hope this answers your question.

      Best wishes, MV



    • Hello Cecilio,

      Thanks for your interest. Your theory that most of the Indian mixing occurred with the blacks is an interesting one. But since nearly all Puerto Ricans also carry European ancestry, there must have been some mixing with Europeans, too. Are you suggesting that the Tainos mixed with Africans first, and then later on mixed with Europeans? We may be able to look into that genetically.

  • David V DeJesus

    I was told and read that my last name was given to my tiano ancestors by a Spanish priest is this true anyone know..?

    • That is quite possible. You may be able to find out by going through church or census records.

  • Sandy Augusta

    I would love to know what % of my DNA is Taino. Where can I get this test. My grand mother and her mother had plenty of Taino traits, especially my great grandmother wish I could post her picture here. Please I would really like to know. Thank you

  • Jonnybegood

    Most of the people of the Island of Puerto Rico seem very ignorant. DNA test has proven the majority of their DNA is European Mediterranean and the African and Native American is the lesser. Even the word trigueno is European, it means the color of wheat (Trigo). I learned that studying ancient Roman scripts in college. Yes, the Romans used that word. Also, mixing of people is not New, it has always happened since the first tribes conquered others. Lastly, a lot of people in the Island have this Romanticized belief that aborigines lived in peace. Wrong, they had tribal wars and the same human instincts as others. Some people want to believe all the Spaniards raped everyone and left all these children around wrong. News flash most of the unions were legitimate marriages of immigrants from Spain and other Catholic Mediterraneans and native or African women. Spain brought Christianity and advance western culture and the beloved language you all love and won’t give up for Englis. Is Ironic the majority of people in these former Spanish colonies are Christians and hate Spain. Check the church records, they are the best records out of all the European/ Mediterraneans and most people will be able to track their lineage back to the 1500. Even Europeans from the USA can’t usually do that. We are lucky the British were not the ones that colonized the Island. They did not build missions to convert the natives, they just killed them with no pity.
    My message to the P.R. people is, stop celebrating mediocrity, the “Grito the Lares” was a failed attempt to overthrow the Spanish Empire and put Creoles in power. Stop blaming Spain for killing and raping when things could have been worst. The Slaves and what was left of the natives were still going to be the in the losing end because they had an inferior culture. This has nothing to do with race is about culture and the Africans were selling their own kind into slavery. Stop complaining about the USA and how unfair things are when there are more killings done know than colonial times and now is done by Puerto Ricans killing other Puerto Ricans. Take responsibility for your lives and stop being proud of everything like is unique. You are just one small island and nothing there that is truly yours. The language, ethnic heritage, government is unique. Tainos lived in all the Caribiean islands and not just Borkine. What is unique is the amount of crime drugs and debt in that small island. It is a god damned shame and there is no one to blame except yourselves for letting your home turn into a giant ghetto in the middle of the ocean. Your lucky the USA has not gotten rid of you as Spain did since there is nothing to gain for them except a bunch of disgruntle people who are not assimilating nor progressing even when they have so much more advantage than other islanders in the Caribbean. So if some of you want to be a Taino then go live butt naked run around with no shoes and live in a hut and see if you can survive. I am 57% Euro-Mediterrenean and I am not ashamed of it.

  • Bajari a Coriano

    I am Taino Indian ,my Great Grand mother told us so ,the surname Coriano is asociated with the decendants of Tainos ,and a Native American tribe from venezuela! My paternal Y chromosome is Taino ,Ha, ha I did a Dna test like 10 years ago and found out! So I must say National Geografic yiu were looking in all the wrong Places my family is from Arecibo one of the last Taino strong holds along with las Marias! Look me up it sYs i Extinct

  • Bey

    You can’t find the truth about your history from the same corporate persons that rewrote all the history in the first place. You can send your DNA to a place that’s ran by corporate America and expect them to give you the truth about who we are if they gave you the truth the would have to forfeit the lands and the riches of the ancestors.

  • Nelson Seda Muniz Acevedo

    My name is Nelson Seda Muniz Acevedo and need to know where my Origen comes from

  • Kimet Vilar

    Curious, Miguel Vilar, would you happen to be related to any Vilar’s In PR?

    • Yes, I am from Puerto Rico.
      Grandfather and father lived originally in Fajardo, later Ponce, then Mayaguez, and eventually moved to the San Juan Metro, where I was born.

  • Aurora Calderon

    Hi Miguel:
    Once over the over excitement about the mtdna Taino, or Native American, I came to my own analysis and conclusion. The first: The puertorricans have an average 12% of mtdna Taino or Native American (not 12% of Tainos genes) , the second: DNA genes talking, what we inherited today almost 50 generations ago is very little if some genes. I have seen lots of autosomal results between 4% and 17% or more Native American. Which is almost impossible unless: 1- The person have Native American Genes from other country. 2- A big number of Tainos survive, male and female have a big population almost secluded and centuries later admix with the rest of the population. Is a fact with the autosomal test take for granted the coordinates from where the test is done. Nobody can recognize a pure(or a grand mother, great grandmother etc….) Taino as many are claiming in their family trees. We have also to considerate that with the Cedula de Gracia 450,000 European Immigrants came to Puerto Rico.
    We have also to considerate the archives , that many times do not match to much with the autosomal tests results.
    I think, though is important to claim our Tainos roots and how they impacted our culture, I’m afraid that there are others admix components that we have to embrace too that are in disguise like: middle east, Jews ancestors, North Africa, and even Finland ,Iceland, Asia. Have you notice that almost everybody that have Native American , have dna match with Finland? Are we confusing Eurasian genes with Tainos. Let say the test was done in Puerto Rico is Taino, same genes in Finland are Eurasian. We have also to considerate to the puertorrican admix, populations from others countries with a high component for Native American genes that may have impact our genetic pool.
    My conclusion: Some puertorricans have a MTDNA Taino, Tainos genes : a drop very diluted. Puertorricans genes are mostly from Europeans and Africans countries with a great variety of different admix and varieties of percentage in the mix.
    The most important thing about DNA tests is to corroborate that we are all interconnected. We are a family, only one very but very admix tribe.

    Thank for this space to discuss our origins,

  • Martín Ibn Rubaín Bencomo

    Miguel G. Vilar, I want to congratulate you for your excellent work defining our origins. Recently I found another genetical study that confirms your conclusions.

    This genetical study was conducted by Neide María de Oliveira Gondinho from The University of Brasilia of Brasil, in her genetical study, The impact of migration in the genetical constitution of the Latin-America’s populations states that the average racial percentages of the Portorican Autosomal DNA is:

    13.2% Native American, 26.4 % Black and 60.3% West Eurasian (Mediterranean, North European and or Middle East).

    • Martin,

      Thank you for saying that. And I am very glad to see the results from others support mine. This is an amazing project and we continue to grow it every month. We just launched new work in Dominican Republic, and that will surely shed some light as to the pre-colonial and post-colonial relationships with Puerto Rico and the impact of Spanish colonization and the slave trade on Hispanola (the colonial capital). Muchas Gracias!!!


    Hello, ive always been curious about my BORIQUA backround. My father, uncles and tias born in bayamon. Now, my grandfather name Eugenio Colón and my grandmother Gabriela Santiago. I was told that my grandmas father my great grandfather was a very famous witch doctor in puerto rico. Is there somewhere i can go to get more accurate information on my family. Im very proud of my BORIQUA blood althoughim just half, the other mexican. But please if you can send any information id greatly appreciate it.
    Thank you for your time and have a great day.
    Elizabeth COLÓN

  • Marisol Vazquez

    Is the study with national geographic still ongoing? Some somehow your trying to find a needle in a haystack? The Y chromosome of male Tainos. Good luck! Both of my parents were born in Puerto Rico. My Father’s father was Cruz Vazquz- Monte. The family mentioned how he told them how he traved along with his father to P.R. by ship from Spain to Puerto Rico.. My Mother’s Father is Ramon Bonilla. (not much I know about him about DNA marker or where Bonilla came from) ~~
    Maternal/ grandmother: My Mother’ Mother was Maria Ocasio- Santiago (note: she appears Asian. The eyes, the physical, the hair except her hair had have waves and body texture to it.
    Jaunita Martinez-Vazquez She was believed to be native. An orphaned.

  • D. Bermudez

    While I’ve read many comments? I do not appreciate being called “Ignorant”? That seemed to be a blanket statement, which I didn’t care for….I am a proud, educated college grad. 100% Puerto Rican! And love who. I am….and what I look like… A mut? Perhaps, all the wiser. I am truly diversified! And love it….@ “johnnybegood? ..bad!

  • Chicky C

    My grandmother (mother’s side) was from Utuado. You should really test Puerto Ricans from mountainous areas. My grandmother and her Bermudez family look very Tiano. They are short with jet black hair and dark skin. Most Spanish lived around the coast and I’m positive that you will see more Tiano blood in places like Utuado. My father’s side is from Coamo and I can tell there is African on that side. My mother’s father had strong Spanish features. Bottom line is I’m a mutt! A beautiful mixture and colorful roots.

    • Hello Chicky,

      Thank you for your comment. We have worked with people from the mountainous regions of the island, as has a coleague Dr. Martinez-Cruzado from UPR-Mayaguez. What we found is that the Taino ancestry seems to be among nearly all Puerto Ricans and, in my opinion. there is limited regional differences. We will continue to look into the whole island and learn more as we do.

      Thank you, MV

  • Ricardo Torres Martinez


  • Carlos Pizarro

    Any information on the Pizarro bloodline anybody? I have all the information i could get so here it is…my mother is Julia Lleras Melendez, born in Caguas, her mother (my grandmother) is Juana Gonzalez from Cayey. Her father (my grandfather) is Francisco Lleras Gonzalez, from Caguas. My father is Ruben Jerardo Pizarro from Guaynabo I think. His mother (my grandmother) is Maria Pizarro Pacheco, not sure where from though. My grandfather (my grandfather) is Joaquin Pizarro Acosta, also not sure where from. Any information would be deeply appreciated, if not I still plan to do the actual swap test to dig a little deeper. Thank you all.

  • Patmeri

    Males would not have necessarily been decimated for the European Y-chromosome to dominate in Puerto Rico. The female descendants of native men would have eventually all been taken by the Spanish male occupiers. That’s called “breeding them out”. Ever heard of “Prima Nolte”, First Night? It’s when the occupying Governor of the region has the right, the obligation, even, to sleep with any local bride on her wedding night, before her new husband, and usually in his presence. This is how the Roman Catholic church established and maintains its hegemony all the way from Northern Scotland down to South Africa.

    It’s also noteworthy that the map that is shown, illustrating migration patterns to Puerto Rico, makes more of a connection to the route taken to America by Asians, rather than the route taken by Africans. Although “average” Puerto Ricans are 60% more African than Native American (20% vs 12%), proving Taino ancestry is the priority, to the exclusion of any possible cross-Atlantic heritage.

    Maps showing genetic migration paths consistently are shown in this non-conventional manner. It’s as if there was never any migration across the narrow Atlantic, just across the much wider Pacific, like when the world was still flat!

    This is to disavow any knowledge that Africans have been coming to the Americas, on their own, for thousands of years before Columbus, and that the indigenous peoples of the Americas, the Mound Builders, were African-looking people.

    It’s understandable that Puerto Ricans want to dismiss their African ancestry. No one wants to be lynched, or burned alive, or made to clean other people’s feces, like African people in the Americas have had to suffer and endure.

    Better stop taking those DNA tests, Puerto Rican and White people. A DNA test is the new Yellow Star. And and 23andMe, are the new IBM, counting who is and who isn’t “pure white”. Native American ancestry won’t save you from continued marginalization by the mainstream.

    Better to embrace your combined European-African ancestry, because this is the heritage of the proud Moors, who civilized Spain, and were then banished and tortured during the Inquisition. Remember the African merchants who bought and sold white women for their harems? Those are the real ancestors, and where the racial mix began, in Spain and Italy, not on the island of Puerto Rico. Odds are that the DNA tests reveal Puerto Ricans’ African genes are through the male line, and the European is through the mitochondria. This isn’t because enslaved African men and European women were mating in Puerto Rico in the 1500’s.

    The Moors were finally and decisively evicted from Europe in 1491. No coincidence that the following year, 1492, Columbus got the financing to follow the Moors on their trade routes to the Caribbean and Virginia coastline. They found themselves enslaved by later occupiers, the Tawny Moors, or Moriscos, the mixed Spanish and African Moors.

    There’s no getting around it: we’re all the descendants of the captors as well as the captives… Until we can resolve that conflict within ourselves, we won’t be able to unite as Americans.

  • Bajari Coriano

    First off A recent study of Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from 800 individuals found that patrilineal input, as indicated by the Y-chromosome, showed 66% of Puerto Ricans could trace their ancestry to male European ancestors, 18% could trace it to male African ancestors, and 16% could trace it to male Native American ancestors. AUTOSOMAL DNA test does not mean absolutely nothing! Further Ancient DNA from Siberian boy links Europe and America. researchers estimate that 14-38% of the ancestry of Native Americans traces to a population like the one living at Mal’ta 24,000 years ago. Which means that the DNA from Europe in Puerto Rico can be Partially Taino DNA. I am from Puerto Rico and Iam Taino.

  • Icolon

    Well the results make sense since the native Taino YDNA population diminished and later “disappeared” (at least for now) after the Spanish colonization and if what I read is the truth from a book about Puerto Rico’s pre-colombian history by Olga (author, can’t recall her last name), Tainos “passed the baton” or clan or chief tribal from female to female as opposed to from male to male. It is interesting that they already knew that the female line would supresede over the male line. Maybe they need to investigate more into the Tiaino Mtdna haplogroup/ line, although, I read also that Mtdna results without the full sequence are not enough. They need full sequence. On war enlistment records I have seen enlistments that checked Indian as race. Good luck.

  • Kain Odinson

    I don’t care what someone’s ancestors have done to mine in the past… if you’re a good person today, then I am proud to be your loyal friend and ally.

  • Ivelisse Pabon de Landron

    I am the great great great grandaugther of a mother & daugther who came as slaves from Africa to Puerto Rico 1834, to work the sugar plantations. The late Dr. Ricardo Alegria verified my 15 year research while I was living in Puerto RIco. Recently, I found two cousins who are related to my great great great grandmother in Ponce…one is a male the other a female. Which one would be suited for DNA testing, proving which region of Africa my ancestors could have come from? I had my dads DNA years ago but the results prove Subsahara , nothing definite…what would be the best road to go down… Thank you for your time and interest in this matter….

  • Ralph Mendez

    Wanted to know if maybe you can help me, I just got my DNA results back but there not a thorough as I thought they would be. Basically It states that I’m 81% European 12% Sub-Saharan African and 7 % East Asian, I figured The 81 percent is probably from Spain ,the African is know surprise but where would the Asian come from? also how can I get more information on this. Thank You

    • The Asian may be from a Native American component. Is there a chance that you have some Latin American ancestry, which would tie back to Native American and Asian?

  • Francisco Zapata

    Vieques is north east

  • Gladys Montalvo Barbosa

    My paternal aunt was born on June 07, 1898 in the Lares, Puerto Rico region. She was probably the third born. I can imagine when her mother was born [perhaps 1870-1975 ??] Her name was Cecilia Rodriguez & married Leo Montalvo.

    On my mother’s side {Liduvina Barbosa Ramirez] her grandmother was born in the same time period. How much “taino” could have been around when Barbosa is of portuguez descent and Montalvo surname is from Naples, Italy area?
    Lares was founded on April 26, 1827 by Francisco de Sotomayor and Pedro Vélez Borrero. The city was named after one of its settlers, Don Amador de Lariz, a Spanish nobleman.[1]

    Lares was one of the last municipalities to be established in Puerto Rico, receiving its charter from the then governor and captain-general of the Province of Puerto Rico, Don Miguel de la Torre, on October 6, 1831. The lengthy process was begun in 1824 and was led by Don Juan Francisco de Soto Mayor. However late its official foundation, Lares had its beginnings as el Hato de Lariz in the early 16th century. The Spanish word hato means pasture or cattle ranch. This particular hato owes its name to Don Amador de Lariz a Spanish nobleman and colonizer. In 1525, the Spanish Crown granted him an encomienda (a tract of land) that more or less occupies present day Lares, along with one hundred and fifty Tainos to work the property. The name Lariz is of ancient Basque origin and as far as is known. with only appro 150 tainos at the time, how many women could they have impregnated ?
    It stands to reason that in these then remote regions. many of the original colonizer’s would have a stronger gene pool. Wouldn’t you agree ?

  • Angel Lewis

    This is great research and very revealing to me. Get this, Hermansky Pudlack Syndrom; the cause of various blood and skin disorders resulting largely in Albinism is most popular in Peurto Rico 1 in 1800 (500,000 world). This appears now to be due to, what I believe was, European male colonists forcing themselves onto indigenous NA woman. They basically had a F** fest. Pardon the expression but there’s no other way to put it. So the part European came with this defective gene which in most cases was probably milder (HPS 1-4) but in extreme cases full albinism due rejection of the gene.

  • mari

    I am Taina Indian from my father’s side of the family, also african and Spaniard European, and W. European part Asian from my mother’s side>>quite a history. I cried.

  • Johanna Rodriguez

    Thanks for sharing your interesting findings, Dr. Vilar. I’m wondering if there have been studies in Puerto Rico based on blood type, especially the origin of B+. My father is of this type and I know it’s rare around the world (except in Asian countries). My parents are from the West (Rincon) where people probably have more European in them but he is copper colored and can pass for Arab.

  • Jose L. Gonzalez Cruz

    I’m from isabela,PR but now living in New York , I must say that is a impressive research and most likely true. I never done any research or anything close to it cause I’m not a scientist or anything close to it ,but I’ve been told how our Puerto Rican story started as I grew up as a kid from family as they were told from past generation and it fits that research.

  • Hernan

    HI, here is my results on the DNA Test, and Dominican But as we know from boricua to dominican not much of difference same goes for cuba, we are defiantly bothers. same decedents Tainos Europa y africa.

    Africa 23%
    Benin/Togo 8%
    Africa North 6%
    Trace Regions 9%

    America 11%
    Native American 11% = Taino

    Europe 66%
    Italy/Greece 27%
    Iberian Peninsula 23% = Spain
    Trace Regions 16%

  • Sean

    Puerto Ricans are Tianos who Spoke and Wrote in Ancient Hebrew, Columbus was Expelled from Spain with the rest of those who call themselves Jews and are Not, that’s why he took a Hebrew interpreter with him, it was financed by Europeans who AshkeNazi Jews are descended from

    All Maps were changed after Columbus, research Maps Before Columbus, the Island of Puerto Rico was the Ancient Island of Crete and were John the Baptist was exiled during his time of Tribulation, Columbus named the capitol after John the Baptist for this reason, America was Ancient Syria, South America was Ancient Africa

    They Changed It All

  • Magda gross

    Interesting…thank you

  • Jay De La Sierra

    Nothing new to me. My grandparents told me all they could about my ancestry when I was a young child; “you are the son of Indians, Whites and Blacks”… that was easy for me to understand (Forrest Gump style) and I embraced it. Everywhere I looked I could appreciate smashingly beautiful blond girls and impressively gorgeous Black women… and the rest of us “triguenyos” (sun-burned / between Black/White / “Color del trigo”) were said to be likely attributed to the following unions:

    Spaniard man w/ Indian woman = mestizo
    Spaniard man / Black woman= mulato
    Black man w/ Indian woman = zambo o zambaigo
    Mestizo man w/ Spaniard woman = castizo
    Mulato man w/ Spaniard woman = morisco
    Black man w/ Zambo woman = zambo prieto
    Castizo man w/ Spaniard woman = Spaniard
    Morisco man w/ Mulato woman = Salta Atrás
    Zambo man w/ Mulato woman = Calpan Mulata

    I am thankful, nevertheless, that someone with brain-power, motivation, credit and good reputation scientifically confirmed that my grandparents were correct. Thank You All.

  • Tato Torres

    The native inhabitants of most of the Greater Antilles have been and are still wrongly labeled as “Taínos” ever since the term was first coined by Constantine Samuel Rafinesquein in 1836. The “Taínos” are assumed to have shared a homogeneous culture and language. Because it is what we have been taught in school and due to significant cultural re-self-definition by many folks with significant investment in the term and its association with cultural identity. We popularly, but erroneously use the term “Taíno” to refer to the inhabitants of Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands during he last stage or era of the indigineous period, which lasted 5,000 yeas… We tend to assume that “Taíno” is the name of a specific culture, but in reality, the island was populated by a variety of cultures or ethnic groups, which though culturally and socially inter-connected through a relatively stable interaction, were never a homogeneous or monolithic culture. The truth is that there was NEVER any actual cultural group which called itself “Taíno.” Taíno is NOT the name of ANY ethnic group, but that of a time period or era. “Taíno” is, in essence, an inoperative term used by archaeologists colloquially speaking, to refer to the variety or spectrum of contemporary cultures inhabiting most of the Greater Antilles during this era.

    The term nitaíno, from which “Taíno” derived, refers to an elite social stratum or class and not to an ethnic group. The reality is that not a single sixteenth-century document ever used this noun to refer to the tribal or ethnic affiliation of the natives of the Greater Antilles. The actual term tayno (meaning “good” or “prudent”) was mentioned twice in a short account of Columbus’s second voyage by his physi-cian, Dr. Diego Alvarez Chanca and addressed to the Cabildo de Sevilla (1493) while in the island of Guadaloupe. The term was used in a very specific context, it has been interpreted as referring to the response to the Spaniards from natives of Boriquén (indigenous name of Puerto Rico) who had been captured by so-called “Caribes” (another erroneous term) of Guadeloupe, and who allegedly wished to escape on Spanish ships in order to return home to Puerto Rico. By using this term they were effectively saying something like “we are the good ones, prudent folks,” unlike those others (referring to the “Caribs”).

    The term in Chanca’s text is also interpreted as being actually used by the Spaniards upon their arrival on the island of Guadalupe and reads as follows: “Este dia primero que alli descendimos andaban por la playa junto con el agua muchos hombres e mujeres mirando la flota, e maravillandose de cosa tan nueva, e llegandose alguna barca a tierra a hablar con ellos, diciendolos tayno, tayno, que quiere decir bueno,” (Fernandez de Navarrete, 1825: 203). I will loosely translate it as follows: “On this first day that we arrived there, there were many men and women observing the fleet and amazed with such a strange thing, and upon landing (the Spaniards) on a boat to speak to them (the natives), saying to them, tayno, which means good.” The text describes how the Spaniards identified themselves as “tayno” (“good”). This is not, or should not be surprising, for the Spaniards would obviously want to convince or rather fool the natives into believing that they came in peace and with the best intentions. Of course we know the truth about that! The key words in the original text in order to properly understand the actual context is : “diciendolos”, which refers to what the Spaniards said to the natives and NOT the other way around. Another thing to keep in mind is that, technically at least, the natives of Guadalupe were what, even today are called Caribs. Eventually history has been misinterpreted and distorted and the term “tayno”, which the Spaniards used to describe themselves when addressing the natives (Caribs in the mentioned text) came to be applied to peoples of the Arahuacan cultural groups who inhabited the Antilles.

    The term was not used or published again until the end of the nineteenth century, first by Daniel Brin-ton (1871), to refer to a linguistic classification and then, by Rafinesque in a broader, cultural sense as already mentioned.

    Most of the current “Taino” leaders know this by now…, but are 1- heavily invested in their re-invented identity, 2- are unwilling to risk losing the power and status they gain through it and 3- prefer to identify as “Taino” in order to reject or deny their African and/or European heritage.

  • V Ayala

    I recently did a DNA test and this is what they found.

    69% Western European (28% Iberian peninsula, 22% Irish, 16% Italian/Greek, 3% European Jewish)

    16% Native American (Taino)

    15% North African Moroccan Arabic/Berber ancestry.

  • Saki Lopez

    Don’t be so quick to assume the obvious that your european ancestry is Spanish. One of my family members had her DNA tested and they found out that some of that percentage european is from the scandanavian invaders that settled in spain.

  • Hector Lopez

    Every body descends from Africa where the first homosapien evolved. You scratch a Scandinavian and you find an Africans.Hector

  • Rich

    Most Puerto Rican-Americans have been taught from the cradle that they are a mix of Spanish, Taino Indian, and West African.

    And we revolve our entire identities around this finding, even though it only applies to SOME Puerto Ricans. While the rest of us are left out in the cold, because we may have Irish, Moroccan, or Jewish blood coursing through our veins.

    My grandparents have been dead for decades, my parents have been separated for most of my life, and I grew in foster care as a child. So it would be of tremendous service if I can map my DNA without a need to provide information on family members I virtually know nothing about.

  • Ana Cruz

    My brothers and I were born in PR. My father’s family was from Cabo Rojo and San German and my mother’s family was from Minnesota, of Eastern European descent. My older brother and my maternal aunt both had DNA tests. My older brother’s DNA showed 2% Native American, while my Aunt’s showed no Native American Whatsoever. Wouldn’t that suggest that my brother got his 2% Native American from my Dad’s Y chromosome since my mom’s side doesn’t appear to have any? Also, I would love to see a project comparing the descendants of the Colon Luyendo family in Puerto Rico to the DNA of Christopher and Diego Columbus, now that their DNA results have been studied. We have been working on our family tree and a lot of people seem to be stuck with a hypothesis that the Colon Luyendos are descendants of Christopher, but no real historical record.

  • Ana

    I would like to respond to Johnybegood, who can’t distinguish between “know” and “now”, clearly has an extremely limited knowledge or no knowledge of 20th century history of Puerto Rico and yet has the nerve to call an Island of people ignorant. For your information, Puerto Rico was colonized by Spanish nobility; people who were descendants of aristocrats from all over Europe. Unlike the immigrants to the mainland, who left their countries in search of a better way of life, and unlike some of the leaders of U.S. politics, whose families made their fortunes as illegal bootleggers, the people who colonized Puerto Rico and lead Puerto Rico were and are descendants of la crème da la crème. Further, they weren’t all exactly nice. If they hadn’t already massacred Tainos, they enslaved them to help dig for gold or run their plantations. You can read up on Juan Ponce de Leon, the first governor of Puerto Rico, if you would like the gory details. I wouldn’t call conversion or forced conversion an act of kindness. Notwithstanding the shortcomings of the Conquistadores, Puerto Ricans abolished slavery long before the Americans did and have managed to preserve the culture, customs, class, art, music and food of their European, native American and African ancestors and unlike the xenophobic mainlanders, warmly embrace people of all ethnicities and are proud to be the product of their union. There is absolutely nothing mediocre about Puerto Rico or its people. Puerto Rico is full of the kindest, classiest, most honest, considerate and caring people that I have ever met. I would bet that the least educated person one could find in Puerto Rico has more knowledge of history and politics than your average high-school graduate on the mainland. Even the schizophrenic homeless whinos on the streets in Puerto Rico have better manners than most of the people I have encountered on the mainland and are likely to bless you if you stop to speak with them. And yes, Puerto Rico has every right to blame the USA for its problems. Changes in US tax policy aimed at helping to pay off the US deficit in the 90’s which taxed the whazoo out of US corporations that were flourishing in Puerto Rico thanks to Puerto Rican trained engineers and an extremely well-educated Puerto Rican work force are largely to blame for the recession that started in Puerto Rico more than 10 years ago and has spiraled downwards ever since. Likewise, the US’s moronic immigration policy is largely to blame for many of the social problems and violent crime in Puerto Rico. For decades, the United States did not have a single immigration judge in Puerto Rico, so when undocumented immigrants from the Dominican Republic showed up by boat, since the US didn’t want to spend the resources to send them to the mainland for an immigration hearing or to have an immigration judge on the island, officials in Puerto Rico just had to let them go. Puerto Rico soon became the gateway to America for undocumented immigration from the Caribbean, which brought with it a ton of socio-economic problems, including violent crime and drugs. For your information, the working people of Puerto Rico are subsidizing your social security and Medicaid benefits. Puerto Ricans pay the same payroll taxes that you pay in the USA mainland, yet receive lower Social Security and Medicaid benefits per person than most if not all of the people in the mainland. Puerto Ricans are also over represented in the U.S. military and are fighting your wars so that you don’t have to. Further, they don’t get to vote for the people who establish those payroll taxes or send them to war. Economists all understand the value of free trade, yet Puerto Rico is completely subject to US protectionist restrictions on trade and as a US territory, is unable to avail itself of benefits it could get by trading with its neighboring islands or using foreign shipping carriers to purchase its goods. The idiots in Washington, D.C. are largely responsible for the current problems in Puerto Rico and since mainlanders aren’t able to foresee or could really care less about the consequences of their actions until they affect them at home, I assume Puerto Rico will continue to spiral downward economically, most Puerto Ricans will move to the mainland and then the shortsighted and xenophobic mainlanders will be complaining when they realize that they can’t possibly compete for employment with the fully bilingual, highly educated and much classier Puerto Ricans. Puerto Rico may have many problems, but I assure you that ignorance of Puerto Ricans is not one of them.

  • jesus mangual

    I had my DNA study done through This is my composition. 1-Africa=15%
    b)Africa North=4%
    c)Africa South=3%
    a)Native American=9%=I can assume it is Taino due to the many generations in my family born in Boriken. 3-Europe=75%
    a)Great Britain=16%
    b)Iberian Peninsula=15%
    e)Europe West=1%
    4-Middle East=1%
    Blood from all over the world but those of you who are in doubt about your heritage (Yo Soy Boricua Pa Que Tu Lo Sepas) and do not intend to quit any time soon. So Johnybegood learn your history and never feel less than what you are. Be proud. Almost forgot that I was born in the town of Rio Piedras. I live outside of my national territory because of the colonial condition that we are subjected to by outside forces.

  • Gloria

    Ana or anyone, want to answer me. What you guys mark in Race: black or African American for Puerto Rico Race. I ask because one time my daughter bring some paper from school to me to fill it out to her. The paper ask that ? I don’t now what to answer and I answer white, I know I’m not white either black. She said to my daughter why you mark white you are not white. I read in google all Caribean Island was African American Race. How is that??

  • Gloria

    I ate a B in Caribbean. sorry

  • Suhai

    My grandmother told me that my great great grandfather was irish thats from where my last name oconnots comes from hes maid was from haiti they mate and we came about my grandfather married an indian taino puerto rican woman and then my dad married my mom that is spain and puerto rican my moms dad was puerto rican w indian taino yup is a crazy mix

  • Jibaricoa


  • Carla

    Ana of Omaha NE …. thank you for such an well informed comment. I am 61 years old and am still learning so much about my heritage …

  • Gerardo

    I recently had a DNA test and got these interesting results:

    Africa 10% – Africa North 3, Benin/Togo 2%, Nigeria 2%, Senegal 1%, Cameroon/Congo < 1%, Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers < 1%

    Native American 10%

    Asia South 1%

    Europe 78% – Italy/Greece 45%, Iberian Peninsula 19%. Finland/Northwest Russia 5%, Great Britain 3%, Europe West 3%, European Jewish 2%, Scandinavia 1%

    West Asia 1% – Caucasus < 1%, Middle East < 1%

  • Esmeralda Rivera Romero

    Know my ancestry.

  • Esmeralda Rivera Romero

    I want to know my DNA.

    • Matt Random Nobody

      Pay $100 for one of those services and you’ll get it.

  • Dennis Cruz Silva

    This is a very interesting article. Those who are interested in researching and learning about their ancestry, I recommend becoming a member with an ancestry research group such as, National Geographic, etc. I had the opportunity to investigate my DNA;

    Africa North – 18%
    Native American – 12%
    *Iberian Peninsula – 34%
    *Italy/Greece – 18%
    *Scandinavia – 8%
    West Asia – 3%

    100% Puerto Rican! 🙂

  • Elianah Torres

    I want to do a DNA test but, I’m looking for the more detail one. If is possible, I want to know if I have Taino’s and Jewish DNA. I want it to be as much detail as possible because I am a descendant of people from all over the globe. A suggestions?

  • Erik Torres

    I have recently begun my own fact finding mission in an attempt to map out my family history after a few revealing conversations with my dad who recently turned 85. I decided to focus on my paternal lineage for now and I have found that the digger I deep the more questions arise. My paternal grandfather was born in 1886 (yes the same year the Statue of Liberty was dedicated) and my paternal grandmother in 1897, making them both subjects of Spain at their births. I recall visiting my grandparents home in the Bronx as a very young lad and asking my dad “who are all these white people” in the many family photos my grandmother kept in her bedroom. My dad would say “those are my cousins” and I never thought much of it after that. Fast forward forty years and now I grow ever more curious with the acceptance of both my dad’s and my own mortality. I want to know who I am…..Where do I begin?

    • DelendasEstCartago

      We have very white puertoricans, as well native american looks and african. Dont wonder if you saw white people in the old photos, they are still puerto ricans born and raised there. Spanish customs promote interracial marriage, so you can find any race in your family.

  • Decano Edwin Martinez del Rio, M.A., M.B.A. , M.H.S.A. , Ed.S.

    Buenos dias ! Good Day!

    A DNA Test. can secure data as broken down by percentages ..for example:

    Un examen de DNA puede asegurar los datos convervtidos en porcentages…por ejemplo:

    Para nosotros los Boricuas hay varias enjendraciones mixta…i.e. judio, iberio sefardico, africa nortena, o de la parte este de europa y judio askenzai. A su vez los percentages de Tainos indigenos y de latino america son mixturas de nuestra herencia.

    For us Boricuas there are several mixture engendrations i.e. Iberian/Sephardic Jews..north african ..or eastern european jews such as askenazi jews. Moreover, percentages of our Taino indigenous and latin american mixes are part of heritage and mixture.

    respetuosamente … respectfully…

    Decano Edwin Martinez del Rio
    M.A. , M.B.A. , M.H.S.A. , Ed.S. , A.B.D.

  • Cecilia Gonzalez- Munoz y Torres Martinez

    I started my journey of ancestor back in the late 1990, with limited technology resources. Within the last two years me and my nieces have since revived this endeavor. I am amazed at our findings our ancestors and how enriched it is. I have started a page for our family and share our findings as it develops. At times it is an addiction. I have inspired others to take up the hobby as well. DNA test done for several members to confirm some information. The journey is still a journey, have even found friends in HS that are related, which has really left me at times amazed. Have connected with others to provide support, it’s a passion to inspire. I would recommend more embark on this journey of knowledge! Though I have a long way to go, it is inspiring.

  • Eduardo Rodriguez

    Ana, I took thought johnnygood’s comments were in poor taste and not all correct. He just need to look up the Jones Act to understand why manufacturing in Puerto Rico is almost inexistent. Also, study the history of Puerto Rico after the US took over in 1898 where we had a thriving agricultural economy only to stumble do to American political decisions. I’ve seen how the US took the “Hawaiian culture” out of Hawaii and they’re trying to do the same with Puerto Rico. We are our own separate country in my spirit.

    • Melissa Kriger

      “He just need to look up the Jones Act to understand why manufacturing in Puerto Rico is almost inexistent. Also, study the history of Puerto Rico after the US took over in 1898 where we had a thriving agricultural economy only to stumble do to American political decisions. I’ve seen how the US took the “Hawaiian culture” out of Hawaii and they’re trying to do the same with Puerto Rico.”……100% Correct

    • Caprovine Voerkraal
  • Morena Lopez

    My father didn’t know his father. We know he was latin and always thought Puerto Rican. My dna results came back with the following ratios:
    3% Asia central
    28% Ireland
    23% Great Britain
    12% Europe West
    12% Scandinavia
    5% Italy/Greece
    4% Iberia Peninsula
    2% Finland
    1% European Jewish
    8% Native American
    1% Melanesia
    1% Middle East

    Do these look like Puerto Rican ancestry? I understand the Melanesian have African ancestry but I dont have the typical African dna???

    • Nikki

      Did you check your cousin matches to see how many live in Puerto Rico, or identify as Puerto Rican?

    • Jay

      The native could be from puerto rico along with the ibearian and greece, Europe west as well.

    • Matt Random Nobody

      You’re mostly of Northern European descent. Here in the continental U.S., that’s generally referred to as “lily white”. One would guess that you have light-colored hair and eyes and pale skin. You’re what people might call a “cracker”. 🙂

  • Emilio ortiz

    I had my DNA done and was surprise at the results
    19%Iberian peninsula
    America 10%
    Arica 13%
    Asia 1%
    west Asia 3%

  • Vegan Rican

    Hi, I am Puerto Rican and my mix is:

    70% White (With 23% Irish)
    23% Native American!
    7% African

    My mother’s family is from Barranquitas (which is in the center of the island). I feel that there are many mestizos and Europeans there. My mother looked pure mestizo (her hair was bone-straight and fine, with very high cheek-bones and tanned skin), and my father looked European with some African curls to his hair (he is from a coastal area). Also, my parents do not have Spanish names, my father (and myself) have Irish names and my mother has a Taino last name. I think that some Taino males did survive, but moved to the mountains to escape slavery. I feel if you want to find Taino Y-Chromosomes, to try the central mountainous areas in Puerto Rico (like Barranquitas, Aibonito, etc.)

    • Yolanda Otero

      I completely agree. Both my parents and grandparents are from Puerto Rico. My mom from Orocovis and my dad Comerio. Lol Barranquitas is between them. I am SO excited to see my results. My mom said her grandmother was Taino. My dad says his side is from Spain. Both were from the mountains. Orocovis is specifically where most surviving Tainos that ran away settled. So hopefully. About 6 more weeks and I will have my results. What I really want is for my dad and my grandfather from my mom’s side to do it.

    • DelendasEstCartago

      Am curious, what taino last name? The arawak indians did not had last names, it was not their use. The use of last names came with the europeans.

  • Hector Lopez

    I have a DNA research done and i appear as 17% taino, 43% Mediterranean, 1.8 Neandertal, 1.1 Verosinon, 22% North European, 7% african south of the Sahara. The 22% of Northern European ancestry is really from the Spanish Galicians who happen to a Gaelic people who still play the bagpipes. These people are from North western Spain. Are called Gallegos( Gaelics ) My grandmother’s last name was Lugo. Now Lugo was the God of the Gaelics before Christ.. Some of my uncles and aunts were mediterranean looking and others were blond blue eyes. When I was a young boy, I had very blond hair. But I am 100% Puerto Rican who loves his nation’s freedom,and not U.S. American. The U.S. citizenship was forced on us under U.S. military occupation for cheap labor and for cannon fodder.

    • melissa bloom

      Witch test did you do! ancestry dna and give a little bit different results but are the same, just breaks it down more.

  • jillian leon

    just tring to understand my results
    my grandfather is PR

    North and West Europe
    British and Irish
    South Europe
    Middle East
    Middle East
    Sephardic Jewish
    West Africa
    West African
    South America
    Indigenous Amazonian
    Central America
    Central American
    jillian leon


      Dude you’r like 300% human I’m confused…

    • Jay

      You are 95% white, the sephardic jews are from Spain so you are 95% european, which basically means your white. You have very slight, within the margin of error, of native and african.

      • Matt Random Nobody

        “White” is semi-meaningless, racist term. She’s of Southern European descent.

  • Felix Alomar Pabon

    Hola… Toda mi familia “directa” de parte de Padre y Madre es puertorriquena. Mi YDna Paternal es R1b-P312-DF27 Europeo y mtDna Maternal es H Europeo…sin embargo mis razas etnicas son las siguientes:

    European 58%:
    Iberia 27%, Southeast Europe 24%, Scandinavia 5%, British Isles 2%
    New World 17%:
    Norte y Centro America: 13%, Sur America 4%
    Africa 12%:
    West African: 12%
    Middle Eastern: 10%:
    Jewish Diaspora Sephardic: 7%
    Other Middle Eastern: 3%

    • Cindy Gonzalez

      Hola desde New York New York si no le molesta mucho que examen de ADN hizo usted ?

  • Alberto Mercado

    I was born in PR of Puerto Rican parents and so forth. I did a DNA test and I was shocked to find out that my DNA was mostly Greek / Italian with very little Spanish DNA. Shock the heck out of me because my grandparents always said we were Spain descendants . Guess I’m more Greek than Spanish.

  • Lara

    Yup, this seems reliable. 326 people tested, out of 3,000,000+.

    • Jay

      there are actually 9 million puerto ricans given their mainland counterparts. its really silly, i know puerto ricans that are white as any American, and black as any African…

  • Heriberto orona

    Ola llo soy boricua mi padres son DE utuado P.R. Don DE Los Indians excaparon llo dengo sangre taina llo mehise Un exsame DE DNA sali com Hispanics 24% taino20% African 11% middle east 4%

  • Ángel Quiñones Cuadrado Toro De León Berríos La Santa

    People, many of you seem not to know that in the 1540s the Spaniards who had settled Caparra/ San Juan found themselves short of manpower to finish the walls of San Juan and El Morro fortifications. The indigenous men that had been enslaved and decimated from 1511 until then, were not enough to finish the fortifications.

    So, guess what they decided to do? They brought approximately 20,000 Aztec Indians from Mexico, to finish the walls and fortifications. Those Native Americans from México, after finishing the construction works remained in Puerto Rico. They married and mixed with the tainos, Spaniards and blacks there. Our melting pot is a real melting pot, not the fake one US history books claim took place here. What we have in the United States is not an all-fruit punch, like we do in Puerto Rico. What they have in the United States is a fruit cocktail. We are all inside the same can, but we have not liquefied or formed a new product with a different flavor. We have all kept our color, shape and flavor inside the fruit cocktail can. We are not a new juice; Puerto Rico is. A.Q. 7/27/2017

    • Cuqui

      From Mexico? WTF? There is absolute no reference of that at all in any books about the history of Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are basically 70% spanish from the Canary Islands, Andalucia and Extremadura (all regions of Spain), 20% african slaves who came from the Canary Islands and 10% taino caribbean natives.

  • Eve Jimenez

    I am Puerto Rican
    My parents were born there but not me.
    Ancestry say i am
    Mali 4%
    Nigeria 4%
    Africa North 3%
    Africa Southeastern 2%
    Senegal 2%
    Africa South Central <1%

    7%Native American

    European Jewish 2%
    Europe West 1%

    3%West Asia
    Middle East 3%

    On MyHeritage DNA is a little different
    I like the results better
    66.9% European
    South Europe 49.7%
    Iberian 29.6%
    Italian 20.1%

    8.9% North and West Europe
    Irish,Scottish and Welsh 7.1%
    North and West European 1.8

    14.2% Africa
    West Africa 10.0%
    Nigerian 5.5%
    West African 4.5%
    4.2 North Africa

    14.2% America
    Central America 14.2

    4.7% Middle East

  • Erika Robles

    I found out on my DNA test that im 1%black 1%native 51%spainerd 42%italian and 20%southern european with more european countries total 87%european is it even logical to still call my self puertorican

    • Reason2notworry

      yes. That’s what Puerto Ricans are- a mix of races that became an unique, and awesome, culture.

      • Nikki

        I think her calculations are off because those percentages do not add up to 100%. She is hardly a mix of races if she is only 2% of any other than European. If she did only get 87% Euro than the native or black percentages would have to be higher than 1%. Either way if your family descends from the island and the culture is in you, you are Puerto Rican. That 1% native dna comes from a gggg grandparent. People used to have children young, so that 100% taino gggg grandparent probably was around not very long ago.

        • Cindy Gonzalez


      • Jay

        1% doesnt even really count… she’s european…Puerto Rican white, just like an American white from England.

        • Matt Random Nobody

          I wouldn’t say she was “white” (which is meaningless a term for most people), but definitely European-Puerto Rican, similar to European-American. She’s similar to a full-blooded Italian-American living in New Jersey or a full-blooded Greek American living in New York or whatever. Southern European descent, living in the new world.

    • Rolando Aponte

      So you are “too white” to be puertorican? Yes, you don’t deserve to be Puertorican.

    • Jay

      You’re race has nothing to do with your heritage. Most Puerto Ricans are “white” or European.

    • Jay

      Thats like saying you have to call yourself british becuase you have white DNA and live in America…..don’t be silly…..plenty of white puerto ricans infact a majority….

  • Jose Lopez

    22% Iberian Peninsula
    21% Italy/Greece
    57% Other regions
    18% Ivory Coast/Ghana
    8% Europe West
    3% Ireland
    2% European Jewish
    1% Great Britain
    20% Native American

  • Mark Felix

    Comparing my DNA to everyone else’s comments, i guess i am the odd ball out haha. My DNA results stated 67% African 10% Native , 16%Spaniard and the rest was Asia, Middle East

    • Erin Sandoval

      Do you know the history of your last name? I have the same last name and always thought it to be unique. Sandoval is my maiden.

  • Michelle Jimenez

    It’s revealed that Puerto Rico is a mixture or other nationalities like Africans, French, Europeans, and a lot more. Puerto Rico is from both South and Central America.

  • Timothy Jerome Luna

    Both of my haplogroups are Native American QM3 and B2. Will QM3 become extinct eventually.

  • Isaias DeSoto

    I was Born in upstate NY but both my parents were born on the island of PR. Father was white Mother olive.
    South European/Spain/Italy-59.2%
    North and West Europe-2.1%-Finnish
    North African-11.0%
    West Africa-3.2%
    East Africa-1.6%
    Central America- 19.0%-Columbia, Mexico
    Middle Eastern- 2.6%- Saudi Arabia

    • DelendasEstCartago

      North African lineage comes from the Canary Islands, that are in this region.

      • Lauren Demascola

        Or possibly when the Moors (North Africa) took over and intermixed in Spain in the 8th century??

  • Isaias Aponte,Sierra, Ramos Soto

    A study on Puerto Rican lineage

    Were the Taino Indians the first inhabitants of the Island of Puerto Rico? Are Puerto Rican’s truly of Taino DNA & Origin? Some questions that will be explored in this study.

    The Taino Indians aka the Antillian Arawak Indians were a sub group of the Antillian Arawak Indians which originally hailed from South America. The South American Arawak Indians inhabited the northern and north western areas of the Amazon basin in the Guyana & Columbia’s rain forest. Dr.Juan.C Martinez Cruzado a professor of Mitochondrial DNA technology at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez has proven that the Taino’s Migrations were Pre-Columbian (South American) to the Caribbean Antilles region (Puerto Rico). Through the extensive study of the Puerto Rican samples, Martinez-Cruzado and his team have found connections between island residents and Native peoples who arrived before and after the Tainos. He pointed out how a few of the samples can be traced back 9,000 years from ancient migrations, while others correspond to the genetic makeup of Native peoples of the Yucatan, Hispaniola, Margarita Island and Brazil among others. These latter genetic trails point to the presence of other Native peoples who were probably brought to the island as slaves from other Spanish or Portuguese colonies after the 1600s. Further proof of this is when the Island of Puerto Rico (Borinquen) was invaded by the Caribs of South America in around 1300AD. The Taino’s fluently spoke the same Language as the Caribs proving their indigenous connections. Dr.Juan.C Martinez Cruzado also proved there were Nomads (non Taino) in the territory of the Antilles Islands (Puerto Rico) several thousand years before the Taino migration to the Island(Puerto Rico) proving the Taino’s were not the original inhabitants of the Island and were sojourners. When the Europeans arrived in approx 1493AD they brought free blacks (non slaves) Spain yards & other European sailors. According to historian Ricardo Alegria, in 1509 Juan Garrido was the first free black man to set foot on the island; he was a conquistador who was part of Juan Ponce de León’s entourage. Garrido was born on the West African coast, the son of an African king. When the slave trade began the Europeans were not picky as to which culture would be their slaves, they brought Sub-Saharan Africans, Arabs, Mexicans, Asians & other cultures to the islands to profit from the cultivation of the islands gold,silver,coffee, sugar cane, vegetables & fruits & raw resources. There is much proof of these statistics. There was much mixing and intermarriage during these peoples migrations. Possibly as many as three million souls—some 85 percent of the Taíno population—had vanished by the early 1500s, according to a controversial extrapolation from Spanish records. Ricardo Alegría, a Puerto Rican historian and anthropologist. He had combed through Spanish archives to track the eclipse of the Taíno. “Their culture was interrupted by disease, marriage with Spanish and Africans, and so forth, but the main reason the Indians were exterminated as a group was sickness,” (small pox) as the Indian population faded, so did Taíno as a living language & culture. Many of the remaining Taino’s fled to the mountains of Puerto Rico & sailed to other islands like Cuba & the Dominican republic, etc. Much of what was left on the Island of Puerto Rico was a melting pot of Europeans & slaves some with some Taino genetics. The Europeans had a very interesting mix of genetics of their own prior to the discovery of the Antilles & Virgin Islands. Europe was invaded by African/Arab Moors (In 711, troops mostly formed by Moors from North Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania) & was under Moor rule for over 700 years. They mixed & intermarried with the Europeans which strongly affected European genetics. The slavery trade rich in Sub-Saharan African/Arab & small percentiles of Asian/Mexican affected much of the culture of Puerto Rico. The Sub-Saharan Africans South of the Sahara desert are cousins to the majority of African Americans in the United States connecting genetics of the two cultures. Puerto Ricans have a rich blend of many cultures which has made them very unique to the world. But the rest of the world is a big melting pot there is no pure race or color just regions & shades of color. In summary the Taino’s have vanished but have left a large genetic footprint in the world. According to the study funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, 61 percent of all Puerto Ricans have Amerindian (Native Indian) mitochondrial DNA, 27 percent have African and 12 percent Caucasian. (Nuclear DNA, or the genetic material present in a gene’s nucleus, is inherited in equal parts from one’s father and mother. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited only from one’s mother and does not change or blend with other materials over time.)
    In other words a majority of Puerto Ricans have Native blood.
    My Persoanl DNA Results both my Parents were born in Puerto Rico:

    South European/Spain/Italy-59.2%
    North and West Europe-2.1%-Finnish
    North African-11.0%
    West Africa-3.2%
    East Africa-1.6%
    Central America- 19.0%-Columbia, Mexico
    Middle Eastern- 2.6%- Saudi Arabia

    Isaias,Aponte,Sierra, Ramos Soto

  • Ruth Hernandez

    I’m a child of 2 Puerto Rican parents. Would love to see what my ancestry is. What’s the best test to do this? There are so many out there. Thanks!

  • Cuqui

    Puerto Rico was founded by Spain in 1493 (way before some of the regions of mainland Spain like Navarra), it was a Province of Spain and Puerto Ricans are by far and large descendents of Spanish people who came from Canary Islands, Andalucia and Extremadura. 70% of Puerto Rican DNA comes from that source. Puerto Rico was the only place in the Americas that was loyal to Spain, mostly because its population was spanish descent, unlike other islands. US invaded the Island and separated Puerto Rico from Spain (unlike Cuba where an Independence war was raging since 1895). Even a Puerto Rican became Vice President of the Congress of Spain in 1812, Ramon Power y Giralt who was also a senator of the province of Puerto Rico and signed the first constitution of Spain. Puerto Ricans were spanish citizens by birth since the Island was an overseas province since 1812, it became an autonomous province in 1897.

    • Franko

      Cuqui, your narrative does not take into account what immigration records in Puerto Rico indicate; namely that Puerto Rico is much more diverse. Roughly 30% of Puerto Ricans carry French surnames. The French were the second largest group of immigrants to Puerto Rico after the Spanish. Records indicate that after the enactment of the “Real Cédula de Gracias” of 1815 Catholic European immigrants arrived on the island from France, Corsica, Portugal, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, Canary Islands, and a smattering from Holland. All of these people were lured to the island by the promise of land grants from the Spanish crown if they would pledge their allegiance to the Spanish Crown and after a five year residence on the island. Already on the island were the descendants of African slaves and Africans continued to be imported to the island until slavery was officially abolished in 1873.

  • Antonio Sanchez

    I had my DNA test. I am Puerto Rican of very old families in the island. The report about me show:Native American,some africans,west europe,scandinavian,caucasus and asia minor Ancestry. It is very interesting.

  • diamondpoint

    My father is Puerto Rican and my mother is American/black. I was born in NJ but in my ♥ I always felt PR was my home when I go back and walk the same streets that generations of my family and people walked and buried I feel it no DNA test can take that away from me. A real Puerto Rican cannot be racist his blood represents everyone and this is still something to be proud of.

  • Matt Random Nobody

    Um, did anyone read the whole article?

    Did anyone read the huge discovery that a bunch of Spanish sailors and soldiers arrived in the New World, enslaved and killed all the Taino men, and then married all the Taino women? That’s kind of disturbing.

    It’s nowhere near as psychopathic as what happened in the U.S. and Canada, where the British, Dutch, and French soldiers and sailors killed and enslaved all the indigenous peoples, and then brought over their pale wives from Europe to settle.

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media