Saturday, January 24, 2015

DNA Discoveries: Mysteries and Surprises

I submitted a DNA test with 
Here were my results:

My Ancestry DNA Breakdown

75% Africa
   26 Congo /Cameron 
   19 Ghana/ Ivory Coast
   11 Benin / Togo
    9 Mali
    5 Senegal
    3 Nigeria 
    1 SE Bantu
    1 North Africa
20% Europe
  6 Ireland 
  6 Scandinavia
  2 Italy/Greece
  2 Iberian 
  1 European Jewish
  1 Western Europe
3% Middle East 
1% Americas 
1% Asia
  1 South Asia

The purpose of the test was two-fold: 

  • to seek an estimated "ethnic" breakdown and 
  • to confirm ancestral connections with blood relatives.

The DNA testing has taught me a few things about my family history. 

1. Pinpointing my African origins
This was by far the best part of the test. I was able to pinpoint several nations of origin through Ancestry. Then, I uploaded my results to which allowed me to run more tests to identify on a kingdom/tribal level were my African ancestors were from. This is important because the African nations that exist today, did not exist before colonization. Also, Africa has the most diverse population in the world because it is the birthplace of humanity. Hopefully more attention will be given to this continent by genetists. 

2. The amount of European DNA I carry
I was surprised by the amount of European DNA I carry. Everyone in my family identifies as black. As far as we knew, there had been no interracial marriages. Sadly, we are aware in the African American community of the rape and sexual coercion which occurred during slavery, but I did not think this would be evident in my DNA. We knew from oral history that there were two European men (one German and one French) in our lineage. Obviously there were more European ancestors than I had anticipated.

3. Where is my Native American DNA?
As many Americans, my family has tales of Native American ancestors. While this is not necessarily inaccurate, my DNA (according to their database) did not match significant about of genetic material. This could be for a number of reasons. #1 - My Indian ancestors were more multiethnic than previously thought. #2 - The databases were unable to compare this dna to living Indians of the same region where my ancestors were from. #3 - Maybe some ancestors lied. One reason would be instead of admitting they were biracial (white-black), it may have been easier to say Indian. The Native American DNA I inherited comes from my father's line and it is more commonly found in Central America. This was a surprise!

4. Asian DNA?
SUPRISE! My mother does not carry any genes from Asia, so this too came from my father. I carry about 1% South Asian dna. I believe this came from some of my African ancestors. Through my research, I learned there were some South Asian (Indian) slaves sold from India to South Africa for many years. I am sure this intermarriage may have attributed to this segment of my ancestry.

5. More Middle East DNA than Native American DNA.
Father Abraham may just be my granddaddy. While I am not surprised at having Middle Eastern ancestry, I was surprised at how much especially relative to the Native American DNA I carry. I have discovered, since starting my research that some African peoples today originated in the Middle East, like the Fulani. I have even been able to pinpoint them by name! 

This test has been a great help in my research and has pushed me to understand history on a global level. 

Hopefully, more of my family members will do the test so that I can have more information regarding our ancestors' origins. 

1 comment:

  1. Cool! I have wondered about my own ancestry maybe I will check out