African American Genealogy Through DNA

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The family stories that are discovered through genealogy research are often treasured pieces of information. Most people love to know where they come from and who has
contributed to their own story. It is interesting to have a connection with a home land across the ocean and its culture.

For African-Americans, uncovering such stories and connections is difficult. Because of the slave trade in our country’s early history, traditional genealogy research for an African American often leads to dead ends and brick walls. However, DNA testing has opened up a new opportunity for African Americans to learn about their
deeper ancestry.

WHAT DNA CAN REVEAL ABOUT AFRICAN AMERICAN ANCESTRY

Over the last decade, large DNA databases have been collected from various parts of West Africa. A DNA test can reveal if your family originates from the areas covered by modern-day Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, or Sierra Leone. It is also possible to find ancestry in Senegal, the Gambia, the Congo River basin, or Angola. While it might not be able to give you a specific sub-group or tribe, DNA testing can help you locate a broader “home land” that can tell you more about your family background.

OTHER ANCESTRY FOUND IN AFRICAN AMERICAN DNA TESTING

DNA has shown us that we share more ancestry than we hold differently. According to USA Today, approximately 30% of African Americans descend from a European paternal line. Many have also found Native American ancestry in their mix of relatives. A DNA test can lead to previously unknown places of origin outside of Africa.

WHAT KIND OF DNA TEST DO YOU NEED?

Because African American ancestry can lead to maternal and paternal lines in vastly different areas of the world, it is recommended that you don’t just test one side.

You can test both lines, or you can research broadly with an Autosomal DNA test.

Y-DNA – Y-DNA testing is for males only, and it tests the paternal line of ancestry. Females can have a close male relative tested to research paternal descent.

mtDNA – This test researches the maternal line, passed from mothers to all of their children, and carried on through daughters.

Autosomal DNA – The Autosomal DNA test is a broad DNA test that researches a wide range of relatives, including cousins. This test can also help you find living relatives who you
might want to connect with.

Get started with your African American DNA test today.