African American DNA Research Forum
Re: African Ancestry, then what?
In Response To: African Ancestry, then what? ()
Excellent question B.J.! I wonder if the results would make people want to dig more to try to find the documented link to the African group(s) DNA link them to.
It would be an absolute dream for me to find that maternal Fulani ancestor. Although my mtDNA is a match to the Fulani of northern Cameroon, this is not to say that a slave trader captured my ancestor right there in Cameroon. Some experts estimate that approximately 7 million Fulani live in areas of West Africa from Senegal and the Gambia in the west to Chad and Central African Republic in the east. Over 400,000 are estimated to be in Cameroon, and I read somewhere that they migrated into northern Cameroon during the 18th century I believe.
Only paper research will answer the questions: (1) Who was that female ancestor that was captured in Africa and brought to America (or to the West Indies and then to America)? (2) Where was she living when she was captured? (3) What year? (4) What ship brought her here? (5) Was she brought to Charleston, SC, Savannah, GA, Virginia, Annapolis, MD, etc.?
Personally, I believe some families will have some degree of success in finding the answer to some of those questions (if they don't give up), and unfortunately, some will not be so lucky. A number of people have done this. Maybe Afrigeneas can collect stories from researchers who have traced back to Africa about how they were able to do it, and release a book called "We Did It: Our Triump Back to the Motherland" or something like that. This will be a great inspiration for many who desire to do the same.
I am not giving up on trying to finding documented evidence of that maternal ancestor who is linked to the Fulani. Fortunately, it is on this side of my family that I've traced the furthest--to my 5th-great grandmother. A slave named "Old Jenny" is listed in the 1830-inventory of David Boyce's estate, that also lists my 3rd-great grandmother and her mother, my 4th-great grandmother, Milly. My 3rd-great grandmother gave the name "Jenny" to one of her daughters, and other family members are named "Jenny", so I strongly believe that "Old Jenny" (probably born around 1760) was the grandmother of my 3rd-great grandmother. It is Old Jenny's mtDNA that I carry and was tested via my Mom's sister's daughter. However, linking "Old Jenny" to the Fulani would be a dream I hope will come true one day.
Sorry for being so long-winded, but when the topic of tracing back to Africa comes up, I am like a "kid in a candy store". :-)