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African American DNA Research Forum

Re: Trouble locating african ancestors

I'm very fascinated by the relatively high percentage of African ancestry for my mom's family. I'm thinking that distant African ancestors in Europe would probably not result in percentages displayed in the test. It could definitely contribute to the totals, but my understanding of the test is that in the past 4-5 generations my mother had some ancestors with a lot of African ancestry.

I know that the Finnish population has the East Asian influence from a distant mixing of European and Asian populations, so the tests often show both ancestrial groups. I suspect that my African ancestors are probably going to be found in North America in the past few hundred years, but I am open to looking into all the possibilities.

Does anyone know about any places in Europe where there are constant low levels of African ancestry in people who don't identify as having African ancestry? I guess in some areas of Spain this is likely?

I'm pretty sure at this point that in 1881 my German ancestors came to the U.S. from Hesse-Darmstadt (my mother's paternal grandfather). Mom's maternal grandfather came from Finland about the same time.

Mom's maternal grandmother Florence is the one with a big mix of ancestors and where I'm looking first for African ancestors. Florence Ryan Fredrick's father (James V. Ryan) was born in Puerto Rico to an Irishman and a woman born in Puerto Rico. Her name was Maria or Mary O'Farrell, but we know very little of her. We get the name O'Farrell from her husbands obituary, which discussed when they met and married in Puerto Rico.

Florence's mother (Marguerite Sherbondy) was born in Iowa, but Florence's grandmother (Catherine Bort Sherbondy) was called "Black Dutch" due to her dark complexion, says family tradition. Catherine was born in New York, as were both of her parents. Catherine's great grand father (Nicholas Bort) fought in the American Revolution. He was supposed to be a German speaking immigrant and lived and died in New York.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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