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African American DNA Research Forum

Re: Which test is which?
In Response To: Re: Which test is which? ()

>I appreciate the link. My question is not
>necessarily a scientific one, but more one to think
>about in a social and/or genealogical context.
>I see the African Ancestry as one that would be of
>interest to those wishing to know something about at
>least one ancestor and which part of Africa they
>stem from.

True. That is what I wanted to know and not "Africa, 50,000 years ago!"

>The others I am not sure what they reveal and what
>the results mean. For example---the DNAPrint
>analysis. It comes back, I believe, with information
>in percentages. What do they reflect and what are
>the benefits of having the percentages. Have members
>of this forum taken that test and how were the
>results presented and explained?

I have taken this test also. It showed me as 82% Sub-Saharan African and 18% European. My two mtDNA and two Y-chromosome tests (4 grandparents) have all traced to Africa, but with the oral history that I have + the genetic history I saw on my Dad's and his siblings' faces, I knew there was some European in there somewhere. Oral history says my Dad's maternal grandfather "looked white" but I have nobody to test for that. So, I can't trace it, but am not partcularly curious about it anyway.

This test is useful for folks who have oral history that says they have Native American ancestry, but the mtDNA and Y-chromsome tests don't show it for the same reasons that mine don't show European. This test would "prove" their oral history to be true, but now it's a matter of finding the right line to test. If my mother's father was NA, testing my mtDNA won't show that. And if my father's mother was NA, testing his son's Y-chromosome won't show that.

This test would work for those folks who KNOW they are African ancestored, yet their tests so far have all traced to Europe. So where is their African-ness? This test will show it, unless they are like the guy who "thought" he was Black and had 0% African ancestry show up in the test...

>Family Tree DNA. This is a popular one, often spoken
>about. How are their results presented and is this
>the one that provides genetic matches? What do the
>mathces mean for genealogists? What do the matches
>mean in general? Does that mean a cousin connection
>or just a "hey we are from the same place"
>connection?

If there is a dna match, they have a common ancestor. The question is when? How far back? These test results work for Surname projects where you have two (or more) people or families with the same last name, including spelling variations, but don't know if they are related. If the test results are the same, then you are related. Now you have to go back to the old genealogy to figure out HOW and when.

Here's an example of where it would help. The mother of my two aunts by marriage was a SEAWOOD and lived in a community near where I grew up. The only other SEAWOODs in the county live "across the river" (about 20 miles away) and, according to my aunts are "another set of SEAWOODs." And I've been told by people in other instances "That's a different set of MITCHELLs." I just say to myself "Yeah, right."

Keep in mind these are closely connected communities, some 5 miles or less apart, of limited populations. When I lived there, my community was about 250 total (currently 199), black and white, about 50-50 between the races and these other communities are the same. As I do county-wide and more history, the people are so inter-connected by marriage and by blood, that these folks are in fantasyland if they think they aren't connected. On the other hand, maybe they were with the same slaveowner and just coincidentally took the same last name. The other possibility is that the generations that knew the connection died and the information got lost. All you need is for one sibling to have moved 20 miles away in the late 1800s, early 1900s.

The FTDNA results can help separate the fact from the fiction in these cases, the kind of thing used in the Thomas Jefferson case.

>Is the National Genographic project one that will
>tell us more than the obvious---our ancestors are
>from Africa, or does it tell us more than that? I am
> just curious as to what those who have used the
>various tests have found.

As far as I can tell, the National Geographic testing is not really geared to providing much for individuals. It is collecting samples so they can map out the migrations of mankind through the ages. But as far as I know, the information is the same as that provided by FTDNA.

>Also have those who have taken one test chosen to
>take another test to obtain more information as
>well?

I had my mtDNA test done through African Ancestry and was matched to a group in Cameroon. The next test I had was the DNAPrint one with the percentages. Those were the only ones I could do myself. And I was "just curious" about the percentages.

Then I had to gear myself up to ask cousins for samples, folks who are totally uninterested in genealogy and DNA testing, and I waited a while to do that. Just chicken I guess.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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