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African American DNA Research Forum

Re: DNA Test Results
In Response To: Re: DNA Test Results ()

Hello Melvin,

It appears my initial post lacked clarity. Let me try and respond to your post in this form and hopefully we won’t be “talking past each other” :)

Greetings Art,
Well, to be perfectly honest with you, I never took the time to truly understand the core technology behind DNA analysis, such as markers, the number of them, halogroups, etc. I'm not saying that it would be hard for me to comprehend, but I was satisfied at the moment knowing the difference between mtDNA, Y-chomosome, X-chromosome, genetic inheritances, etc. However, since you disclosed the number of markers by both companies, are there a specific number of markers required to positively determine African ancestry? As I understand it, each of the many African ethnic groups has telltale genetic markers not found in other people. Those markers were passed down, and they appear in African Americans' cells today. Does those 9 markers not fall into that telltale category?

My response:

The 9 Marker Y-DNA test done by AA, Inc. does exactly what it is advertised as doing. And it is more than sufficient in identifying AA ancestry. it is particularly effective in matching Sub-Saharan ancestry due to the size and content of its databases. As I understand it, the additional markers tested bring you closer to your Most Recent Ancestor (MRA) and increase the possibilities for finding current matching individuals.
This supposedly reduces the DNA timeframe from thousands to hundreds of years.
I am solely interested in learning some of my African ancestry instead of my racial makeup, so our interests are different. Although the core of DNA analysis may reveal analyses that are not conducted by African Ancestry, Inc., the purpose of their company reflected the knowledge I thought (as well as many others) African-Americans would never find out and the knowledge I so desperately wanted to gain. Therefore, I personally embraced their one-of-a-kind project wholeheartedly, despite what others may consider as “imperfections”.

My response:

Our interests in DNA are not that different. My goal was/is to also determine my genetic composition, not my racial makeup. Wherever that would lead me. Unfortunately, the scheme, which is by ethnic origin and it's mutations ..... is interpeted as race.

I too embrace the efforts of AA, Inc. They are "cutting edge" and the leader in pioneering the genealogical DNA "phenomena" among African ancestered people. AND I in no way deem their product as having imperfections.

My next agenda will be to test my father's mtDNA through AA, Inc. My father's Y-chromosome is of European origins, and that's not where my personal interest lies. If I had the money, I'd be collecting samples from kinfolk all over the country to determine the African ancestry of other ancestral lines that I believe are traceable directly back to our beautiful Motherland. I am sure the steps you've taken and the tests you've gotten reflected the knowledge you wanted to gain. Knowledge is golden, right?

My response:
No problem, because you and your father, his father, etc. display European origins as a result of the Y-DNA testing you're looking for African ancestry through your father's maternal lines, that makes sense to me. In my case, both the Y-DNA and the mtDNA reflected European origins, that is why I did the BGA - Biogeographical Analysis. Their information package states “ Our test relies on sequences throughout your genome, so we can say more about a greater number of your ancestors”. Y-DNA & mt DNA analysis only look at two (2) chromosomes and can only provide a more limited look at one’s ancestors.

Yep, Knowledge is golden…..and we’re on the same page……just trying to find out “who” we are.
Good Luck in your DNA endeavors,

Best Wishes to you also……….And keep up the good work

Art Thomas

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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