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African American DNA Research Forum

Re: Difference in Nat'l Geo. DNA test and African


I was asking the same questions not too long ago. After much research, I decided to take the DNA tests, as an extension of my research that I have done on my maternal line for almost 20 years.

I made a decision to take both tests because the results and the presentation of the results are different, yet significant to me.
The National Genographic Project will provide you with the standard scientific classification of a Haplogroup. That designation reflects however, your DEEP ancestry---back many hundreds (thousands? ) of years. Yet----the haplogroup is a standard classification used across the board by many other DNA tests as well. I wanted to know this designation.

I am just as interested in learning about more "recent" information that African Ancestry provides. I want to know where those genetic markers are found in today's African countries. Knowing that an ancestor was in East Africa 10,000 years ago is interesting. However, our history in America is less than 500 years old, and the African Ancestry DNA will provide where in today's Africa I might find the largest cluster of people who have the same markers that I have. Since Dr. Kittle's test breaks down this information much further and provides the recent information, I will be able to take this information and learn something that standard records won't provide from me. In other words, I can learn where in Africa my enslaved ancestors were from before their forced arrival in America.

In addition, the results from African Ancestry do not come with haplogroup information, therefore I decided to take the National Genographic test to get that info.

There are limitations to both. National Genographic will not give you recent genetic info on your lineage. At the same time, African Ancestry does not give you info to connect with others who share the same markers. This is significant---because, With National Genographic, you have access to the databases of FamilyTreeDNA (yet another test) and they allow you to put your markers in a database and find others who may share a similar ancestor. This allows for possible genealogical connections to be made. For descendants of people whose families were separated by slavery, this might be a method of locating "new" cousins.

Both are important, as I see it.

That is my perspective. I am sure others can share their perspective with you.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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