Originally posted Mon, 7 Feb 2005 13:37:18 -0600 (CST)
To: AfricanAmericanRoots afrigeneas@Lists.MsState.Edu
>From the bit of information you've provided, it's
highly UNLIKELY that any of the popular DNA tests
currently available will answer your question. NONE
OF THESE TESTS WILL HELP YOU IDENTIFY INDIVIDUALS ...
only ethnic origins!!!
The two tests are the "Y-chromosome test" and the
"Mitochondrial test." The Y-chromosome test will tell
you the genetic origin of your father's father's
father's father's father's father, etc. .... going
back possibly hundreds of generations. It ONLY tests
the male line, father to son to son to son ...
The Mitochondrial test will ONLY tell you the genetic
origin of your mother's mother's mother's mother's
mother's mother's mother, etc. .... going back
In your scenario, you desire to learn the male line of
an ancestor going back only three or four generations.
These tests won't tell you that. They don't have the
capability to selectively search the male line in that
way. The reason for this is that the father's DNA is
passed, virtually unchanged, down to his son, for
generations. Since these tests go so far back in
time, there's no telling what the original (and that's
a subjective term) origin of that line was.
For example, I had my father's DNA tested by several
competing DNA companies ... I was curious to see if
their results matched one another ... and in every
single case, I was told that my father's line has
absolutely NO African ancestry whatsoever. Even
though I've traced that line (the Lees) back through
eight generations of black men who lived in Canada as
early as the 1700s, the genetic origin of the male Lee
line is Italian, Chinese, Pakistani, Native American,
Sardinian and mostly Scandinavian. All these years I
guess I've been passin' as black ... go figure.
I don't know if you're really grasping the whole
concept here, but these DNA tests are REALLY limited
in the information that they can provide.
The kind of DNA test that might answer your question
would involve your testing an actual sample of your
great grandmother's DNA, the suspected white slave
owner's DNA and their child's DNA. That's pretty
unlikely since they've probably been dead a long time.
Go ahead and spend the money on these other tests, if
you like, but your question about the white slave
owner will, most likely, not be answered by either of
Good luck in your research.
- Lisa B. Lee
P.S. By the way, I've had a variety of DNA tests done
by several companies ... African Ancestry DNA, Family
Tree DNA, Trace Genetics, Sorenson Genetics and one
other whose name escapes me.
Do I believe any of the results I've received? The
jury is still out.
Practice Forgiveness ... only love can conquer hate.