A genealogical DNA test looks at a person's genome at specific locations for the purposes of determining ethnicity and genealogical relationships.
Results give information about ethnic groups family the tested may be descended from and about other individuals that they may be related to. In general, they do not give information about medical conditions or diseases.
Most humans want to know and be assured of their roots. DNA test to determine genealogical heritage has helped lots of people both psychologically and in other ways. This is because it has helped some to know there beginnings and enhances the sense of belonging which happens to be a basic human factor. The African-American movement to discover and identify with ancestral tribes has burgeoned since DNA testing became available and so many (especially public, historical figures) have been recipients of this test.
Y-DNA and MtDNA (results come from historical persons whose mitochondrial DNA has been tested; it identifies direct maternal ancestry, which is just one line out of many) testing may be able to determine with which peoples in present-day Africa a person shares a direct line of part of his or her ancestry, but patterns of historic migration and historical events cloud the tracing of ancestral groups.
Testing company African Ancestry maintains an "African Lineage Database" of African lineages from 30 countries and over 160 ethnic groups. Due to joint long histories in the US, approximately 30% of African American males have a European Y-Chromosome haplogroup.
I can suffice to say Africans (Black People) have been a beneficiary of the DNA test, or maybe a victim? If one thinks of genealogical DNA (ancestral) test what comes to mind mostly are African-Americans!
There are two kinds of tests:
- admixture tests and
- lineage tests.
Admixture tests tell you how much of your DNA comes from different parts of the world. For Black Americans it generally comes out something like this:
77% Black Africa
21% White Eurasia
2% Native America
According to authorities like Salas, nearly three-quarters of the ancestors of African Americans taken in slavery came from regions of West Africa.
African Americans usually cannot easily trace their ancestry during the years of slavery through surname research, census and property records, and other traditional means. Genealogical DNA testing may provide a tie to regional African heritage.
Here is a list of some Black people living and deceased, who have had their DNA tested;
became the biggest celebrity to have her DNA analyzed. Appearing on the PBS documentary African American Lives, Winfrey’s genetic make up revealed a predominance of sub-Saharan African DNA. The Chicago transplant’s ancestors are the Kpelle people, a West African group that reside in the highlands of what is now known as Liberia and Guinea. “When it happened to me, it was absolutely empowering to know the journey of my entire family,” she said of the experience of finding out where her roots lie.
Comedian Wyatt Cenac has been making audiences laugh for nearly two decades and impersonated President Barack Obama when he was just a junior senator from Chicago. The funny man had his DNA analyzed and discovered his ancestors are from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria. Cenac most recently has appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” as a correspondent until his final appearance on the show in December 2012.
Sheryl Lee Ralph
|Sheryl Lee Ralph|
Actress/singer Sheryl Lee Ralph was born in Connecticut and raised in New York. Her mother is from Jamaica but the Tony-winning actress realized her family roots extend well past the Caribbean and stretch all the way to Africa. After having her DNA analyzed, Ralph, who was one of the original Dreamgirls, discovered her ancestors are from the Tikar tribe in Cameroon. “Discovering my African roots was – hands down – the most transformative event in my life,” Ralph has said of the experience. She recently traveled to Cameroon with her husband, Senator Vincent Hughes, as part of an ancestry re-connection program.
Michael K. Williams
|M. k. Williams|
Whoopi Goldberg was born and raised in New York City but after having her DNA traced a few years back, the talk show co-host now has another place to call home. Her genetic make up consists of 92% sub-Saharan African descent. The Sarafina star’s ancestors are from the Papel and Bayote tribes, who mainly clustered in what is now modern-day Guinea-Bissau. Goldberg is interested in receiving her citizenship from the tiny African country.
Funny man Anthony Anderson knew he was destined to make people laugh before he found out entertaining was in his blood. Born and raised in Compton, CA, Anderson got his start in show business as a stand up comedian and then branched out into film and television. After having his DNA tested, results revealed Anderson’s ancestors hail from Bubi people of Bioko Island (now known as the Equatorial Guinea), and from the Tikar, Hausa, and Fulani people of Cameroon. “Since I was a kid, I said that this is my purpose in my life – to entertain, to have an effect on people’s lives with my work. And to now know that there’s direct lineage to the artists of Africa, my life and work has been validated.”
Marc Lamont Hill
Marc Lamont Hill has long been a social justice activist and organizer. As one of the founding board members of My5th, a non-profit organization aimed at educating the disenfranchised youth about their legal rights and responsibilities, the CNN and MSNBC commentator was eager to trace his family roots. After having his DNA analyzed, Hill discovered that his mother’s ancestors hail from the Mende tribe in Sierra Leone and the Fulani tribe of Guinea-Bissau.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr.
BAPTIST MINISTER AND LEADER of the American Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr, was descended from a long line of African American preachers. But a DNA heritage and ethnicity test has found that MLK's past reveals fascinating insights into who these ancestors might have been.For the King Family, AfricanAncestry.com’s results complement the paper-trail research they’ve done on Dr. King’s paternal side, which traces to Ireland. Martin Luther King III’s test also revealed his mother’s line, the late Coretta Scott King, who it was determined shares ancestry with the Mende people of Sierra Leone.
Dr. Marcus Garvey
|Photo credit: Abagond|