Know Your African Ancestory Via DNA

An Interview with

Determining ancestry is a relatively straightforward process. So, what happens is with the test kit that we provide, the person swabs the inside of their cheek, using a long swab that looks like a Q-Tip. . . Then our lab extracts the DNA from that swab and sequences it, looking at a very specific portion of the DNA that you inherit only from your mother (this is when you are tracing maternal ancestry). There is DNA that you got from your mother . . . and what you have is the same as your mother, and the same as your grandmother, and great grandmother, and so on. So there is a very small portion of you DNA that provides an informative record of the history of your maternal line. We then compare your . . . DNA sequence with the sequences that are in our database. Our database has the largest, most comprehensive collection of indigenous African lineages in the world. So we have data similar to yours from 30 countries on the African continent, and about 200 ethnic groups. So we look for matches, and people who share that same small area of the DNA, share maternal ancestry. The same can be done when you are tracing your father�s line � your paternal line. Instead, we look at the DNA of men � only men can do this test � that you have inherited from your father; the Y chromosome. . . .

iZania: Does it always lead to Africa?
Gina: No, it doesn�t. Actually, we know that as African Americans, we are a apart of this great melting pot in the United States. When we trace maternal ancestry, we find African ancestry about 95% of the time. And when it is not African, it tends to be Native American. Less than one percent of the time we may find Asia or Europe. But when we trace the paternal side, it�s a very different story. We find African ancestry only about 70% of the time. And the remainder of those lineages � 3 out of 10 Black men that we test have European ancestry, not African ancestry.

This is a personal project that you can share with your entire family. The results you receive are the same for everyone in your family on your maternal lineage. Your results will be returned within approximately six weeks of submitting your test for processing. The results package includes:

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