Genetic research is now able to solve the riddles of one’s ancestral roots and where their ancestors belonged, through African DNA testing.
Databases and Records of African Ancestry
Howard University in Washington D.C. being a historically black college has put together the largest of African DNA testing records collection comprising of about 3,800 samples from West and Central Africa. This collection mainly concentrates on the ethnic groups in the areas from where most of the ancestors came as slaves to the United States. The Howard University also plans to offer genetic testing to determine African Ancestry and the region of their origin. The Cambridge University Press of North America also offers a CD-ROM that contains the records of 27,233 slave ship voyages that took place between 1595 and 1866. Later editions included up to 80 percent of the ship voyages from Africa carrying the slaves to the US.
African Americans and their origin in Africa
Most of the blacks that were brought to the US were from Western Africa, today known as Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Ghana and Sierra Leone. A few slaves were brought from the Gambia and Senegal, the Congo River basin and from Angola. After being brought to the US, they were divided and mixed with other tribal groups so that they lost their tribal connections quickly.
The slave records were maintained in detail as they were considered to be valuable property and the investors were careful to account for their money. Many interesting patterns can be seen in these figures. The blacks from eastern Nigeria used to be a leading ethnic group in Virginia. The slaves from Senegambia (Senegal and Gambia today) were more prominent tribes in Carolinas. The Carolina rice planters might have favored slaves already familiar with rice growing that was in existence in Senegambia. Varied African populations landed in Cuba and Barbados. Central America received slave populations mostly from the Gold Coast, which is now known as Benin, Togo and Ghana.
The Mitochondrial Ancestry Report reveals a person’s maternal line’s deep history and the likely African lineage if the person’s mother is of African ancestry. The African DNA testing matches reveal the tribal affiliation of both male and females.
It is now possible to trace the African roots of African Americans and the exact African region where there ancestors belonged to. The African DNA testing establishes the various tribal groups from Africa and the records of slave ship voyages contain details about those ethnic groups.
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