I Had My DNA Tested With Two Different Lab Tests To Trace Ancestry, And Here Is What I Discovered...

I Had My DNA Tested With Two Different Lab Tests To Trace Ancestry, And Here Is What I Discovered...

First off, I am sure you are wondering why I tested with two different DNA companies. The answer is pretty simple. I am a skeptic. I wanted to see if I would get completely different, similar, or the same results from the labs. 

So I first tested with Ancestry DNA a few years ago. My girls were getting older, and I was working on a family tree. I was able to trace my husband's side all the way back to the 1700s. His German and Scottish roots were not hard to trace. But for me, a black woman, with African roots, the trail came to a screeching halt.

I was using Ancestry.com for the family trees and research, so their DNA kit seemed like a natural progression for my research. My husband and I did the DNA testing together, sitting in bed laughing as we had to spit "A LOT” into a tube. The test comes with everything you need, including prepaid postage. Just a few weeks later we received an email that our results were available. When it came time to look at my results I became nervous. 

   Congo, Cameroon, and Senegal Roots

Congo, Cameroon, and Senegal Roots

My results were surprising, and not surprising all at the same time. I consider myself a black woman, but my father is of mixed races, so I knew I was not 100 percent black.  I wanted to know where in Africa did my ancestors originate, and what else was I. According to Ancestry DNA, I am 68% African with a combination of Cameroon/Congo, Ivory Coast/Ghana making up 52%, Senegal 7%, and some other small percentage possibilities as well.

   French, German, and Belgium Roots

French, German, and Belgium Roots

The other 32% was comprised mostly of Europe West, which is France, Belgium, and Germany. Also I was found to be 5% Irish, and had a small percent of Scandinavian as well. I was disappointed, and surprised not to find any Native American relation on this test. I had always been told my paternal grandmother was Native American.

I sat on the results for a couple of years, but wondered how accurate they were, so I decided to do a 23 and Me kit. Pretty much the same process with the spitting, and approximately the same wait time for results. When I was notified my results were ready, and I read them, and again I was a little surprised. The results were similar, but not the same.

My 23 and Me results showed me as 66.6% West African, and 28.4% European. Not much different than the last results. But this test also showed 2% Asian and Native American, as well 1.1% of undetermined ancestry. 23 an Me is less country specific, than Ancestry DNA, but seems broader over all. Also 23 and Me identified my European genealogy as British and Irish, instead of French and German.

ancestry timeline.jpg

So there you have some of my genealogy story. A story that is just beginning because I still have so many questions, and I plan on finding out answers. I cannot say which test is more accurate. Perhaps I will never know my true genealogy. It's a journey, but an interesting one.

I know there is a challenge in tracing my genealogy. It's the challenge that many African Americans face. Our ancestors were brought here as slaves, and not many records were not kept. I know who I am. I am just trying to get some answers on where I came from.

What's your DNA story? Think you know it?

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