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Thread: AncestryDNA breakdown of SSA for African Americans & other Afrodescendants

  1. #21
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    This is very interesting to say the least. My late great grandfather was from Jamaica but said to have come from Africa - a Nago (Yoruba). I could only imagine what his dna results would've been. I hope that Ancestry makes a more consorted effort to increase its African based reference panel. This would tighten up the possibility to make even more precise predictions relative ethnic connections.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by krand View Post
    My late great grandfather was from Jamaica but said to have come from Africa - a Nago (Yoruba). I could only imagine what his dna results would've been. I hope that Ancestry makes a more consorted effort to increase its African based reference panel. This would tighten up the possibility to make even more precise predictions relative ethnic connections.
    Yes that would be very intriguing to know about your great grandfather's results. It's interesting you yourself show only very little Nigeria while your main region is Benin/Togo. I have a strong feeling many Yoruba's taking this same AncestryDNA test will in fact also score significant "Benin/Togo". Afterall Benin itself has a Yoruba minority. Sofar i've only seen the results of an Igbo Nigerian (see this post), he also scored quite a lot of Benin/Togo aside from Cameroon/Congo, Nigeria was still his main region but only barely so with 49%. I'm guessing in his case "Benin/Togo" (perhaps better thought of as component X) is picking up on ancient southern Nigerian ancestral markers that nowadays are more frequently seen in Benin/Togo because of prehistorical migrations.

    Taking these category names too literally can be misleading therefore, ancestral clusters don't follow artificial borders and also each African ethnicity itself will be mixed and showing different ancestral components as there's no such thing as a "pure" bloodline if you go back far enough in time. This kind of regional resolution for Africa is very much in its infancy stage and will undoubtedly be improved in the future. Still given widespread ethnic intermixing and genetic similarities across borders even then it will be inherently limited in assigning ethnic ancestry within Africa with 100% accuracy. If you keep this in mind and lower your expectations you can get more out of your personal results IMO. Right now it might be too soon to zoom in on a more detailed ethnic/localized level but by consulting historical evidence of slave trade and making comparisons with other Afrodescended nationalities you can get a more plausible interpretation.


    For example your "Benin/Togo" score might very well be signalling a different type of ethnic connection than it would be doing for a Haitian. I already discussed on the previous page how this category is somewhat overlapping with Ghana/Ivory Coast and might possibly also be picking up on non-Akan ethnic ancestry from Ghana. Given slave trade statistics and cultural retention it would be much more likely that for a Haitian instead it will indeed be genuinely from Benin and ethnically it could be either Fon or Aja. Then again several scenarios can be possible and also would not be mutually exclusive. We all have unique familytrees after all and there's always individual variation.


    Here's a new result of a Haitian


    Haiti


    Last edited by Don Felipe; 04-18-2015 at 10:08 AM.
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    Exploring the Ethnic Origins of the Afro-Diaspora

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by krand View Post
    This is very interesting to say the least. My late great grandfather was from Jamaica but said to have come from Africa - a Nago (Yoruba). I could only imagine what his dna results would've been. I hope that Ancestry makes a more consorted effort to increase its African based reference panel. This would tighten up the possibility to make even more precise predictions relative ethnic connections.
    At first glance, i initially thought similarly - Benin/Togo but lacking Nigeria??? I had to remember though that (1) the Fon referred to "Yorubas" as Anagos (or Nagos). And more importantly, (2) the Fon kingdom was a long standing rival/tributary/vassal to the powerful Oyo Kingdom. Once the situation turned, the Fon didn't hast to capture and sell hundreds of thousands of Nagos (Yorubas) into slavery. Even according to Fon oral history, they (Fon) actually splintered from the group in Ile Ife (spiritual center of traditional Yoruba) and migrated Southwest and founded Allada. This would, i suspect, explain why the Fon (as well as the Ewe) and Yoruba possess near identical divination systems - Ifa (Yoruba) and Fa (Fon) and Afa (Ewe). Plus they both have direct and/or share corresponding deities (Orishas & Lowas). The Yoruba are known in Brazil as Anago; in Cuba as Anago; in Hayti as Nago; in Jamaica as Nago (there was also a town in Westmoreland named as such); and in Louisiana and South Carolina as Nago. So the Dahomean (Fon) designation of Yoruba (as Nago) was very wide-spread. It should be also noted that one of the last slave ships to arrive to the United States (Mobile, Alabama in 1858), the Clotide, debarked from Allada with many enslaved Yorubas (Nagos); they later established AfricaTown in Plateau, Alabama - just North of Mobile. Many of their descendants still live there to this day! Another important factor is that among the Gullah/Geechee of the Carolinas, they retain hundreds of Yoruba names (especially of deities/Orishas) and words as late as the 1940s. I conjecture that might be attributed to the thousands that were smuggled in (like the Clotide) after the prohibition of the International Slave Trade (1808). This is why, I believe, such records are absent in works like Phillip Curtin and the Transatlantic Slave Trade Database, for instance. I say this because there was also SUBSTANTIAL indigenous born African population in South Carolina in 1822. During the Denmark Vessey plot, many African were organized according to ethnic groups - Igbos, Mande, and etc. The Yorubas (Nagos) were said to have been populous on Johns Island (in South Carolina).
    Last edited by krand; 11-25-2014 at 02:44 PM.

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  6. #24
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    Yes i agree there's many similarities to be found between the Fon and the Yoruba, not only culturally but undoubtedly also genetically to some degree. This does complicate the exact matching with just one ethnicity as most of us would like to see it. To be honest i'm not sure if this will ever be possible even in the future. The same problem of genetically delineating ethnicities has also occurred for Europeans and it seems to be inherent to this kind of BGA ancestry testing. Finding DNA cousins from a certain ethnic group with the shared DNA segment size being significantly large might be more telling to confirm ethnic connections i suspect.

    About the relative importance of Yoruba's in the USA, i do agree there's indeed documented evidence of their presence. But compared to other destinations in the Americas they seem to have been very minor in the US. Especially compared with imports from the Bight of Biafra (bringing in especially Igbo and related people) the direct slave trade between the US and the Bight of Benin was much less important. According to most estimates it would be below 5%, so that's why i've been suspicious of the relatively high Benin/Togo averages for AA's seen from the start.

    I do agree that the slave trade records might not be 100% complete. But for example the Clotilda voyage can be found in the slavevoyages database and is included in their overall estimates. If you do a search for all voyages to the USA and sort according to date you should find 24 slave voyages made after 1808, three of them departing from Bight of Benin. At any rate it is known that the US volume of slave trade was highest in the 1700's because unlike Brazil and Cuba the American slave population had a positive growth rate so there was less need for additional imports when the slave trade was made illegal.

    Here's a chart with estimated Yoruba's being brought to various parts of the Americas. It's in Portuguese, but you can see the numbers for the US in the first column and how they compare with other destinations. Out of an estimated total of 968.000 enslaved Yoruba's for the whole period less than 5000 are said to have arrived in the US.




    Last edited by Don Felipe; 04-18-2015 at 10:08 AM.
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    Southern West Indies/Windward Islands(Barbados,T&T,Grenada etc..) was dominantly Bight of Biafra and Gold Coast/Windward coast. While western West Indies (Cuba,Haiti,Domicnican Rep etc. excluding Jamaica) was dominantly Angola-Congo and Senegambia.
    Attachment 3183

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    Other ancestral Y lines:

    E1b-M81 Ukraine (Ashkenazi)
    E1b-V13 England
    I1-M253 Ireland
    I2-M423 Ukraine
    R1a-L176.1 Scotland
    R1b-L584 Syria/Turkey (Sephardi)
    R1b-L20 Ireland
    R1b-L21 (1)England; (2)Wales?>Connecticut
    R1b-L48 England
    R1b-P312 Scotland
    R1b-FGC32576 Ireland

    Other ancestral mtDNA lines:

    H1b2a Ukraine (Ashkenazi)
    H6a1a3 Ukraine
    K1a9 Belarus (Ashkenazi)
    K1c2 Ireland
    V7a Ukraine

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  10. #27
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    Very interesting thread My mum is 1/2 Mauritian and 1/2 British and we have a few matches with people with known links to either Mauritius or Madagascar

    mumethnicityestimateancestrydna.png
    Her ethnicity estimate

    mumancestrymap.png
    Mum's ancestryDNA map

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  12. #28
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    The ethnic breakdown would make more sense if they took reference populations such as Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani so we could see where in exactly our roots came from, because back in the trans Atlantic slave trade places as Nigeria didn't exist yet, but various tribes lived in the mentioned region and the genetic difference between a Fulani Nigerian and a Fulani living in Chad would be far less than between a a Fulani Nigerian and a Yoruba.

  13. #29
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    Does anyone know what Paleo-African means? Does it mean someone, let's say from Norway during the paleolithic age, who happened to stumble into Africa by taking a wrong detour?

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