The African DNA Project- Background



The African DNA Project congratulates

44th President Elect
of the United States of America

The African DNA Project
The "Children of Mother Africa"
The Mysterious Continent, a Kaleidoscope of Peoples, a Mosaic of Nations, a Cacophony of languages, Art, Culture, Music, Beauty
The Cradle of Civilization
Quick Synopsis Approximately 1.6 to 5.3 million YBP (years before present) a hominid species, Australopithecus walked upright in Africa. "Lucy" is the most famous of these known to us. Somewhere in Sub Saharan Africa, she and others of her kind were antecedents to the first Homo species, Homo Habilis. 250,000 to 1.6 million years ago on the dark continent, Homo Erectus discovers fire and finds his way out of Africa to Europe and Asia. Around 400,000 YBP in Africa, Homo Sapiens, the ancestor of modern man walks onto the stage of humanity and history is forever changed.
"Despite the presence of H. erectus outside of Africa, the archaelogical and genetic data concur that H. sapiens only arose in Africa". 1
It is circa 200,000 years ago in East Africa that "Mitochondrial Eve" is born, lives, struggles and survives all adversity, becoming the genetic ancestral mother of us all. Remarkably, from only this one maternal survivor, her female descendants known as Haplogroups L1, L2 and L3, bearing their own signature mutations, spread and populate a continent, concentrating in specific areas. It is through L3, the "Out of Africa Eve" and her own descendants bearing their signature mutations, that expansion occurs and the rest of the world is populated.
Similarly, but at a period of approximately 60,000 YBP, another survivor, yDNA Adam becomes the paternal ancestor of all men. Like his counterpart Haplogroup L3, his descendant Eurasian Adam or M168, ventures out of Africa and the rest is history.
We come now full circle, through the science of genetic genealogy, as the "Children of Mother Africa", descendants whose ancestors have, until now, been thought to be lost to them forever. Colonization, the Trans Atlantic Triangle, slavery, the Door of No Return, the Middle Passage, disrupted families, and the cultural upheaval of the past are historical facts we cannot change.
Trans-Atlantic exports by region 1650-1900
Region % Number of slaves accounted for Senegambia...........4.7%..........479,900 Upper Guinea........4.0%..........411,200 Windward Coast....1.8%..........183,200 Gold Coast..........10.1%.......1,035,600 Bight of Benin.....19.7%.......2,016,200 Bight of Biafra.....4.3%........463,700 West Central........40.8%.......4,179,500 South East.............4.6%...........470,900 Total................. 100.0%.......10,240,200
Data derived from tables 1.1, 3.2, 3.4, 4.1 and 7.4 as presented in: Transformations in Slavery by Paul E. Lovejoy Cambridge University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-521-78430-1
Projected Exports of that Portion of the French and English Slave Trade Having Identifiable Regions of Coast Origin in Africa, 1711-1810.
Senegambia (Senegal-Gambia) ......... * 5.8%Sierra Leone ...................................... * 3.4%Windward Coast (Ivory Coast) .......... * 12.1%Gold Coast (Ghana)............................ * 14.4%Bight of Benin (Nigeria).................. * 14.5Bight of Biafra (Nigeria).................... * 25.1%Central and Southeast Africa (Cameroon-N. Angola).......*24.7%
SENEGAMBIA: Wolof, Mandingo, Malinke, Bambara, Papel, Limba, Bola, Balante, Serer, Fula, Tucolor SIERRA LEONE:
Temne, Mende, Kisi, Goree, Kru. WINDWARD COAST (including Liberia): Baoule, Vai, De, Gola (Gullah), Bassa, Grebo GOLD COAST: Ewe, Ga, Fante, Ashante, Twi, Brong BIGHT OF BENIN & BIGHT OF BIAFRA combined:
Yoruba, Nupe, Benin, Dahomean (Fon), Edo-Bini, Allada, Efik, Lbibio, Ljaw, Lbani, Lgbo (Calabar) CENTRAL & SOUTHEAST AFRICA: BaKongo, MaLimbo, Ndungo, BaMbo, BaLimbe, BaDongo, Luba, Loanga, Ovimbundu, Cabinda, Pembe, Imbangala, Mbundu, BaNdulunda
Other possible "Ancestral Groups": Fulani, Tuareg, Dialonke, Massina, Dogon, Songhay, Jekri, Jukun, Domaa, Tallensi, Mossi, Nzima, Akwamu, Egba, Fang, and Ge.
Source: Philip Curtin, The Atlantic Slave Trade, (1969), p. 221.
[* The countries in parentheses are approximations to help one find the location on a present day modern map]
A special comment on the island of Madagascar and the Virgina, USA region:
From the period 1719 through 1721, 1200+ slaves arrived from St. Mary's Island in Madagascar to the Virginia, USA area. (See Virginia Platt [William and Mary Journal, 1969] and David Eltis et al [The Slave Trade Database]. These Malagasy slaves are listed in the accounts of John Baylor of Williamsburg and the data is freely accessible at the University of Virginia library. With the passage of time, free Malagasy immigrants who were generally sailors or individuals connected to the missionary societies of the period, also arrived to this region. Should your most distant ancestor be from the Virginia area and surroundings, it may be an invaluable resource to consider.
[The above information re Madacasgacar provided courtesy of Dr. Wendy Wilson Fall, PHD, Africanist, Pan African Studies, Kent State University]
Ours will be a diverse group of individuals both culturally and historically. Although most of our African ancestors had no choice in leaving their birthplace and homeland, theirs is a heritage which is rich and diverse and lives on in us. Though we cannot put a face, name or even a year to when our African ancestors walked this earth, we can and have come together as a group to attmpt to trace the origins of our own DNA to mother Africa. However, please note that it is as yet NOT possible to say definitively to which specific tribe one may belong to with just HVR1 and HVR2 alone due to the extensive migratory practices of the different tribes in Africa, and specifically the well known Bantu migrations. A high frequency of a particular Haplogroup L mtDNA may suggest origin but the true origin may actually be elsewhere on the African continent.
Some of us may speak English, French, Spanish or even other languages. Some of us may have African ancestors in only our paternal or maternal lines, others in both. We are of all colors. Whether we come from Africa, North America, South America, the Caribbean, Canada, the United Kingdom, France or any other place where the African children of Mitochondrial Eve and yAdam have spread, we know we share a common bond ....... for ours are the most ancient genetic lines of all.
Join us in this unique effort to bring them back together and help others to connect to their lost roots.
Many individuals who have had DNA testing, do not belong to projects and may even have forgotten that they tested if they were one of the first to send away for a kit 3-5 years ago. If you have exact HVR1 or HVR1 + HVR2 matches on your matches list, inform them of the project. They might have been discouraged when they could not find more information about their sequences.
If you do not wish to participate as an African DNA Project member but wish to donate to the project fund so that we may help others complete their yDNA sequences or mtDNA, please, click on the donation button on the menu on the left side of this page or click here. Every penny counts. The administrators of this project all volunteer their time. They receive no remuneration from this project. We thank you for your support. You will be donating to a wonderful cause.
We welcome all FTDNA participants, National Genographic and Dr. Gates' AfricanDNA members with African Ancestry in either paternal or maternal DNA.

Our project has its own domain and website, The African DNA Project and it is is now live. Please, visit us.
DNA Collection Method
The collection of a DNA sample may sound like a rather daunting process - however it is a very simple and painless procedure which is excellently explained by Dave Dorsey's step by step photographic guide to the whole process. The link will open a new window. Close it to return to this site.
DNA Collection Method New See the new DNA HaploBracelets at DNAHaploGear . A contribution from the sale of any bracelet purchased by any African DNA Project member will be made to the African DNA Project Donation fund.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.The Administrators of the African DNA Project, "Children of Mother Africa"

General Fund

Current balance: $191.00

Type Amount Date Donor Note KitNum Donation Type
Credit $20.00 1/16/2012 Ted Kandell To PAY for a full mtDNA sequence for kit 185936 Apolles who has a novel L0d2a1 haplotype.   Individual
Debit $49.00 1/19/2009   Kit 110286 110286 Unknown
Debit $99.00 10/23/2008   Kit 10167 10167 Unknown
Debit $99.00 10/23/2008   Kit 125752 125752 Unknown
Debit $99.00 10/23/2008   Kit 86331 86331 Unknown
Debit $99.00 10/23/2008   Kit 78179 78179 Unknown
Credit $500.00 6/23/2008 Fannie Linder     Unknown
Debit $49.00 1/8/2008   Kit 19942 19942 Unknown
Debit $20.00 12/27/2006   Kit N20004 N20004 Unknown
Credit $40.00 9/26/2006 DNA Haplo Gear     Unknown
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