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My Black Experience: Discovering My Ancestry Through DNA

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CAU chapter.
Discovering one’s ancestry seems like a pretty simple task, right? Well, if you’re African-American, it can be very difficult trying to find family origins.
  I know that I am African-American. However, I’ve always wondered about my family roots. For Christmas, I received a DNA kit and my journey to find out about my genetic ethnicity began. There are many African-Americans that do not have the luxury of knowing the exact area their ancestors came from or their entire genetic makeup since many of those details were lost due to slavery. However, I wanted to know as much as I could.


Image via: Giphy.com


The steps to complete the DNA test on my end were simple. First I gave my name and a sample of my saliva. After submitting my information, I had to wait for my results. The second part wasn’t as simple. My DNA was retracted from my saliva by scientists to determine my results. After it’s retraction my DNA sample was compared to a database filled with samples from previous applicants. Through this process, I would to find family members from all over the world. After waiting for a few months my results were sent to my email.  Image via: Giphy.com
When I went on the AncestryDNA site to view my results, I was very surprised by what I read. According to their ethnicity estimate, this is my DNA story… I have DNA ties to the following places:
+ East Africa
+Southern Bantu Peoples
+ Baltic States
+ France
+ Norway
+ Scotland
+ Ireland
+Northwestern Europe
+ England
The amazing thing about AncestryDNA is that I can also see the migration estimates and according to AncestryDNA I have ancestors that migrated from North and South Carolina when they came to the United States.Through Ancestry DNA I have found vital information that I wouldn’t have had access to if I never sent in my DNA. Another amazing tool I can access through the ancestry app is my DNA story over time. This tool lets me see an estimate of where my ancestors migrated from thoughout 1850 until about 1925.
I didn’t even think my ancestry could be traced that far back. I was not expecting to find out that I have relatives who were part of a huge migration that took place hundreds of years ago. Each day I’m amazed by the information I’m finding. I would highly suggest anyone that wants to know more about their family and ethnicity to purchase an AncestryDNA kit because I not only found out more about where my ancestors came from, I am also being connected to family members I’ve never met and and I constantly get new information about our ancestors. Image via: Giphy.com



Hi! I'm Ceriah Richard. I'm a Mass Media Arts major at The Illustrious Clark Atlanta university from Cincinnati, Ohio.