African DNA matches (autosomal) provide one of the most reliable avenues to Trace African Roots. Even more so when combined with well-interpreted admixture analysis. Fortunately an ever increasing number of Africans, or better yet African migrants and their children, are taking DNA tests. All of them potential DNA matches for Afro-descendants to get in touch with and learn more about your specific African lineage! Still many people are having trouble to find their African DNA matches while others remain stuck by only focusing on a few ones. Missing out on a great opportunity to utilize their complete overview of highly informative African DNA matches!
I am therefore pleased to offer a service whereby I will scan and filter all of your matches on Ancestry.com in order to find your African DNA cousins! Because I am using an automated process in principle I should be able to zoom into all of your “100% African” DNA matches. Including those profiles without African names or family tree! Which from my experience is actually the case for a majority of native Africans on Ancestry.com. In addition I will analyze the most likely background of your African DNA matches and also attempt, on a best effort basis, to correlate with your ethnicity estimates on AncestryDNA. Furthermore I will provide links for suggested further reading. This service therefore consists of:
- Analysis of your African DNA matches on Ancestry (PDF file), incl. clickable links to the profiles of your African matches, plausible background of these African matches; my personal interpretation of how your African breakdown on AncestryDNA (prior to the 2018 update) correlates with your African DNA matches, incl. relevant context and links for further study.
- Excel file containing all your DNA matches on Ancestry, sortable on shared DNA (cM), profile name and ethnicity. With African DNA matches being mentioned in a separate tab, incl. clickable links to their profiles on Ancestry.
Sample Report (first page)
***(click to enlarge)
This will be a paid service in order to compensate for my time spent in producing your African DNA Matches Report. As well as sharing my experience which I have built up in the last ten years or so. Customizing this knowledge for your personal benefit. I will however be making use of a scanning & filtering method which you can still access for free and try out for yourself as well:
In order to receive your personal African DNA Matches Report please send me a message for further instructions. I will only handle requests which have been paid in advance by way of Paypal.
African DNA Matches Report
- For the time being this service will be limited to people who have tested with Ancestry.com only. In the future I might expand this service however and also take into account other DNA testing companies as well as apply more advanced genetic genealogical tools.
- I will analyse and single out any potentially African DNA matches on a best effort basis. It will be a snapshot of your DNA matches at the time when I will perform the scanning. It might be possible that you might yet have more African matches. My African DNA Matches Report will not pretend to be a final overview of your African DNA matches. And it should therefore also not be seen as such. Obviously it does also NOT claim in any way to reflect your entire multi-layered African lineage!
- No guarantees given about the number of African matches. Also no refund options. Unless I am not able to find any African matches at all. In this case you may choose either for a refund. Or alternatively I will rescan your matches on a quarterly basis (during 1 year) until I do find African matches.
- I will mention a speculative background for your African matches. But this will mostly be an educated guess on my part. I will be going by birth locations, plausible ethnic regional combinations, surnames and other relevant profile details. In case I find actual confirmation in the profile details of the match I will indicate this. In other cases you will have to find out for yourself (by contacting the matches and/or checking their profiles) what their true background is.
- Any needed follow-up research is your own responsibility. Ordering the African DNA Matches Report entitles you to receive an analysis of your African DNA matches on Ancestry (PDF file) as well as an Excel file containing all your DNA matches on Ancestry. Any additional consulting on my part is not included.
- Admixture analysis can be very valuable, given proper interpretation. However the labeling of ancestral regions used in DNA testing should never be taken too literally! Rather consider these regions to be indicative proxies. Also taking into consideration surrounding countries, ancient migrations and inter-ethnic unions. (see this link for more discussion)
- Not all your African matches will be “identical by descent” (IBD). Especially the smaller-sized matches might often be false positives or “identical by state” (IBS) (see this useful chart).
- Ancestry’s customer database is not perfectly representative of all your possible African lineage. Certain African nationalities will be over-represented or rather under-represented due to their relative migration presence in the US, Canada, Europe or other places where the AncestryDNA test was purchased. (see this graph for biggest groups in USA in 2015).
- Each individual African DNA match will usually only be informative of one single family line out of potentially hundreds others! Such a finding might be very valuable in itself but can never give you a total overview of your complete ancestry as given in proxy by Ancestry’s ethnicity estimates. (see this article for more discussion)
- There might be a higher likelihood of your African DNA matches reflecting mutual ancestors from the early 1800’s and late 1700’s. While there might be a built-in bias (due to the matching threshold) against African ancestry which is to be traced back to the early 1700’s, 1600’s or even 1500’s.
- Your mutual ancestor may not per se have been of the same ethnic background as your match. The occurrence of inter-ethnic mixing within African societies and also among your own African ancestors is often underestimated.
- My attempts to correlate your African matches with your admixture results are again not intended to be seen as conclusive or set in stone! They will mostly reflect my own reasoning. Although I do provide relevant background information. Any future new findings/insights might obviously alter my statements.
Nonetheless I firmly believe that correlating (regional) admixture analysis with DNA matches can be rewarding and reinforcing in many cases. Both aspects of genetic genealogy obviously have their own shortcomings. But admixture results can reveal insightful ancestral connections even when DNA matches are not (yet) available and vice versa. Regional admixture may also enable the identification of a plausible background of ones DNA matches. Your admixture results can be helpful as well to gauge how your DNA matches relate with actual ancestral proportions. While DNA matches may serve to corroborate distinctive ethnic/regional lineage detected by your admixture results. As always it pays to use scrutiny and discretion in stead of jumping to conclusions or putting all your eggs in just one basket!
- How to find those elusive African DNA matches on Ancestry (May 2017)
- African DNA Cousins reported for people across the Diaspora (May 2017)
- DNA matches reported by 23andme for 75 Africans (May 2018)
- DNA matches reported for 50 Cape Verdeans on AncestryDNA (December 2018)