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Thread: DNA Results of Africans1358 days old

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    Quote Originally Posted by THELOVEBELOW View Post
    SOMALI





    I really wish Somalis, Habeshas and other East Africans would stop taking AncestryDNA, it's poorly fitted for their type of ancestry... these people aren't Bantu/North African/Middle East.

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    Ancient DNA from the region basically show they were Negroes in the earliest times. Much of the admixture is pretty new.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beyoku View Post
    Ancient DNA from the region basically show they were Negroes in the earliest times. Much of the admixture is pretty new.
    When you say "they", whom are you referring to?
    K=47 Results
    78.92% African
    • 59.05% West-African
    • 8.36% Central-African_HG
    • 3.32% East-African_HG
    • 2.22% Nilotic
    • 2.11% Omotic(?)
    • 1.78% Sahelian
    • 1.05% South-African_HG
    • 1.03% Kushitic(?)

    11.84% West Eurasian
    • 3.79% North-Sea_Germanic
    • 2.15% East-Euro
    • 1.39% Scando-Germanic
    • 1.26% Paleo-Balkan
    • 0.88% Central-Med
    • 0.54% NW-Indian(?)
    • 0.42% East-Iberian
    • 0.39% Baltic
    • 0.14% West-Med
    • 0.17% North-Iberian
    • 0.02% East-Med

    9.92% Native/Indigenous to Americas
    • 4.59% Meso-Amerind
    • 2.14% Amazonian
    • 2.01% Andean
    • 1.15% North-Amerind
    • 0.02% South-Indian(?)
    • 0.01% Tibetan(?)

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    Interpreting the AncestryDNA Regions

    Fair warning in advance: this discussion will be based mostly on (informed) speculation on my part! As i’ve said earlier Ancestry.com already provides extensive descriptions for each region (shown in the following section), but i will try to put their information to the test by contrasting it with AncestryDNA results from actual Africans as well as Afro-descendants, plus counterchecking with relevant & well documented slave trade patterns. Below a short summary of my “theories” at this stage. They are not written in stone, any future new findings/insights might obviously alter them ;-)

    Not knowing exactly which ethnic groups were used as samples for each region makes it trickier to come to any conclusion. Seemingly contradicting interpretations might still be all valid, being case dependent and also relating to the Afro-diasporic nationality of whomever is taking the AncestryDNA test. There’s also the circumstance that despite being a pioneering effort and providing much regional detail there’s a conspicuous absence of separate regions for Sierra Leone, Liberia as well as Angola in the present version of AncestryDNA. This is understandably because of a lack of adequate sampling but nevertheless it’s good to keep in mind because these countries are crucial places of origin for many Afro-diasporeans. And without any separate regions in place for these countries obviously any genetic ancestry hailing from these parts will be covered by the existing regions instead. Curiously neither Sierra Leone or Liberia seem to get mentioned anywhere in the regional descriptions offered by Ancestry.com. Angola however is mentioned as being a country where the Cameroon/Congo, Southeast Bantu and South-Central Hunter/Gatherers regions can be found.

    Senegal
    According to the information given by Ancestry.com Senegal might be one of the most reliable and distinctive regions despite the relatively small number of underlying samples (most likely Mandenka from eastern Senegal). A “typical native” impressively scoring 100% for it. However it will not strictly capture Senegambian ancestry but very likely also other ethnic origins from Guinea Bissau/Conakry and perhaps also western Mali depending on ethnic groups! The way Cape Verdean AncestryDNA results consistently show Senegal as nr. 1 main region seems to confirm it as a very stable category. So perhaps even if it’s being shown as a Trace Region there might be a great chance it could be legitimate. The frequency of Senegal scores among various Afro-descendants in the Americas (lowest among Anglo Caribbeans and highest among Hispanic Caribbeans) also seems to corroborate its predictive power as it is in line with known slave trade history. It will be interesting to see how an addition of other Senegambian samples, like the Diola or Wolof, might influence the predictive accuracy of this region.

    Mali

    In sharp contrast with the “Senegal” region, the only 16 samples being used for the Mali region (smallest number of all) seem to have been much less homogenous. A “typical native” only scoring 39% for “Mali” and additionally also showing much “Senegal” and “Ivory Coast/Ghana”. The DNA markers associated with the Mali region might still be distinctive but are apparently not covering the full ancestry of the Malian samples available to Ancestry.com. This implies that this region is probably the most difficult one to make sense of and i suspect in many cases won’t be referring to actual Malian ancestry at all! It might signal different types of ethnic/regional origins on an individual case basis but perhaps also be correlating with the specific history of one’s Afro-diasporic background. Just based on the results i’ve seen for African Americans and Puerto Ricans i’m guessing it could be describing ancestral connections to especially Guinea Conakry and Sierra Leone in many cases, as this would be in line with their documented slave trade patterns and group averages (see future blogposts). In other cases, perhaps particularly for Anglo Caribbeans, it might signal instead ancestral connections with northern Ghana and/or Burkina Faso, especially Gur speaking groups. The only African result i’ve seen scoring substantial Mali is someone from Liberia but he “only” scored 17% for it even when being from a Mande speaking ethnicity. Many African Americans & West Indians have scored much higher for Mali. We’ll have to wait for an update of AncestryDNA to get more clarity. An increased samplesize and more representative reference populations for Senegal/Mali will hopefully lead to a more accurate detection and assignment of proper Upper Guinean markers and exclude the current “Ivory Coast/Ghana” affinity.

    Ivory Coast/Ghana

    As shown already in the screenshots above the 99 samples (second largest number) from this region seem to describe a pretty solid ancestral cluster although overlapping in part with the samples from Benin/Togo. I have no confirmation for it but it seems for the Ghanaian samples the Brong or Abron, a Akan subgroup were used (among others perhaps?). In accordance with common expectation this region could be very useful for singling out Akan ancestry, however it picks up other ancestral origins as well, especially to the west it seems, incl. origins from Liberia and quite possibly also Sierra Leone (depending on specific ethnic groups). Confusingly this is not mentioned by Ancestry.com themselves in their regional descriptions! However the results of an Ivorian (of mainly Akan background) as well as a Liberian are clear indications for this being the case (see “African Results“). Both scoring over 80% “Ivory Coast/Ghana”. Judging from the Afro-diasporean results again this region seems quite predictive and consistent. Anglo-Caribbeans scoring the highest for this region followed by African Americans while it’s much less noticeable among Hispanic & French Caribbeans, in line with known slave trade history. Hopefully on the next update AncestryDNA will create a separate region for Sierra Leone/Liberia, that way this Ivory Coast/Ghana region could more exclusively be seen as a proxy for Akan ancestry.

    Benin/Togo
    As seen from the PCA plot there seems to be a great degree of overlap between the samples from Benin/Togo and Ivory Coast/Ghana, although the latter show more of a spread to the west. Still this region seems to describe a distinct ancestral cluster judging from the way a “typical native” scores. However it is apparently not exclusive to the presentday territory of their rather narrowly and eccentrically shaped countries (a colonial legacy). The DNA markers characteristic of the “Benin/Togo” region seem to be found in great frequency also among Nigerians to the east (both for Yoruba’s and to a lesser degree also Igbo’s) and also to the west among Ghanaians (probably especially non-Akan groups). This complicates a proper interpretation of any significant score for this region. Judging from the surprisingly elevated level of Benin/Togo scores among Anglo Caribbeans and especially African Americans it’s wise to be careful in drawing any premature conclusions when getting high scores for this socalled Benin/Togo region. It might signify different and wideranging ethnical roots depending on your own nationality. For Haitians (whose few results i’ve seen do show the highest score for this region as expected) and Brazilians this category is very likely to be derived from the Fon, Adja or Yoruba. Given their confirmed and well documented ancestral/cultural connections to Benin and Yorubaland. For African Americans and Anglo-Caribbeans it ‘s perhaps more likely indicative of Ewe or Ga ancestry from Ghana/Togo or else also generic southern Nigerian. However anything’s possible in individual cases and genuine Beninese ancestry (to a partial degree) could still be an option as well ;-) I’m assuming the 60 samples being used by Ancestry.com are currently mostly Gbe speakers. Also there’s already a sample group of Nigerian Yoruba’s and possibly one of Ghanaian Akan/Brong. To be honest i’m not sure if adding more samples will improve this region being more properly confined to Benin/Togo’s borders, as it seems to be indicative of an ancestral cluster that’s widespread across the region (Lower Guinea) and possibly correlated to crossborder migrations from many centuries ago.

    For more detailed discussion see also this subpage: “Benin/Togo” region.

    Nigeria

    Like Mali this region is also described by Ancestry.com as being one of the most admixed. If you look closely at the last screenshot (fig. 3.4) shown above, it seems the Nigerian samples also have the widest ranging variation, some scoring convincingly high amounts of “Nigeria” and others much lower. Not really surprising given that Nigeria has the biggest and most diverse population in Africa (scroll down this page for detailed maps). Too much genetic variety to be captured by just one single category. Any actual Nigerian person might typically also carry ancestral markers from neighbouring countries, like Benin and Cameroon. I’ve seen the results of 5 Nigerians sofar and all of them show great variation also if they belong to the same ethnic group (see African results). From the Afro-descended results i’ve seen this “Nigeria” region seems to peak among African Americans and Anglo Caribbeans, very much in line with their prominent Bight of Biafra connection. The genetic markers captured by the “Nigeria” region might still be predictive for Afro-diasporeans, it’s just likely that it might not show you the full extent of your possibly Nigerian ancestry, an underestimation being most likely. The potentially remaining parts of your Nigerian ancestry hiding under either “Benin/Togo” or “Cameroon/Congo”. This is not mentioned by Ancestry.com in their description of the Cameroon/Congo region, so it’s good to be aware! The tricky thing is right now there’s no way of telling through which ancestors you might have inherited certain regional markers. Perhaps by redesigning their reference panel Ancestry.com might be able to create a more inclusive southeastern Nigerian/Biafran region, based on solely Igbo’s but perhaps also adding neighbouring Cameroonian ethnic groups if they show sufficient genetic similarity. It would seem to be a more informative combination than Cameroon/Congo…

    Cameroon/Congo

    This region brings together samples from a very large area and by the manner it has been designed it’s most unfortunately capturing ancestral connections to both the Congo and the Bight of Biafra hinterland (southeast Nigeria + western Cameroon). As already mentioned two Igbo results i’ve seen scored substantial “Cameroon/Congo” %’s which implies that any Igbo or related southeastern Nigerian ancestry from the past could also have resulted in inherited DNA markers nowadays being read as “Cameroon/Congo” by AncestryDNA. At the same time it could also signal genuine Congolese ancestry. Hereby obscuring any genetic affinity for two very crucial ethnic groups contributing to the Afro-Diaspora: the Igbo and the Bakongo (see these slave registers from the Anglo-Caribbean). Genuine ancestral connections to ethnic groups from Cameroon seem least likely judging from the slave trade history, but it’s still also an option to consider. Judging from the Afro-diasporic results i’ve collected this category is still all in all reasonably predictive. It’s peaking among Haitians which makes sense as their share of Central African origins is probably among the highest outside of South America/Brazil. Otherwise it’s also showing up prominently for African Americans and Anglo Caribbeans, but right now there’s no way of telling if it’s pointing towards Congolese or rather Biafran ancestry. A splitup of this region in a future update by Ancestry.com would be highly advisable as the distinction between Bight of Biafra and the Congo is a must for a better understanding of the main regional origins of Afro-diasporeans.

    South-Central Hunter Gatherers

    This is a pretty straightforward ancestral cluster based on samples from both the Khoisan and Pygmies. It’s the equivalent of the socalled “Central & Southern African” category on 23andme. Judging from the results i’ve seen of people testing with both Ancestry.com and 23andme their scores for this region/category correspond quite closely indeed. For many Afro-descendants it will most likely be capturing Pygmy affinity instead of San affinity, representing an ancient and dilluted component brought over by Central African Bantu speakers whose ancestors were already intermarrying with Pygmy groups centuries or even millennia ago. Especially the Bakongo from Congo and the Fang from Gabon are known to have high Pygmy (Biaka) admixture. It’s usually only showing up as a minor Trace Region although it’s still likely to be accurate since it’s based on very distinctive DNA markers. I’ve not really seen any positive correlation between this region and the “Cameroon/Congo” or “Southeast Bantu” ones as one might have expected, so perhaps it’s sometimes being included in those regions instead. There’s also the question whether these small %’s might in some cases be deriving from recent Pygmy ancestry. I will devote a future blogpost to this topic soon. For now i will say anything’s possible on an individual case basis, but i’ve never come across a historical reference suggesting any systematic and sustained importation (in high numbers) of Pygmy slaves into the Americas. It’s intriguing though that some of the African results i’ve seen also show this region, including an Ivorian (2%) a Nigerian (3%) and a Northeast African (3%). None of these countries known for harbouring Pygmy or Khoisan populations, at least in the presentday. So again it could be indicative of very ancient ancestral connections instead.

    Southeastern Bantu

    Hypothetically this region would cover the largest territory, “anything south and east of the Congo”. Therefore potentially it might capture ancestral markers from a very wideranging area eventhough it’s based on only 18 samples. From the results i’ve seen even Northeast Africans (Somalia, Ethiopia) score this region for their “SSA” part (in the absence of a more fitting region based on Nilotic samples). However i’m guessing that for most Afro-diasporeans it will be indicative of Angolan or (interior) Congolese ancestry. Mozambican and Madagascar ancestry are also theoretical possibilities but more remotely so based on slave trade statistics. When combined with additional evidence the Madagascar options may be made more plausible though. As Angola doesn’t have its own separate region yet (despite probably being the greatest souce of African slaves to the Americas as a whole) it’s very likely that most of Angolan ancestry will be described by this category . For northern Angolans who are ethnically Bakongo it might be more so “Cameroon/Congo”, see also the detailed maps on this page. The Afro-diasporic results i’ve seen for this region are largely in agreement with known slave trade patterns. This socalled Southeast Bantu region showing up lowest (on average) among Anglo-Caribbeans. But for Latin Americans it’s among their biggest regions corresponding with their documented very significant ancestral connections with especially Angola. For American Americans the Southeast Bantu % is showing up more pronounced than for Anglo-Caribbeans on average and it’s very likely referring to more than just strictly Southeast African origins. Slave trade from these parts being estimated to be below 2% of the total, while West/Central African slave imports, incl. parts of northern Angola, would be about 25% for the USA (see this page). I have a feeling that there’s much room for improving the SE Bantu category which seems quite shakey because it’s only fueled by 18 samples from probably South Africa and/or Kenya. Strangely enough these samples are right now also partially showing affinity to the Middle East and North Africa! (see screenshots below). Obviously adding samples from Mozambique and Angola will provide a much better picture.

    North Africa

    Similarly to the Senegal region the North African samples being used by AncestryDNA also seem to define a very distinct and reliable region according to the information provided by Ancestry.com (see screenshots above). However it seems to be based on different samples than used by the North African category on 23andme, quite possibly only Mozabite Berbers from Algeria. While 23andme also includes Levantine and even Gulf Arab samples in their socalled North African category… This region seems to be negligible or non-existent for most Afro-diasporeans located in the USA or the West Indies but it’s much more noticeable for Afro-descendants from Latin America as well as for Cape Verdeans. However, Latin Americans with high North African scores will typically have only a minor part of total African ancestry and in fact their “North African” ancestry will usually be derived from other sources than via the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. Canarian/Guanche ancestry as well as Moorish or rather “Morisco” ancestry via Iberia being most likely. A third possible explanation being that it’s signalling Sahelian (interior of West Africa) origins derived from especially the Fula people (a.k.a. Fulani/Peulh) who according to several DNA studies usually carry an ancient “North African/Berber like” ancestral component. This option is bound to be more relevant especially for the few Afro-diasporeans from the USA/West Indies who do show trace amounts of this region (within the 1%-3% range). This also goes for Cape Verdeans who in addition might also have inherited these “North African” markers directly from Mauretania/southern Morocco because of early slave raiding by the Portuguese along their coastlines (1400’s/1500’s) as well as minor Sephardic Jewish migrations from North Africa to Cape Verde in the 1800’s.

    Trace Regions

    It’s interesting that even for people with only minor total African ancestry their African Trace regions will usually still be shown as quite diverse. It’s however good to realize that according to Ancestry.com these Trace Regions will have a reduced confidence level and include estimates of zero %!
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    My 23andme vs ancestry dna results (Kenyan)

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    Ancestry actually produces more information about their samples and what they believe the sample's ethnicity best correlates to on pages not directly linked to your result under "arrivals and departures". However, you can find them if you deep search their webpage on google..

    http://dna.ancestry.com/ethnicity/

    I wish the results actually linked to this information instead of just talking about slavery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gihanga_Rwanda View Post
    I really wish Somalis, Habeshas and other East Africans would stop taking AncestryDNA, it's poorly fitted for their type of ancestry... these people aren't Bantu/North African/Middle East.
    Why do they have a large amount of Middle eastern ancestry?
    "Los blancos, morenos, cobrizos, cruzados, marchando serenos, unidos y osados, la Patria salvemos de viles tiranos, y al mundo mostremos que somos hermanos. "Juan Pablo Duarte

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    Quote Originally Posted by pgbk87 View Post
    When you say "they", whom are you referring to?
    Swahili Coast. I want to say they also have stuff from Kilwa. The full data does not exist but the abstracts that were out there basically said as much.
    http://core.tdar.org/document/398421...e-kenyan-coast
    There is other stuff... dont feel like finding it again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaquille View Post
    Why do they have a large amount of Middle eastern ancestry?
    Because they are genetically similar to Arabic's.. Arabic's mutated from them. Ancestry.com does not have many East African samples as it wasn't fiscally viable to gather them as their target demographics was African Americans who supposedly only hailed from West/Central Africa and thus they focused their efforts there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjhoneycomb View Post
    Because they are genetically similar to Arabic's.. Arabic's mutated from them. Ancestry.com does not have many East African samples as it wasn't fiscally viable to gather them as their target demographics was African Americans who supposedly only hailed from West/Central Africa and thus they focused their efforts there.
    Oh Oke.
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