Tag Archives: African American Genealogy

DNA Comments and Questions

Most recent comments and responses. Africanamericangenealogydna.com

Comparing Kit 130690 (*Valerie C.) and 250893 (*Marine W.) Alphanumerical number excluded.

Minimum threshold size to be included in total = 300 SNPs
Mismatch-bunching Limit = 150 SNPs
Minimum segment cM to be included in total = 3.0 cM

Chr Start Location End Location Centimorgans (cM) SNPs
8 41,846,352 53,127,075 3.7 399
Largest segment = 3.7 cM
Total of segments > 3 cM = 3.7 cM
1 matching segments

402014 SNPs used for this comparison.

Comparison took 0.03957 seconds.
Ver: May 24 2017 20:18:13

Response. A match too far below the threshold that it can be a false read. 7 cM’s 1000 SNP’s is the normal depending on testing company math formula used to calculate relationships.


ok, here goes…My grandfather was Harold L,  b 1900 in Missouri or possibly Nebraska d 1974 in Big Spring Tx. His father was William S  b June1856 in Iowa City Iowa. Grandpa’s mother was Lorretta M  b 1866 in Illinois.
William S  parents were William & Caroline . Loretta’s parents were Thomas C  and Hanna Alma . Looking for any help for more info on this line. We have all been stumped for years. Please and Thank You

Answer: I teach you to do the work and to learn the subject matter. If I give you the answers what have you learn, what can you tell others about how you did the research? How vested are you in finding the answers?


Why would my number of matches at 23andMe be dropping? I had 1044 matches a few weeks ago, and now I have 1011; the total drops by a few to several at a time. I don’t seem to be missing any of my closest matches.

Answer: The algorithms used to determine matches has improved with each passing day. Meaning mathematical formulas design to search populations in specific areas, ethnicity, known data factors in the database such as location, surnames, known other relatives you have in your tree, and with 23andMe known health factors. Sequencing is done 100’s of time separating SNP’s to get down to known possible matches. then the sequences look for comparable cM’s on Chromosomes. This sequencing is done in seconds and the results are what you get. It is not an exact science.

Questions or not a question?

I have 4 new dna matches all managed by one person. So I messaged them yesterday letting them know they are matching my brother and I and so it is on my mothers side (since my brother and I have different dads). Well the person messaged me back today and said this “my mother is 93 years old and you match her, my sister and my sisters 2 daughters. Both grandparents on both sides my mom and my dad are from India. My mom was born and raised in Panama but we have lived in St. vincent and Barbados and currently live in Trinidad. I hope this helps you.” His 93 year old mother and I share 12cM. Her admixture is South Asian. His sister shows South Asian and Native American. The 2 daughters show South Asian, Native American and Mali.
My mom shows 1.5% Native American and 1.5% South Asian, 86% West African and 11% Irish.

The cousin match managing all 4 kits has shared with me that their grandparents from both his maternal side (who my brother and I are matching) and his paternal side are from the country India. Now my question becomes…how did they get from India (his mother is 93 years old) to Panama??? Second to that, this confirms we have a shared set of 4th great grandparents. Who were they?

Answer: Africans were sent to India as slaves from Madegassee, Yemen, South African, and served the British empire, afterward there was a need for labor to work on the Panama Canal,.Indians came to work on the construction of Panama Railways and later Panama Canal in the early 20th century.” Just as in Brazil they were abandon and left in Panama. So yes you can see how that can happen. Their DNA still exist there and in most of the Caribbean. From what we know, you most like have ancestors and living relatives in Mexico, and other South American countries. Good job, dig further using the Caribbean and South American resources available. Surnames would help a lot.


I have narrowed down my Malagasy connection to my 4th Great-Grandparents Adam Price who was born in Maryland and Catharine “Katie” Price who was born in Virginia. I have not found a death certificate for Adam or Katie, therefore I have not found Katie’s maiden name. Katie as born around 1815 in Virginia and Adam was born around 1810 in Maryland. Katie is listed as “Mulatto” on the census records. Does anyone have any suggestions how I can try to find Malagasy roots? Me, my mother, and sister have Southeast Asian DNA and I have DNA matches from Vietnam somehow. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Price is a surname found in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. Katie may be a free woman of color and her father was most likely a slaveowner. ths is based on the information you provide. She was listed in the census of 1815. She would have been a free person. look for information on plantations in Henrico Co, Powhatan, Goochland, King William and James City County. No assurances. Ask around with relatives if there any Clays’ in the family. Be sure to interview everyone you can.

I did not change the wording of any author inquiry, it is their own as written.

Harlem Genealogical Conference May 19, 2018

It's that time again! Hope to see you there!

Posted by Deborah Robinson on Saturday, April 28, 2018

Sons & Daughters of the U.S. Middle Passage Conference 2018


Sons & Daughters of the U.S. Middle Passage Conference 2018
Saturday, June 2, 2018 from 7:30 AM to 9:00 PM EDT
Rider University, North Hall
Lawrenceville Rd
Lawrence Township, NJ 08648
Join Us As We Uplift the Lives of Enslaved and Freed People of African Descent in English North American and the United States of America (1619-1865)
The full conference will include:
  • A remembrance ceremony.
  • A plenary speaker: Ric Murphy, Vice President of History AAHGS.
  • Twelve informative sessions. Topics include Basic Genealogy, Using DNA, and two “Emerging Scholars” sessions, American Law & Slavery.
  • Noted presenters include: LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, CG, Zann Nelson, Teresa Vega, GiGi Best-Richardson, Ruth Hunt, Nikki Williams Sebastian, Amy Thiriot, and NJ-AAHGS Members.
  • A lunch speaker: Steve Hammond, The Syphax Family.
  • A program for children.
  • Tell Your Ancestor’s Story“-Sign up to be interviewed and have your session taped and aired on our website.
  • Continental Breakfast, Lunch, and Networking.
The day will conclude with our awards dinner. Our keynote speaker is Mélisande Short-Colomb, descendant of the 272 enslaved people sold by Georgetown University and founding member of the GMP Advisory Board.
Our awardees include:
  • Richard Cellini, Georgetown Memory Project
  • Nettie Washington Douglass, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives
  • Dr. Daina Ramey Berry, Professor and Author.
  • Dr. Martha A. Sandweiss, Princeton University, Slavery Project
  • LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson
  • Darius Gray, Early Advocate for Digitizing Freedmen Bureau Records
  • Calvin W. M. Pearson, Sr. the Founder and President of Project 1619 Inc.
  • Margo Lee Williams, noted author
  • See full list of awardees at our website.
We hope to see you there.

The early ticket discount has been extended to May 11, 2018.

Please click on the link below to register or RSVP.
Register Now!
If you have any questions, please contact us.
Thank you for your attention, and we look forward to seeing you at our conference.
Dr. Evelyn A. McDowell, Ph.D., President
Sons & Daughters of the U.S. Middle Passage
Sons & Daughters of the U.S. Middle Passage, P.O. Box 5002, Trenton, NJ 08638

Researchers search for disease markers linked to diverse populations

This post is part of the link services of informative topics on Genealogy and Genetics. This post is offered to those in the sciences field with an interest in the connections of several fields of study. They are linked to www.africanamericangenealogydna.com on WordPress. It is provided as written by the authors with no major changes.

Researchers search for disease markers linked to diverse populations

As we observe Minority Health Month, scientists are finding clues that may lead to improved treatment of diseases that disproportionately affect minorities.

In the emerging world of personalized medicine, researchers are furiously looking for disease markers specific to minority populations, and they have already made some promising discoveries. The clues they are gathering, the scientists said, could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases, such as asthma and heart disease, that disproportionately affect minorities, as well as eventually helping reduce longstanding health disparities.

This is encouraging news, especially as we observe National Minority Health Month in April.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is playing a key role in the quest to identify these so-called biomarkers, which show up in many forms, from blood proteins to genes. One recent NHLBI supported study, for example, identified a genetic marker that may help explain why the commonly used asthma drug albuterol is not as effective in African-American and Puerto Rican children as it is in European American or Mexican children. Further study of this chemical clue could lead to improved asthma therapies for all populations.

Another study, also funded by NHLBI, found that a substance called D-dimer, a byproduct of the breakdown of fibrin that is involved in blood clotting, could provide a useful marker for identifying stroke and heart disease risk in African-Americans. The substance is found at higher levels in African-Americans than in people of European ancestry, the researchers say. The researchers also confirmed that higher D-dimer levels were associated with sickle cell trait.

Both the lung and heart disease studies were made possible by genome-sequencing tools provided by NHLBI’s Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed program) Program. The program focuses on collecting and identifying genetic biomarkers from clinical study participants with heart, lung, blood, or sleep disorders. And it places special emphasis on collecting genetic data that represents the racial and ethnic diversity of the American population.

Diverse American population

“We’re elated about these early findings,” said Cashell Jaquish, Ph.D., a genetic epidemiologist at NHLBI and a researcher in the TOPMed program. “But we’re only scratching the surface of what could be a treasure trove of biomarkers, particular in minority populations that have not been sufficiently represented in previous health studies.”

Jaquish added that by including many people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds in the study, researchers will be able to understand better how genetic variations influence disease risk.

The good news, she said, is that the studies extend well beyond lung and heart disease. The TOPMed program is also looking for biomarkers related to high blood pressure, COPD, sleep apnea, obesity and atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).

Begun in 2014, the program has sequenced more than 100,000 genomes (gene collections) using data from patients who have volunteered to participate in NHLBI clinical studies, including the Framingham Heart Study, Jackson Heart Study and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. The inclusion of these and other well-studied, multi-ethnic populations has made it easier to find biomarkers that are clinically relevant to all populations. And recent improvements in genetic technology have made sequencing faster. (Complementing TOPMed is the All of Us Research Program, a new cutting-edge effort to collect data from 1 million or more people in the United States to uncover biomarkers that can help deliver precision medicine for improved health.)

Esteban Burchard, M.D., M.P.H., a physician-scientist at the University of California, San Francisco, and the senior author of the asthma pharmacogenetics study, said the TOPMed program is “an important first step toward implementing precision medicine in all populations.”

In his asthma study, for example, Burchard and his colleagues collected genetic data from nearly 1,500 children across a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. The children had either a very high or very low drug response to albuterol. The researchers identified new genetic markers that could be used to predict which children are most likely to respond poorly to the drug. Among the top associated genes identified in the low-response group was a variant in the NFKB1 gene that is more prevalent in people with African ancestry. A better understanding of this variant could lead scientists to predict who will respond well to current and future asthma medications, the researcher said.

Burchard said that kind of discovery has value for everyone involved: “Racial and ethnic diversity in clinical and biomedical research leads to better science and improved clinical outcomes for all of us.”

A version of this blog was previously published in NHLBI News.

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Untied Shades of American

CNN’s United Shades of America airs an episode on Gullah Geechee culture May 13

Including Gadsden’s Wharf and McLeod Plantation

Posted by Will Allen on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 3:31 PM

  1. Kamau Bell’s United Shades of America, a documentary series on CNN, is an important show for our cultural moment. Now in its third season, the show sees the comedian take a deep dive into communities across the country to better understand the challenges they face.

From the first episode, in which Kamau, an African-American man, attended a KKK cross burning (or “cross lighting,” as they corrected him) to learn about the group and their rationale for their bigotry, the show has shed a light on some of our country’s most deep-seated problems. It makes for some powerful television. Fortunately, Bell’s background as a comedian can bring some much needed levity — his affable personality lets him be comforting to those who have faced hardships and allows him to be restrained enough to calmly talk with some of the nation’s worst bigots, like white nationalist Richard Spencer.

On Sun. May 13, CNN will air an episode of United Shades of America that focuses on the experiences of the Gullah Geechee people in South Carolina. Kamau travels to the Gullah Heritage Festival on St. Helena Island where he learns about the unique culture of the Gullah Geechee, including their music, art, food, and language, from local members of the community.

In the episode he also travels to local landmarks, like the Angel Oak, the Penn Center, the Charleston City Market, Gadsden’s Wharf (the future location of the International African-American Museum), and McLeod Plantation Historic Site to learn about the history of Gullah culture and enslaved men and women. A particularly powerful moment comes as Kamau stands in the slave quarters at McLeod Plantation and a historian describes the realities of slavery. The episode remains hopeful, celebrating Gullah culture and talking about preserving that history for future generations.

The parts of Gullah culture that Bell uncovers will prove, as he says, “the idea that black people are not a monolith.” The episode celebrates a version of black culture that differs from other regions of the country, and its premiere on a nationwide news channel will allow a wide audience of people to learn about the important history of the Gullah Geechee people.