I'm so happy. Could you tell?
Obviously my being Black is no news to me, but thanks to AncestryDNA I now have some quantitative clues as to where my particular Blackness comes from geographically. I sent for the kit on April 11th, I got the kit, sent it back, and they received my sample on April 22nd, they started lab processing on May 10th, and my results became available this afternoon. That makes 6 weeks from the time I ordered the kit, and out of that time only 2 weeks to get my results (normally they tell you to give it 6-8 weeks from the time the lab receives your sample).
Before I spill the beans, I acknowledge that what AncestryDNA has provided is only an estimate; no such test is 100% accurate and I'll likely never know the complete breakdown of my ethnicity. And of course, being a product of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade with roots in the Deep South on both my mom's side and my dad's side, the results are no colossal surprise.
But it's something. I know something, or at least I've got an idea. And I'm excited! So without further ado, according to AncestryDNA:
- I am 91% African, mainly West African (26% traces back to Benin/Togo, with other double-digit percentages in Nigeria, Ivory Coast/Ghana, Cameroon/Congo, and Senegal).
- I am 8% European (Ireland, Scandinavia, Finland/Northwest Russia, and practically negligible smatterings from the rest of Europe).
- I am less than 1% Polynesian.
Yes, you read the list right. 2% Scandinavian. You remember that dream I had last month that prompted me to send for the DNA kit in the first place, that dream where I found out I was 50% Scandinavian and was devastated that I wasn't Blackity BlackBlackBlackBlack? Well look what we have here, come full circle. Now mind you, that percentage and the other European and Polynesian percentages listed are trace regions. There's a very small amount of evidence linking me to those places, so they could mean something or nothing at all. (Whoa, does that mean up to 9% of me could be unaccounted for?) Either way, you know what this tells me? That God's got jokes.
Since this is only an estimate and only one test, I could question or even reject the results as I please if I were so inclined. While researching this whole thing, I found that a lot of genealogy buffs poo-pooed AncestryDNA because it wasn't comprehensive enough, saying that the results 23andMe offers at $199 are more thorough and useful. Facebook also caught on to what I was doing and has been bombarding me with ads for AfricanAncestry.com, which offers a composite for $199, or for $299 they claim to trace your paternal or maternal side all the way back to the tribes of your ancestors. But AncestryDNA's the cheapest on the market right now, and I'm not so deep into this thing that I want to obsess over the details just yet. So for the $108.95 total that I spent, I am more than satisfied for the time being. Maybe I'll try a different test next year. Ohmygoodness but y'all I am so happy right now! I'm Black, y'all! Like for real, the Motherland's got me!
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