Ancestry DNA by the Numbers

GENERATION DNA Percentage
Parents 50
Grandparents 25
Great grandparents 12.5
Great great grandparents 6.25
Great great great grandparents 3.125

Source: Understanding Genetics – Standford at the Tech Museum

In the case of using ancestry DNA to trace your roots, less is more.  You’ve probably seen the ancestry show on tel-e-vision where a majority of the black celebrities’ roots are traced back to African tribes.  This would make sense if you’re looking at the larger composition percentage to determine ancestry, but the larger number represents your most recent ancestors.  You inherit 50% of your DNA from your parents and the percentages get lower the further you go down in generations, as illustrated in the table above.  So, your most ancient ancestor (where you originated) would be signified by the lowest composition percentage.

CoffeeDr. Yaffa Bey gave the following analogy that’s a great example.  If you take a cup of coffee, it will look and taste different when you add cream and sugar to it.  Think of the coffee as your most ancient ancestor, the cream as what got into your blood line next and the sugar as what got into your blood line last.  After all of the additives, there would be very little trace of the original coffee left, but it is still a cup of coffee.  If you go back and watch some of the ancestry shows, you’ll see that a lot of the black celebrities had high African composition percentages and extremely low Native American composition percentages.  That’s because their most ancient ancestors were from right here in America and the African DNA entered the bloodline the most recent.

Statistics listed in an article titled “Exactly How Black is America?” by Henry Lewis Gates, Jr.  for the Root.com, reveal the average African-American has 0.6%-2% Native American ancestry.  This tells us that the average African-American’s most ancient ancestors were Native American.

  • According to Ancestry.com, the average African-American is 65 % sub-Saharan African, 29 % European and 2 % Native American.
  • According to 23andme.com, the average African-American is 75 % sub-Saharan African, 22 % European and only 0.6 % Native American.
  • According to Family Tree DNA.com, the average African-American is 72.95 % sub-Saharan African, 22.83 % European and 1.7 % Native American.
  • According to National Geographic’s Genographic Project, the average African-American is 80 % sub-Saharan African, 19 % European and 1 % Native American.
  • According to AfricanDNA, the average African-American is 79 % sub-Saharan African, 19 % European and 2 % Native American.

A lot of our families have stories that great-grandma was Indian or great-grandma said her mother was Indian and we pass them off as just fleeting tales, without seeing their significance.  Our people don’t know who we are because we allow others to dictate to us who we are.  One day we’re Black, the next Colored, then Negro and don’t forget about African-American.  The truth of the matter is, you are who your mother is.

For instance, maternal (mother) is to material as paternal (father) is to pattern.  Every seamstress knows that you must first have “material” before it can ever be put with a “pattern” to make a dress.  Also, you’ve all heard the saying, “Mother’s baby, Father’s maybe.”  Taken literally, this phrase means if a baby comes out of a woman’s womb, it’s a fact that is her child.  On the other hand, a man can say he fathered a child, or the woman can tell the man he fathered a child, but it’s anybody’s guess (outside of the DNA technology we have today).

What does this all mean?  The copper-colored women, the Europeans found in America, eventually had children with foreign men (whether by choice or force) erasing the pure blood line (the coffee).  Whether the foreign men were from Africa, Europe, Spain or Asian (the additives), the pure blood line will show up in your DNA less and less the further away you get from it throughout the generations.  Which is why it’s important for us to document who we are now, either through the paper trail or through genealogical DNA testing, because if the results are coming back 2% and lower now, our children or children’s children may not show any traces of Native American in their bloodline at all.

Know Better:
Understanding Genetics – Standford at the Tech Museum
Exactly How ‘Black” is Black America – TheRoot.com 

Do Better:
For those of you who had your DNA tested and were disappointed with the low percentage you received for Native American, look again from the lens of this clarity about Ancestry DNA results.  If your grandmother or great-grandmother said she was Indian, then believe her and stop letting other people tell you what or who you are!  You are what your mother is and she is what her mother was and don’t ever forget it!

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6 thoughts on “Ancestry DNA by the Numbers

  1. YACK CALIFORNIAN OF THE BLACK MOJAVE NATION WHO LIVED IN CALIFORNIA BEFORE THE SPANISH INVASION 

    The original peoples of California included two races. They were the descendants of prehistoric Negroid peoples like the picture on the right of a Black Mojave warrior. The other group were members of Mongoloid “Indian” peoples who also existed in the region along with people who migrated from the Canada/Alaska region. 

    HISTORY OF THE ORIGINAL BLACK CALIFORNIANS 

    The history of the original Black peoples of California is not mentioned in most Amrican history books. The term “Indian” is used to classify all the peoples found in the Americas when Columbus arrived. Yet, Columbus and his men as well as people like Balboa and Peter Matyr do mention “Ethiopians” in the Caribbean, Darien region of Panama, the cost of South America, California and other areas. These Blacks were the “Descendants of Ham” specifically those with black skins and kinky/curly hair that the Spaniards and other Europeans were instructed to capture and ensla

    ur coffee analogy is great. The problem is? The orignal people here were of African descendant. Just like everyone on the planet. The second race to reach america was the mongloid race. The europeans with the help of some the mongloid tribes. Enslaved and stole the identity and land of the indigenous American negro population already in the americas. Some indian tribes were of indignous negroid descent. Or tribes were mongloid. Most black Americans did not arrive here on slaveships.

    .

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  2. Yamasee Indians
    “Yamasee Indians were Negroes, what were known afterwards as the fiercest of the Indians
    tribes of the South- the well known Yamasee Indians were Africans”
    Quote cited from the Congressional serial set
    United States Government Printing Office
    57th Congress 1st Session.
    House of Representatives
    Document 179
    Report of the Industrial Commission on Agriculture and Agricultural labor
    Washington Government printing Office
    Year 1901, page 824.Most black americans descend from the orignal negro tribes already in the americas. Look under pre columbus blacks. For example the yamassee were indignous negro indians. But not of mongloid stock. The game is. The are reluctant to inform us black people….Cooper colored were already here. The indians that were enslaved? They were the orignal indigenous blacks of this hemisphere. Who now mistakenly call themselves Africans.

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  3. The earliest people in the Americas were people of the Negritic African race, who entered the Americas by way of the Bering Straight.  About 30,000 years ago a worldwide maritime undertaking included journeys from the Sahara towards the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, and from West Africa across the Atlantic Ocean towards the Americas. According to the Gladwin Thesis, (outlined on http://RaceandHistory.com) this ancient journey occurred, particularly about 75,000 years ago and included so called Black Pygmies, Black Negritic peoples and Black Australoids similar to the Aboriginal Black people of Australia and parts of Asia, including India.

    Ancient NATIVE Black Nations of America before and after Columbus include:

    The Washitaw of the Louisiana/Midwest

    The Yamasee of the South East

    The Iroquois

    The Cherokee Indians

    The Blackfoot Indians

    The Pequot and Mohegans of Connecticut

    The Black Californians (Calafians) (CAL in CALifornia literally means BLAK, after the name of the Great Mamma KALi / Queen KALifa)

    The Olmecs of Mexico

    The Darienite of Panama – A number of Black Negroid Peoples are mentioned in the works of I. Rafinesque (“Black Nations of America,”

    So if your ancestors were in one of these indian tribes listed below. You take a dna test? Well of course its gonna come back with sub Sahara dna. It should. Because the dna was already present befotre europeans arrived. Get it? You cant take a dna test to prove your indignous heritage. Or indians heritage. Unrealistic. If your using mongloid race as the standard. The negro will fail every time . Your family tree is what you ned.

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  4. THE BLACK WASHITAW NATION ON AMERICA

    MAY 12, 2010 DON JAIDE 22 COMMENTS

    Blacks Also Owned Miles of US Pre-Columbian Lands
    By Paul Barton, editorial, TOMRIC Agency (Dar es Salaam),

    Washington D.C.—One of the saddest aspects of enslavement in the Americas, particular North America, is the fact that all forms of education was denied us and still is today. Blacks were forced to remain ignorant and told they have no history or culture.

    Well, here is the problem, most African-Americans are still void of historical knowledge particularly of their ownership to lands right here in the U.S.

    Blacks owned about one million square miles of land in the Louisiana Territories and the South Eastern/Florida region, as well as California. In all these areas of the U.S., there were Black African-American nations before Columbus, who were targeted for enslavement due to the Papal Edict that gave the Christian nations of Europe the go-ahead to make slaves of all descendants of Ham found in the newly discovered lands This fact cannot be denied. The essay on Black Civilizations of Ancient America, published as the great book; Susu Economics the History of Pan-African Trade, Commerce, Money and Wealth, tells a reality of this.

    While many of Africans’ ancestors were kidnapped in Africa, many were Africans who came from West Africa, had a number of kingdoms and empires in the Southern parts of the U.S., and who were captured, had their lands taken and their persons sold into slavery. These Africans were direct black ancestors and their had a continuing connection with West Africa which included trade and commerce on the very eve of the invasion of the Europeans to the Americas.

    In 1991, the U.S. returned about 68,000 square acres of land to the Washitaw Nation of Louisiana, one of the prehistoric Black nations of the United States (See http://www.hotep.org). This group of Blacks is the evidence of the Black ownership of land and the Black presence before English and Spanish/French colonization of North America.

    Many Blacks living today are descended from the pre-Columbian Black nations and it is time that issue is included in the reparation discussion. They should locate who are the descendants of these pre-Columbian African nations in the U.S. (perhaps the entire mixed African-American population, since most of these Black tribes were enslaved and shipped to plantations and mixed with Blacks from Africa).

    When discussing reparations, they must realize that more than the actual performance of slave labor was involved. The taking of Blacks aboriginal lands in North America was also involved in this great trade, which was part of a grand conspiracy by the European powers, in which they used biblical mythology to promote their policies.

    Black people were already in the americas before Europeans came. The washitaw have proven that winning atleast some of there land back. In the supreme court. You can’t win land back? If it wasnt your land to start with negro.

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  5. I recently took a DNA test and was told I was 1% native American. My great grandmother is half native American. 1% can not be accurate.

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    1. The highest percentage represents your most recent or closest ancestor (what entered your lineage last). The smallest percentage represents your most ancient or distant ancestor (what your people were first). So, your 1% Native American means that is what your ancestors were first, before other ethnic groups mixed into your lineage. You never stop being what your ancestors were first, no matter how many different ethnic groups enter your lineage. You are and forever will be a descendant of the original copper color races of people the Europeans found in America.

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