View Full Version : Ancestor DNA search: help needed!

01-05-2015, 09:54 PM
Hi All,

I have a specific issue and wondered if anyone could advise.

About 5 years ago, during genealogical research, I came across a possible ancestor who was brought to the UK as a slave from Africa at the start of the 18th century. I researched his story as much as I could, and it's fascinating. In 2010 I did a DNA test to see if any trace of his DNA could be found in me (all of my other traceable ancestry is British). This ancestor is 8 generations back from myself, and not directly down the male line, but back 5 generations in the male line, then over to a line which married in, so it's not as simple as a Y-DNA test.

I was warned in 2010 that it might not be possible to find anything out: and sure enough, the test was inconclusive. They couldn't say that I did have any African DNA, yet nor could they say that I did not, comparable to an average UK citizen with no known direct link to Africa.

I was wondering, with the advent of next generation testing, whether any of you could advise me on the possibility of a test now which might yield better chances of success - type of test, company, price etc? I'd greatly appreciate it!

01-05-2015, 10:25 PM
Which DNA test did you take? If it was an aDNA test, you could upload your raw data to gedmatch and try out the admixture tools. Eight generations back could mean around 0.4% shared DNA with your ancestor, but recombination doesn't typically split things so evenly. Several of these tests have gone through updates and iterations, bit I couldn't say how much of an improvement they are over a 2010 test. Another approach could be to track down a direct paternal descendant for testing via paper trail.

01-05-2015, 10:32 PM
I took a straight Y-DNA test which was then analyzed for signals of African ancestry. I'm afraid I don't know any more of the technical details. So far I have not done any mixed DNA test. Could you specify some available products which are in this category?

01-05-2015, 10:41 PM
Here's a couple helpful links from ISOGG's wiki to help guide you: Autosomal DNA (http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Autosomal_DNA), Autosomal DNA testing comparison chart (http://www.isogg.org/wiki/Autosomal_DNA_testing_comparison_chart).

If you're in the UK, the Ancestry test will be out of reach. Either the 23andMe or FTDNA Family Finder test will provide you with potential matches to genetic cousins on top of ethnicity percentages, while the Genographic and BritainsDNA tests will only provide your ethnicity breakdown.

01-06-2015, 09:22 AM
Thanks a lot!