Why Are So Many of Us Descended From West Africa?
I’m often asked why more of our lineages aren’t traced to Southern or Eastern Africa? Evidently, there are a lot of folks who want to be from South Africa, Ethiopia or even Kenya. Well, the chances of that are pretty slim. So, why is that?
First of all, to be clear, it’s not because www.africanancestry.com doesn’t have the database to pinpoint ancestry to those regions. On the contrary, I can assure you that the www.africanancestry.com database is still the best there is out there for tracing lineages not just to Africa, but to a specific modern day country and ethnic group, when African ancestry is found. Most companies can only tell you what continent you originated from, but not what country. But, AfricanAncestry.com has 35 African countries in its exclusive database, including Central and East Africa. They compare an individuals’ genetic sequence against 25,000 indigenous African samples and successfully determine ancestry over 99% of the time for both maternal and paternal lineages. They find identical matches for approximately 85% of the people they test. For the remaining people, they find closely related lineages with greater than 95% confidence.
They don’t report much ancestry outside of West Africa because frankly the majority of lineages are in fact traced to modern day West Africa.
I’m not an authority on the subject, so I can’t offer a definitive answer as to why so many results are from this region, but keep in mind that the Atlantic Slave Trade resulted in the enslavement of mostly West Africans by Europeans. Below, are a few (estimated) statistics I excerpted from Hugh Thomas’ fascinating book, “The Slave Trade,” that are worth noting:
|Senegambia (in Arguin), Sierra Leone||2,000,000|
|Gold Coast (Ashanti)||1,500,000|
|Slave Coast (Dahomey, Adra, Oyo)||2,000,000|
|Benin to Calabar||2,000,000|
|TOTAL LEAVING AFRICAN PORTS||13,000,000|
Here are a few other interesting stats:
|SLAVES DELIVERED TO|
|Spanish empie (including Cuba)||2,500,000|
|British West Indies||2,000,000|
|French West Indies (including Cayenne)||1,600,000|
|British North America & U.S.||500,000|
|Dutch West Indies (including Surinam)||500,000|
|Danish West Indies||28,000|
|Europe (including Portugal, Canary Islands,|
|Madeira, Azories, etc)||200,000|
I hope this info helps. As usual, I welcome your comments! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
And if you want to see the names of others who share your African lineage – visit the “Wall of Return” at www.africanancestry.com. Until then…