Well Folks, the DNA Analysis is Back!

Kimberly’s Ethnicity Estimate

  • Nigeria33%
  • Cameroon, Congo & Western Bantu Peoples20%
  • England & Northwestern Europe10%
  • Mali7%
  • Ivory Coast & Ghana6%
  • Scotland5%
  • Senegal5%
  • Benin & Togo5%
  • European Jewish2%
  • Norway2%
  • Wales2%
  • Baltics2%
  • Southern Bantu Peoples1%

Regions of settlement in the United States

  • Early Virginia African Americans
  • East Texas, Arkansas & Louisiana African Americans
  • Mississippi & Alabama African Americans
  • Central Alabama-Mississippi Border African Americans

Well, well, Zach, who’d have thunk it? What a menagerie of folks! I love it. I knew about the Scottish, grandma’s family name is Scott, so that was pretty obvious. I knew about the Jewish part, Grandpa Jasper owned the local market in Beckman, Louisiana. Many Jewish people who migrated to Louisiana in the 18th and 19th centuries were merchants. Of course I knew about the African part. Many enslaved people were carried away from what the Europeans called the Slave Coast of Western Africa. This is the region that ran along the Bight of Benin located between the Volta River and Lagos Lagoon. I expected Cameroon and Congo. I suspected Nigeria, but not really. I do resemble some Nigerian people that I know because of my smallish features and eye shape, so that makes sense. However, I didn’t realize that my DNA was primarily from Nigeria. That’s kewl.

So now I can answer your question, Zach. What part of Africa do I come from? The answer is Nigeria (33%), Cameroon, Congo & Western Bantu Peoples (22%), Mali (7%), Ivory Coast & Ghanan (6%), Senegal (5%), Benin & Togo (5%), and Southern Bantu Peoples (1%). These peoples make up 77% of my mix or a little over two-thirds of my DNA. The other third is made up of medley of European Peoples, England & Northwestern Europe (10%), Scotland (5%), European Jewish (2%), Norway (2%), Wells (2%), and Baltics (2%).

I was surprised that most of my European DNA comes from England and Northwestern Europe. At a whopping 10%, it is the third largest component of my DNA. I am very interested in figuring that out. No wonder I am such an anglophile. I love all things British, literature, architecture, London. I love the literature, especially that from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I love British murder mysteries, especially Agatha Christie. I love Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, especially the Sherlock Holmes stories. I love PG Wodehouse, especially the Jeeves and Wooster Stories. I love Charles Dickens. I love the British sense of humor and always laugh my ass off at Monty Python and Faulty Towers. My friends always thought I was weird.

“Why do you love white people so much,” Dan asked me as I sat watching a Hercule Poirot mystery for the umpteenth time. He was trying to be funny.

“British people are not white. They are British. You need to read the book “Caste: The Origins of our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson, then you’ll know what I’m talking about,” I retorted.

I can now say with pride,

“Because it is in my blood!”

Compare and contrast

These are some comparisons that I find interesting:

  • Third highest mix is from England and Northwestern Europe (10%). I have more of that DNA than any of the African DNA, other than Nigerian and Cameroon (33%), Congo & Western Bantu Peoples (20%), everything else from Africa is 7% or less.
  • I have the same percentage of DNA from Scotland as I do from Senegal, and Benin & Tongo (5%).
  • I have the same percentage of DNA from European Jewish, Norway, Wales and Baltics (2% each), together making a total of 8% of my DNA.

Coming to the New World

I found it interesting that my people were among the early Virginia African Americans. This sort of makes sense as I was building a family tree in Ancestory.com and it started to point me towards that area through my family surname of Cotton. This was the maiden name of the grand matriarch of my family, Mattie Cotton. I can’t wait to dig into that.

I am quite aware of the Louisiana African Americans, that’s where the ancestors of my immediate family settled. I also knew about the East Texas branch of my family, who are from Marshall Texas, which is part of the Ark-La-Tex region. This area is a socio-economic tri-state region where the Southern U.S. states of ArkansasLouisiana, and Texas join together. My relatives were very much associated with Wiley College which is located in Marshall. Many of my relatives graduated from and taught there. My great uncle, Dr. Julius Scott, Jr. even served as one of the college’s past presidents.

I am not familiar at all with the Mississippi & Alabama African American branch of the family. According to the DNA analysis, we are part of the Central Alabama-Mississippi Border African Americans. I can’t wait to dig into that as well. I recently met some relatives that appear to be from that area during our last family reunion on the island of Hilton Head in South Carolina a couple of years ago. Uncle Julius, of which I often speak, lived there, may he rest in peace. I never say “rest in peace” because I feel that our ancestors are still with us. I talk to Julius, wherever he is up there, all the time and it is for him that I promised to complete my PhD at some point in the future.

I’m going to do several other DNA tests to see what they come up with. The next one that I’m going to do is from CRI Genetics, which gives you an Advanced Ancestry Timeline Report that goes 50+ generations (1,000+ years) into your family’s past. They’ll tell you the when and where of your ancestry which helps you understand when each little corner of the world entered your family tree. They even give you an approximate year.

CRI Genetics offers a DNA test that traces your mitochondrial DNA  (mtDNA or mDNA). This is the DNA that we all receive from our mothers and it follows your mother’s line and can be traced back for centuries. I’m going to do that part as well.

They also have a Y-chromosome DNA test which follows your father’s line. The y-chromosome is what makes you male. This test uncovers a male’s y-chromosome haplogroup, the ancient group of people from whom one’s patrilineage descends. Women can’t trace their DNA through their father’s line, because they don’t carry the y-chromosome. Perhaps that’s something you would be interested in.

That’s it for now. On to the next phase. The journey continues…

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