DNA Helps unscramble the puzzles of ancestry|
By Stephen Magagnini (Sacramento BEE-STAFF WRITER Sunday Aug 03, 2003
Almost from the time he was old enough to read the "whites only" signs on department stores in Montgomery, Ala., Ulysses Moore has been on a quest.
Where did I come from? he wondered.
He knnew he was more than just a "colored" child of the segregated South, that his legacy extended beyond the slave ships that brought 12 million Africans across the Atlantic. Was he descended from Shaka Zulu or the great Mandinka warriors, or the builders of the ancient world's greatest library in Egypt?
In his teens, Moore began collecting African art and reading every-thing he could on Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Ghana - the West African nations that exported most of the slaves.
But his mocha skin isn't as dark as most West Africans, and his nose, hips, face and shoulders aren't as broad. "A lot of people from Africa would tell me I looked a lot like East African people." said Moore, a49yrs.
"Ethiopians would come up to me and start speaking Amharic, one of the main languages."
Mystified, Moore took a different tack. Two months ago, he sent in a sample of his DNA to African Ancestry, one of a half dozen firms nation wide that test DNA commercially to help people learn more about where they came from.
Moore, who works for the U.S. Army in San Francisco teaching soldiers to use lasers, is among the thousands of Americans who are roots bunting with the help of DNA testing. They include folks trying to leam if they're part American Indian, and European Americans hoping to leam whether they're descendants of Vikings, Celts - or in one case, heir to the Portuguese throne.
Genealogy is now America's second largest hobby behind gardening, and DNA testing is genealogy's hottest new tool. Best known for its use in criminal eases and medical research, DNA is rewriting human history by tracing the migration of peoples tens of thousands of years ago. It's also rewriting personal histories by proving, or disproving, a person's direct lineage - in some cases shaving years off old-fashioned roots searches using the family tree.
The brave new world of DNA rootsquests barely three years old sometimes, produces surprising results. One adoptee from Berkeley learned she shared a common ancestor with the outlaw Jesse James. A Catholic priest in New Mexico discovered his DNA matches that of most Jews, indicating his ancestors probably fled the Spanish Inquisition. And a Jewish schoolteacher from Oakland learned at least one of her forebears came out of China.
Others have learned, to their dismay, that they're not sons or daughters of the American Revolution, at least not genetically. Somewhere along the line, there was an adoption or indiscretion.
Currently DNA testing can tell you only whether your genetic pattern matches some of the more than 100,000 people, dead and alive, whose gene patterns have been analyzed and logged by scientists in laboratories worldwide. If there's a match, that means you share a common ancestor somewhere along your mother's or father's direct line - as in your father's father's father, for example. The analysis doesn't tell you when - it could be any time in the last 15,000 years - and it doesn't account for the thousands of people in between who also are your ancestors. What you get are some genetic leads that are part of a much larger puzzle that must be pieced together the old-fashioned way; through census records, birth and death certificates, family Bibles, letters and oral histories.
The longing to know our origins is ingrained in the American psyche, according to Bruce Jackson, a Boston University geneticist who specializes in African American roots.
"To be tied to something is the most important component of our Americanism. We came from someplace else and used what we brought with us to build this great nation,"
"Like Maya Angelou says, 'No one can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at this present place.'"
For Jackson and thousands of other African Americans, genealogy is more than a hobby: It's nothing less than a healing quest for identity. Jackson compares his anguish to that of some adoptees who have no clue about their biological roots. "My history goes back thousands of years in Africa, but most of it has been blotted out," he said. "What holidays did my ancestors celebrate? What were their marriage customs? Their politics? Their names? What were the great things they did, and the things that aren't so great?"
Jackson has gone to West Africa to collect the DNA of bout 2,000 Africans. He offers roots testing to African Americans and Caribbean blacks free of charge through his nonprofit African American Roots Project.
"If African Americans can link ourselves to our nations of origin, we will be more invested in the fate of Africa and could have a tremendous impact on its future," he said.
Jackson traced his mother's DNA to the British Isles, and suspects one of his ancestors was an indentured servant from Ireland who perhaps married a freedman. Jackson said the testing confirms his family's oral history, about a white matriarch in Virginia in the early 1800s.
But so far, Jackson hasn't been able to narrow his father's roots to a tribe in Africa; the database isn't yet large enough. Another African American geneticist, Rick Kittles of Howard University, says he has a larger database - the DNA of, 10,000 Africans from 82 different tribes and ethnic groups - and claims his firm, African Ancestry, can link about 85 per- cent of African Americans with at least some of their ancestors.
One customer was Moore, the San Francisco laser weapons trainer, who in May sent African Ancestry $349 and a swab containing DNA scraped from the inside of his cheek.
Virtually every human cell has DNA, which includes a full set of genetic instructions that determine traits such as eye color, blood type and height.
There are two main types of DNA roots tests, which can cost anywhere from $160 to upwards of $500. Women can trace their direct maternal lineage by testing their mitochondriai DNA, about 16,500 pairs of genetic information that pass down unchanged from mother to daughter to granddaughter. Geneticists can analyze a small section of mitochondrial DNA to find patterns based on ethnicity.
Men have mitochondrial DNA from their mothers, too. They can't pass it down, but can use it to trace their maternal roots.
Men also have the option of tracing their father's line
through-the Y chromosome,
the male sex determinant passed from father to son.
DNA - Testing|| Web Site:
Family Tree DNA
Family Tree DNA - Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd. © 2001-2003
World Headquarters, 1919 North Loop West, Suite 110 Houston, Texas 77008, USA
Phone: (713) 868-1438 | Fax: (713) 868-4584
E-Mail: <--- info@FamilyTreeDNA.com
| Web Site:
GeneTree DNA Testing Center © 1997-2003
2495 South West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Toll Free: (888) 404-GENE; Phone: (801) 461-9757; Fax: (801) 461-97613150
Almaden Expressway, Ste. #203; San Jose, CA 95118
Toll Free: (888) 404-GENE; Phone: (408) 723-2670; Fax: (408) 723-2671
DNA - Listing/Database||
SFA© y-DNA Project, Geneolgy Family Profiles© 1996-2009
Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. <--- firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: We only list SFA Male "y-DNA chromosome"
If you want your project to be listed in one not found on this list,
send me the information and I would be happy to post it.
If you don't find the name your are
looking for alphabetically. There are some large scale projects
that have many different surnames being tested.|
Here is the key to the labs:
BYU: Brigham Young University (special project)
FTDNA: Family Tree DNA
GTDNA: GeneTree DNA
KUL: Katholieke Univ. Leuven, Belgium
OA: Oxford Ancestors
UCL: Univ. College of London
UL: Univ. of Leicester
RG: Relative Genetics
TC: Trinity College, Dublin
|Source & Reference:||Rootswebb Genealogy DNA||<---
||Google DNA Primer Book||
||Cindy's List Genealogy - DNA||<---
||Ancestry.com - Dick Eastman Gen. DNA||
|These records are part of the "Genealogy Computer Package" *** PC-PROFILE *** Volume - II. Sarratt/Sarrett/Surratt Family Profile© Compiled and self Published in Oct. 31, 1989 by Paul R. Sarrett, Jr. with the assistance of my late mother Mrs. M. Lucille (WILSON) SARRETT (1917-1987) These 1989 "Work-Books" were compiled by listing the various families, born, married, died, and a history of that family branch. In 1996 I started "Up-Loading" this material on the now called SFA© Series...prs|
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