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January 10, 2020
Product Reviews

5 Things You Should Know Before Buying African Ancestry

Curated information on African Ancestry by experts, including on reports covered, cost, and whether they accept DNA data upload/downloads.
Tomohiro Takano

The team here at Genomelink has gained knowledge and expertise on genetic testing through a long history of working in the industry. In this series of blog posts, we apply that experience and knowledge to provide concise and standardized reviews of various DNA testing products on the market. Here we are looking at African Ancestry.

1. About the Company

2. Test Results and Sample Reports

3. Reviews

4. Cost

5. Raw DNA Portability


1. About the Company

Quick facts:

Company Name: African Ancestry, Inc.
Foundation Year: 2003
Location: Washington, DC, United States
Number of Employees: Unknown/Not Reported
Monthly Visits: Unknown/Not Reported
Number of Databases: 30,000+

African Ancestry, Inc is a DNA testing company founded in 2003 by Dr. Gina Paige and Dr. Rick Kittles. They provide family history for people with African lineage that is specific not only to countries of origin but also ethnic groups of origin. Unlike other ancestry tests, African Ancestry aims to specifically help black communities around the world to connect with their roots by better understanding their African heritage. Since its founding, African Ancestry has helped over 500,000 people trace their maternal and paternal lineages to their African country of origin.

2. Test Results and Sample Reports

African Ancestry offers a DNA test kit that begins with the use of a cheek swab to collect a DNA sample. They do not use admixture analysis, a method of biogeographical analysis to determine ancestry, commonly used by other genetic testing companies. Admixture analysis is part of the analyses conducted on autosomal DNA, but African Ancestry does not evaluate autosomal DNA data. Instead, they rely on the slowly changing genetic segments found in mitochondria (mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA) and Y chromosomes. While mtDNA allows a person to track their maternal family members, DNA from a Y chromosome traces a person’s paternal family members. These gender-specific genetic codes remain the same generation after generation, making them great resources for learning about family history/migration paths from centuries ago, as opposed to recent family history!

After evaluating your DNA sample, African Ancestry geneticists will determine whether or not you have African DNA. If so, they will provide details on countries and tribes of origin. If your results are not African, they will determine whether your ancestry is European, Asian, Middle Eastern, or Native American.

Whether you purchase the maternal or paternal package (or both), here is what you can expect from your African Ancestry report:

  • Results letter revealing your ancestry along with a Certificate of Ancestry
  • Printout of your DNA sequence
  • Brochure including a map, scientific explanation, and a digital ancestry guide
  • Membership to their exclusive online community

African Ancestry does not provide a sample report on their website, but if you are interested in learning more, check out their frequently asked questions page here!

3. Reviews

Learn more of what people are saying about African Ancestry below!

  • See what people are saying on Reddit
  • See what people are saying on Twitter
  • Or read through the testimonials at africanancestry.com

Though there are limited online reviews of African Ancestry, the thoughts and experiences customers have provided are overwhelmingly positive. People are impressed with the specific, country-level and tribe-level results they receive and feel as though their ancestry is accurate based on the histories recorded by their families. Several prominent African Americans have used African Ancestry, including Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Spike Lee, Maya Angelou, and many others.

4. Cost

African Ancestry offers a few different options for finding your roots. The purchase of one kit, either the MatriClan (maternal) or PatriClan (paternal), costs $299. However, you can save $25 if you purchase both kits, with each costing $274. Their Family Celebration Package costs $718 and includes both the MatriClan and PatriClan kits, 6 additional certificates of ancestry, and 4 t-shirts to proudly display your country of origin. Every now and again, they offer promotional prices that provide additional savings.

5. Raw DNA Portability

If you have your raw DNA file from another testing company, you can upload this data for your African Ancestry test. Using your existing data costs only $210, offering some savings off the full test kit price. They do not specify which companies’ raw DNA data files they accept, but they do have specific requirements for the genetic data they will accept and evaluate. You can learn more about those requirements here.

As part of their package, you receive a physical printout of your DNA sequence (NOT a compatible file to upload to other sites). Below we’ve compiled some companies that accept raw data file uploads, where you can get an analysis of and learn more about your genetics. Check them out!

Know “More” About Your DNA Data

1. Genomelink - FREE
2. Promethease (genetic health risk)

Ancestry Tests

4. Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) - FREE
5. MyHeritage DNA - FREE
6. LivingDNA - FREE
7. GEDmatch - FREE

Nutrition and Fitness

8. Genopalate
9. Athletigen
10. DNA Fit

To find out more DNA upload sites, check out our article "The Best DNA Upload Sites"

Did you get 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or MyHeritage results back? Upload your raw DNA data to access 25+ traits for FREE at Genomelink!
Tomohiro Takano
Tomohiro Takano
Co-Founder and CEO
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