Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Harvard professor who hosted PBS’ “African-American Lives” series
, is partnering with genetic genealogy company FamilyTreeDNA
to launch AfricanDNA
. The new service will provide provide African Americans with family tree research in addition to DNA testing.
The genealogy part is important, says Gates, because of the limits of genetic testing. “The available DNA data are not by any means complete, and these tests will not yield the names of any of the individuals on our distant family trees—just the general geographic areas in which our ancestors lived. Sometimes the tests yield multiple exact tribal matches, making it necessary for historians to interpret the most plausible result.”
AfricanDNA offers mitochondrial DNA and Y-DNA tests for $189 each ($378 for both). Results are compared to FamilyTreeDNA’s database of DNA profiles from around the world. A board of scholars from institutions such as Emory University and Boston University will help interpret customers’ results.
Test takers can opt for the Genealogy Package ($888 for one test or $1,077 for both), which includes a documented lineage as far back as records permit.