Finally! After a long, painful wait, my AncestryDNA results are in! I will walk you through why I decided to take the test and what the process is like.
Who Am I?
I am 100% Haitian.
But for some reason, people like to add their little input of who you are — I don’t know what is it with people, and black people in particular, but they are obsessed with others’ ethnic background.
Long story short, I grew tired of people telling me who I was – and I was tired of not having the proof to prove them wrong. I am from Haiti, but what part of Africa did my ancestors come from during the slave trade? I must know!
On March 5th, I ordered the kit online on AncestryDNA.com for $99 —
I avoided paying for shipping thanks to a coupon code I found during a Google search.
It arrived on March 12th. It’s a box like this:
In it, is a tube for you to spit your saliva in. I spat in it, twisted the tube shut, which prompted a blue stabilizing solution to fall into my saliva (sorry for the visual, guys!)
You also need to activate your test online with a code given to you on your box.
You’ll put your saliva in a sealed bag, put it in a pre-paid parcel, and ship it right off!
I shipped it a day after it came and it arrived at their lab on March 16th.
They did not begin processing my DNA results until April 4th!
And my results arrived on May 3rd, which is actually a lot earlier than usual since the typical ETA is 6 to 8 weeks. But still, it felt like an eternity!
Firstly, I’d like to tell you my expectations for this test. I was expecting an African percentage in the 90s, perhaps 96 percent. Maybe even 100%. I also expected West African origins — my father was sure our roots go back to Guinea and Nigeria.
But here’s what I got:
I am 86 percent African and I am mostly Beninese and Togolese! Wow! It feels great to know that my roots are in Benin and Togo! And I’ve got Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Ghana at 21 percent, plus Cameroon/Congo at 15 percent.
I also have 5 percentage points of Senegalese DNA. How sweet is that?
As for the remaining 14 percent, I have insignificant bits and pieces of DNA from all over Europe. I don’t have much of an explanation for these. As far back as I can check, all my family members and ancestors are black.
Further Research on Benin and Togo
Now for the fun part! Benin and Togo! I couldn’t help but do a little Google image search on what Beninese and Togolese people look like — and they do look very much like me!
I wanted to see what connection Benin and Togo had with Haiti, but the information is scant, aside from the fact that scores of Beninese and Togolese natives were brought to the Hispaniola during the transatlantic slave trade.
“During the 16th and 17th centuries, Benin played a key role in the slave trade. Thousands of men and women were uprooted and sold as slaves to work in plantations in Europe, the Caribbean and America. Many of them came from Allada, as did the family of Toussaint L’ouverture, who later founded the Republic of Haiti,” according to RNW.
I also found out that the Beninese brought the voodoo religion to Haiti. No shocker there either.
These pieces of information are sort of obvious. I mean…duh, right? But what else is there to know?
I guess I’ll have to do a little more digging! As for now, I am SO happy to finally know where my African roots stem from. I promised myself I’d visit the country that I am mostly from, so Benin and Togo, here I come!