Two Trees Harris Genetic Ancestry


Advances in DNA genetic research allow each of us to peep into our genetic past. Genetic analysis of the male Y-DNA can point to the origin of our male ancestry. Y-DNA contains countless STRs. STRs are groups of nucleotides that occur in a repeated pattern in a specific location on the Y-DNA. The number of times a STR is repeated in the Y-DNA is unique for a given male, paternal lineage, or ancestry. Individuals who are descendents from the same male line have the same or very similar pattern of same STR markers, also known as "haplotype". Genetic testing of my Y-DNA, that from Donald L. Harris, has predicted my Y-DNA haplotype to be E3a. Haploytype E3a lived in Northeastern Africa, and his descendents journeyed from northern Africa to sub-Saharan and equatorial Africa. This migration path is closely associated with the Bantu agricultural expansion of Africa. E3a is the most common lineage of African Americans. A more profound and precise testing result can be obtained by testing my SNP marker, another type of marker found on the Y-DNA.

Another kind of DNA is found in mitochondria. Mitochondria are located in the cell nucleus, and this type of mitochondrial DNA is called mtDNA. Testing of my mtDNA pointed to my female or mother's ancestral line. The haplogroup for my maternal line is a close match to Haplogroup L. The predicted subclade or sub-division is L2a. This haplogroup line represents a large proportion of sub-Saharan Africa and is found at high frequencies within the Bantu population. Haplogroup L2 is the most common haplogroup among African Americans. Genetic testing can be expensive, especially when we consider adding more refined tests. Also, we could confirm test results by allowing more than one company to perform the same tests. I believe this science is still in its infancy. So, be cautious.


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