FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are some commonly asked questions about the African Ancestry Experience:

ABOUT THE TESTS

  • These tests do not provide percentages of all of your ancestry. If you want percentages, do not take this test.
  • An African Ancestry test will trace the roots of ONE BRANCH of your entire family tree. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that the branch you choose to test will identify your African ancestry. Your result may be European, Middle Eastern, Indigenous American or Asian instead. See FAQ #2 for more details.
  • When the result is African, our tests place your African ancestry in a present-day country and ethnic group or tribe.
  • We use the largest number of African DNA samples in the industry to analyze your ancestry.
  • We do not maintain a database of customer information.
  • We do not sell or share customers’ personal or genetic information.
  • We do not provide customer information to law enforcement.
  • We do not biobank your genetic material. All genetic material is destroyed at the lab.
  • We analyze mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y Chromosome DNA. We do not use autosomal DNA.

  • Nine out of ten MatriClan Test results are African. So, if you are looking for an African result rather than looking for whatever the ancestry is of your maternal line, then we recommend that you start with the MatriClan Test.
  • Six out of ten PatriClan Test results are African. So, if you are uncomfortable with the idea of having a European paternal ancestor, do not take this test.

Maternal Ancestry Results
Yes, if you have a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence and an mtDNA Haplogroup L from another company. Please click here for data requirements.

Paternal Ancestry Results
Yes, if you have Y-chromosome markers and a Y Haplogroup of A, B or E from another company. Please click here for data requirements.

Admixture/Autosomal Results
No, we cannot use autosomal data from another company. However, please check your results to see if the company gave you an mtDNA haplogroup or Y chromosome haplogroup. We can provide better direction if you have that data. Contact us at info@africanancestry.com.

For lineage-based tests, reliability depends on several things such as the size of the database, the sampling of the lineages and the accuracy of lineage matches. Our database is the most comprehensive resource of African lineages available. We have worked with historians, archeologists, anthropologists and other geneticists to build the  largest collection of African lineages  in the world. We use a Sequence Similarity Score (SSS) measure to determine matches. The SSS measure is a likelihood estimate based on the frequency of identical and closely related (>99%) haplotypes. It is our degree of confidence in your results. Dr. Kittles explains here.

Our results are highly accurate. For about 85% of the people we test we find identical matches in our database. For the remaining people, we find closely related lineages with greater than 95% confidence. Our database is the most comprehensive resource of African lineages available.

Our tests do not provide percentages. We tell you WHERE in Africa one branch of your family tree goes back to, not HOW MUCH African ancestry you have.

The MatriClan Test traces the ancestry of ONE branch of your family tree, mother to mother to mother on back, for the past 2,000 years.

The PatriClan Test traces the ancestry of ONE branch of your family tree, father to father to father on back, for the past 2,000 years.

WOMEN CANNOT TAKE THE PATRICLAN TEST.

You must have a Y chromosome to take the PatriClan Test. Biological women do not have a Y chromosome.

In order for a biological woman to determine her paternal ancestry, she must have a biological male family member (from her father's paternal lineage) take the PatriClan Test. They have the Y-chromosome needed for analysis. This family member can be: her brother, father, father's brother, father's brother's son, grandfather, etc.

Anyone who submits a PatriClan Test using a woman's DNA, will not receive PatriClan results and will be charged an additional $25 processing fee.

Please contact us at info@africanancestry.com if you need help.

The easiest way to trace the ancestry of a deceased family member is to identify a living relative with the same lineage. Click here for help with reviewing your lineages. If there is no one available, our lab may be able to extract forensic DNA for an additional fee. Give us a call to discuss your options.

African Ancestry will analyze your DNA for ancestry. Your DNA will be destroyed once a result is determined.

Please click here to review our Terms and Conditions.

Please click here to review the Test Kit Instructions.


ABOUT THE RESULTS

The MatriClan and PatriClan result packages are available online and include:
  • MatriClan results include HVS1, HVS2 and HVS3 designations and mtDNA haplogroup.
  • PatriClan results include YSTR markers and the YAP. They do not include the haplogroup.
  • Certificate of Ancestry with specific ancestral country and tribe, if African.
  • E-book Guide to African History and Cultures
  • Exclusive access to the African Ancestry Online Community on Facebook
  • Online trainings with company founders and staff
  • Exclusive access to travel with African Ancestry Family Reunions

    The estimated timeframe for results is 8-10 weeks after receipt of your swabs. This is not a guarantee.

    We will tell you if you share ancestry with one of the 400 ethnic groups in our database. There is the rare chance where we can find an African country but are unable to determine the ethnic group. There is also the chance that your result will not be African.

    We do not estimate dates for the lineages since there is a large standard error involved in those estimates. The timeframe of our analysis is 500 – 2,000 years.

Our tests will only tell you about the lineage for which you submit DNA, maternal or paternal. We do not analyze your entire genome and provide a percentage breakdown of different ancestries. We provide mtDNA haplogroups. We do not provide Y Chromosome haplogroups.

    If we do not find a match for your ancestry anywhere in the world, we will notify you by mail. We will keep your sequence on file and re-run it against future updates to our database. Or you can choose to receive a refund. WE DO NOT OFFER REFUNDS FOR NON-AFRICAN RESULTS.

    No. The PatriClan Test is not a paternity test.

ABOUT YOUR ORDER

Domestic and International orders:
* Orders received Monday - Friday by 12 noon CST are shipped the same day.
* Orders received Monday - Friday after 12 noon CST are shipped the next business day.
* Orders received Saturday - Sunday are shipped on the following business day.

International orders only:
* Customer is responsible for supplying postage when returning swabs for processing. We recommend that you select a shipping method with a tracking number. You can track the receipt of your swabs at https://status.africanancestry.com
* Customer is responsible for the shipping costs of Family Package t-shirts and certificates. Invoice will be emailed and must be paid before the items are shipped.

Test Kits
  • If your Test Kit has not shipped, we will provide a full refund.

  • If your Test Kit has shipped and you have not submitted your swabs, we will provide a partial refund. You must return the Test Kit to us and you are subject to a restocking fee. The restocking fee equals shipping and handling + $20 per kit.

  • African Ancestry does not give refunds for any Test Kits once swabs have been submitted to the lab.

  • Women cannot take the PatriClan Test. Biological women do not have the Y chromosome required for testing. Anyone who submits a PatriClan Test using a biological woman's DNA, will be charged an additional $25 processing fee and will not receive PatriClan results.

Non-refundable Items:
  • Heirloom Pendants
  • Personalized Certificates
  • Country Face Coverings

  • Other Items:
  • All other products may be returned if in good condition. They are subject to a restocking fee equal to shipping and handling + $5.


  • Once an order has shipped, shipping and handling fees are not refunded.

Our goal is to process and fill orders received by 12 PM CST in the same business day. We commit to shipping your order within three business days of receipt.

We cannot control the shipping carrier. Shipping times are estimates and depend on the shipping method that you select at checkout. A tracking number is provided by email for all packages.

We will replace a lost kit within 90 days and you will incur a $25 replacement charge. f you return swabs for a test kit purchased more than 90 days ago, you are subject to a reactivation fee. See Section 11 of the Terms and Conditions.

Affirm is a financing alternative to credit cards and other credit-payment products. Affirm offers instant financing for online purchases to be paid in fixed monthly installments over 3, 6, or 12 months.

You must discuss any Affirm payment concerns directly with them at (855) 423-3729.


ABOUT AFRICAN ANCESTRY FAMILY REUNIONS

African Ancestry Family Reunions are specially curated all-inclusive birthright journeys. They are authentic, culturally immersive experiences co-created by experienced professionals in the country. We have partnered with Tourism ministries, local communities, businesses and cultural organizations and embassies, to create an unforgettable reconnection to your family’s ethnic group.

The trips are only open to AA family members (people who have taken a MatriClan or PatriClan Test and their extended family.

Yes, the AAFR price is all inclusive. It includes airfare from Washington DC, lodging (4-5 star), all meals, ground transportation in country and scheduled activities.

You will only see the trip details once you enter a valid Kit ID and the email used when you took your test.

Your unique African Ancestry Kit ID can be found on your results letter and on your Kit Information Booklet. Any request for a lost Kit ID must be emailed to info@africanancestry.com.

You will see the trip details once you enter a valid Kit ID and the email used when you took your test.

Currently, we offer Affirm as a payment option.

Yes

AAFRs are non-refundable. However, you may apply your payment to any future trip within one year of your original trip date.