FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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

ABOUT THE TESTS

1. How do the test kits work?

Our tests place your African ancestry in a present-day country and ethnic group or tribe. For

other ancestries, we report an mtDNA haplogroup and/or geographic region.

 

  • 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 mtDNA and Y Chromosome. We do not use autosomal DNA.

2. If I have results from another company's test, can I send them to you for analysis?

Yes. If your mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence or your Y-chromosome markers have African ancestry, we can tell you what present-day country(ies) and ethnic groups in Africa that they share ancestry with. Please click here for data requirements. We cannot use data from admixture analyses.

3. What if I lose my Kit ID#?

The Kit ID# is found on the Kit packaging and on the Activation card inside of the kit.

The Kit ID# protects your confidentiality. Therefore, you must provide your Kit ID# in order to get any information from us about your kit status.

You must activate your Kit. If you send your swabs to us WITHOUT activating your kit AND lose your Kit ID#, we will be unable to locate any information about your sample.

No refunds will be provided if you lose your Kit ID#. Your order number and email are not the same as the Kit ID#. They do not provide access to Test Taker information.

4. How reliable are the African Ancestry tests?

For lineage-based tests, reliability depends on several things: 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.

5. How accurate are the African Ancestry tests?

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.

6. What can I expect from an African Ancestry Test?

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.

7. How can I determine my paternal ancestry if I am a woman?

In order for a woman to determine her paternal ancestry, she must use the Y-chromosome of a male on her father's side—her brother, father, father's brother, grandfather, etc. It cannot be her son.

8. Is there some way to trace the ancestry of a family member that has died?

The easiest way to trace the ancestry of a deceased family member is to identify a living relative with the same lineage. Give us a call to discuss your options.

9. What are you going to do with my DNA?

African Ancestry will analyze your DNA for ancestry. Your DNA will be destroyed once a result is determined. We do not sell or share our customers' personal, genetic or financial information.

10. Will my DNA results be kept confidential?

Please click here to review our Terms and Conditions.

11. What are the instructions for taking the test?

Please click here to review the Test Kit Instructions.

ABOUT THE RESULTS

1. What does the results package look like?

Test results are accessible through an online portal and include:

  • MatriClan official result has HVS1, HVS2 and HVS3 designations and mtDNA haplogroup. African results also include present-day African country and ethnic group.
  • PatriClan official result has ancestral country(ies), YSTR markers and YAP (Y-alu polymorphism). African results also include African ethnic group(s).

All results also include:

  • Certificate of Ancestry
  • E-book Guide to African History and Cultures
  • Access to our exclusive African Ancestry Online Community on Facebook
  • Online trainings with company founders and staff

2. How long does it take to get my results?

The estimated timeframe for results is 10-12 weeks after receipt of your swabs. This is not a guarantee.

3. Can you tell what tribe I am from?

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.

4. Can you estimate how many generations back my lineage goes?

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.

5. I have several different ancestries. Can your test tell me about my European and/or Native American ancestries?

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.

6. What if you do not find any match for my ancestry?

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.

7. Can the PatriClan Test determine paternity?

No. The PatriClan Test is not a paternity test.

ABOUT YOUR ORDER

1. What is the return policy?

Refunds are honored in some instances. Refunds will be credited to customer within 10 days of receipt of item by African Ancestry.

Refundable items:

  • Test Kits: when order has not shipped
  • Unused Test Kits that are returned to African Ancestry
    • Returned Test Kits are subject to a $25 restocking fee
  • These items are subject to a 25% restocking fee
    • Unused and in good condition: T-shirts, Continent Pendant, Cowrie Shell Pendant, Identity Box, Study Guide, Journals
  • Women cannot take the PatriClan Test.
    • All PatriClan swabs submitted by women will be charged a $25 lab fee 

Non-refundable items:

  • Test Kits whose swabs have been received by the lab
  • Heirloom Pendants
  • Country Face Coverings

Shipping and handling fees are not refunded once an order has shipped.

2. How long does it take to receive my order?

Our goal is to process and fill orders received by 12 PM CST in the same business day, Monday - Friday. Orders placed 12 PM CST on Friday and on weekends, will be shipped on the following business day. We commit to shipping your order within three business days of receipt.

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

3. What is a a Kit ID#? What happens if I lose my Kit ID#?

The Kit ID# protects your confidentiality. Therefore, you must provide your Kit ID# in order to get any information from us about your kit status. Keep your Kit ID# someplace where you can access it.

The Kit ID# can be found in two places: on the back flap of the black envelope and on the Activation Card inside of the kit.

If you send your swabs to us WITHOUT activating your kit AND lose your Kit ID#, we won't be able to locate any information about your sample. You will not receive your results. You will not receive a refund.

Your order number and email are not the same as the Kit ID#. They do not provide access to Test Taker information.

4.. What should I do if I have misplaced my kit or swabs?

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.

5. What is Affirm?

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.

6. I purchased Route shipping insurance. If my package is lost, stolen, or damage, how can I file a claim?

Please review the filing requirement below and contact Route to file your claim at https://claims.route.com

If you are not able to successfully file a claim and you would like a refund or a replacement kit, we will assess a reactivation/restocking fee.


Filing Requirements

  • Claims for packages presumed to be lost by the carrier, where the status is “not delivered” must be filed no sooner than 7 days after the scheduled delivery date for domestic shipments (and 20 days for international shipments), but not later than 30 days from the date the shipment was originally scheduled to be delivered.

  • All other claims for loss or damage should be filed as soon as discovered but in no event later than 60 days from the purchase date.

  • Claims for packages marked by the carrier as “delivered” yet not received by the customer must be filed within 5 days from the date and time shown by carrier as delivered. Underwriters reserve the right to require proof of either a copy of a police report showing report of theft or security video recording showing evidence of theft.

ABOUT AFRICAN ANCESTRY FAMILY REUNIONS (AAFR)

1. How are AAFRs different than other trips?

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.

2. Are AAFRs open to the public?

The trips are open to African Ancestry Family Members (who have taken a MatriClan or PatriClan Test) and their extended family.

3. Is airfare included in the price?

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

4. Why can't I see the trip details?

You will only see the trip details once you enter a valid Kit ID and the email you used to activate your kit.

5. Where do I find my Kit ID?

The Kit ID# can be found in several places: on the back flap of the black envelope, on the Activation Card inside of the kit, on your results letter and in your online account. Please email your request for a lost Kit ID# to info@africanancestry.com.

6. How much is an AAFR?

You will only see the trip details once you enter a valid Kit ID and the email you used to activate your kit.

7. Is there a payment plan?

We offer Affirm and PayPal as payment options.

8. Are AAFRs open to children?

Yes.

9. What is the refund policy?

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