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DNA Collection Project in South Africa

Dr. Wilmot James, head of the African Genome Project and honorary professor of human genetics at the University of Cape Town, is heading a DNA collection project in South Africa. Dr. James is joined by his colleague Himla Soodyall, a scientist at the National Health Laboratory Service and an associate professor in the Division of Human Genetics at the University of Witwatersrand. On September 9th, James and Soodyall collected swab samples from a number of Capetonians.

The African Genome Project is supported by the South African genealogy website Ancestry24.com (although I was not able to find any information there). One of the goals of the project is to create a public genetic database to examine “how the country became populated over thousands of years” by filling in the gap in current DNA databases.

According to Dr. James:

“No one group can lay claim to South Africa. Everyone is a settler, and we will show how people came here in waves of migration.”

The results are due out in early 2008.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007

4 Comments

  1. I would like to know where or how I can be tested. I am a 3rd/4th generation South African on my fathers side and 3rd generation on my mother’s side. My maternal great-grandparent were from Holland, but I’m not too sure of my father’s maternal ancestry.

    Many thanks
    Wendy

  2. Wendy,

    I would recommend starting out with a Y-DNA or mtDNA test. Since you are a woman, you cannot do the Y-DNA test, but you could ask your father or a brother or uncle to take the test.

    Since you are interested in your father’s maternal ancestry, you could ask him to take an mtDNA test.

    Remember that genetic genealogy will not automatically give you a family tree (especially mtDNA, which mutates slower and is less useful for general genealogical purposes). Genetic genealogy is always best when used with traditional genealogical techniques.

  3. Hi im interestd in doing a DNA test just 2 see how mxit up i am lol. Im a coulerd u see.Apparenty im mxit with zulus,portugues shangane…. Yes therz lots more.I would like 2 knw how much % of DNA I hav 4rm the diffent races.But i dnt hav a clue on were to go and how much it costs. I live in jhb so a place nearby wld be great. Id also like 2 knw hw i can trace family members using surnames or if there are S.A marrage nd birth records on the web.And if there are could you reffer sum 2me.Thanx

  4. Hi im interestd in doing a DNA test just 2 see how mxit up i am lol. Im a coulerd u see.Apparenty im mxit with zulus,portugues shangane…. Yes therz lots more.I would like 2 knw how much % of DNA I hav 4rm the diffent races.But i dnt hav a clue on were to go and how much it costs. I live in jhb so a place nearby wld be great. Id also like 2 knw hw i can trace family members using surnames or if there are S.A marrage nd birth records on the web.And if there are could you reffer sum 2me.Thank u very much

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