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For most of my adult life people have randomly asked me where I’m from. I’ve always answered Detroit. They’d give me a probing look and ask where I’m “really from”. So, I’d say I’m “really” from Detroit. That’s all I had. They’d make guesses as to where my ancestors may have been from. I’ve heard somewhere in the Caribbean (from my Caribbean professor), Senegal (from a Senegalese guy at the gym) and a number of other places. They all sound great and they may have been right. I didn’t know.

My grandfather on my moms side was born in 1897. Let that sink in.

He passed away when I was about 5. On all records, he was always listed as negro. His father was born into slavery. As far as we know, there’s no birth certificate for him. That’s the story for my family for the most part. We have bits of information but no one was given specifics as to where we came from.

1For the longest, this has been something that bothers me. I wanted to know more. Is there a reason my cheekbones are so high? Is there a reason I’m so tall? Why is my hair crazy curly? How far back do all of these features go? It’s been a dream of mine to know more. I was always a bit jealous of my friends who knew exactly where their ancestors were from and when and why they came here. That felt like such a gift, a luxury.

With all of that in my heart and mind, my husband and I decided to have our DNA tested and traced back to it’s origin. It was something we’d both been curious about for years. We wanted to be able to pinpoint a place for our kids. No need for them to grow up with the questions we had when there’s technology that can give us answers. We used to start our journey to our beginnings. I can’t tell you how excited we were to do this and how hard it was to wait for the results! Here are mine!


Opening the results was like opening up the tiny box on Christmas that you know is a beautiful piece of jewelry. I stared at it. I analyzed it.  I looked at the map and just imagined what the people are like where I’m from. I got the biggest thrill out of being able to type the words “where I’m from”. That feels good. I talked to a friend of mine who told me that he wasn’t surprised by my results. When he lived in D.C. he knew some people from Cameroon and he said he can see similarities in us physically as well personality-wise. I know that’s not scientific, just his observation, but it still felt like a connection. A tiny connection.

So what do we do now? Well, my husband and I plan to look at both of our backgrounds to find any things that we can bring into our family life. Whether it be a native celebration or a traditional meal. It feels awesome to be able to share that with our children. I’ve been doing a little research to find out more about the areas where my roots lie.

One cool thing about doing all of this is tells you of other people who share your DNA roots. Those are the matches you see above. You can choose whether or not to reach out to them. I’m pretty sure I’m going to try and connect with a few. I told my mom about one of the matches that’s listed as a cousin of mine, she was skeptical. Then I told her the relative they say we have in common and she knew that name! We’ll see how this goes. It’s been a cool ride and such a feel good journey. I wanted to share it here.

Have you done anything like this? How far back are you aware of your family roots?

P.S. This post was not sponsored in anyway. I just wanted to share my experience.


19 comments on “This dream could change me”

  1. This is so awesome! I almost forgot about your FB post about the kit. It’s definitely on my bucket list of things to do. Thanks for sharing the results.

  2. I only have information going back to my great grandparents. Any records going further back were probably destroyed during World War II. My one living uncle, who will be 91 later this week, did research years ago; otherwise we wouldn’t even have that information. Thanks to, a descendant of relatives I had lost touch with back in the 1960’s found me earlier this year, after years of them searching. I have thought about buying the Ancestry DNA test. I may ask for it as a Christmas gift.
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  3. I actually did a 23 & Me Genetic test a long while ago… And it was so very interesting!!! I found out EVERYTHING about me – so cool! I highly recommend EVERYONE do it! I made my Manfriend do it too, he never even know where he came from but now he knows!

  4. That’s cool Camesha! I’m glad you were able to do that. I had information for my dad’s family but not my mom’s. I’d like to do that with hubby. Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is so cool! I did mine a few years ago and it grouped you into your dominant region and then within that, the continent specific region. I got European (Ireland) and African (no surprise) but was surprised about the regions in Africa. I got East Africa and the Middle East. This wasn’t a major part of the American slave trade as far as I knew and the results completely surprised me.
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  6. Ironically I’ve been thinking about tracing my family roots for some time. I’m interested to know more about my grandaddy’s side of the family because he died when I was young. My hubby and I were having a conversation recently about how it seems African Americans are the only race of people that don’t know their linage. If you ask any other group of people about their family history they can list it out for you without any question. I will look more into tracing my DNA to find out more about my family. Great post.


  7. I am like you and probably man other African Americans are really curious about the linage of my DNA. I know i am black but i am not regular black like some people because of my green eyes (which i get from my grandfather who was mixed with irish). Of course when you have good hair (ugh) a lot of us say we are Native American but I know my family really is and I would like to know what area and what tribe. I would also like to know what other African tribe I am associated with.

    Now I wanna do a DNA testing of course but I am still skeptical and I will be honest Camesha, before you even revealed your results I was afraid yours was gonna say you were mostly Cameroon. Mostly every black person who has taken one has trace it back to mostly that lineage, so I will be honest I question the validity of it. Are these test just pulling Cameroon as a default when they seen traces of African DNA. I guess when I eventually do it I will do it with multiple brands just to double check my result, but just for the fact your family researched and inquired is the first step in trying to fill in your family tree!
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