Some African Americans are turning to DNA ancestry testing to help fill in gaps in their knowledge of their genealogy, St. Louis Public Radio reports. It adds that the transatlantic slave trade erased a lot of information about people's origins.
Kathleen Brandt, a professional genealogist and private investigator, tells the station that she recommends that her African American clients undergo ancestry DNA testing as it can help steer records-based searches. Combined with records about slaveholders and emancipation, Brandt says ancestry testing can help trace back at what port or on which ship a person's enslaved ancestors may have arrived.
Eric Depradine says he is using testing and other investigative approaches to show his family's long history in the US. "I don't want my descendants to think they don't have any history here in the United States," he tells the station. "We have a long history. We didn't appear on this continent by accident. There were world events that shaped the reasons why our ancestors were brought here forcibly or voluntarily. I think it's important my kids know they're a part of that history."