What's New

Genealogy Latin Dictionary

Best Free Online Genealogy Tools

A Guide to Performing Genealogy Searches

Common Genealogy Mistakes

A Date Guide to English Genealogy

Why Genealogy is Important

Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2014

Get our toolbar!



Gene Study Shows Most Black Americans Have Some European Ancestry


Harvard University’s School of Public Health has just concluded a genetic study on Black American heritage. Using a technique known as 'gene expression', researchers were able to conclude that most Black Americans have some European ancestry. According to the study, the average Black American today has an ancestry of 80% African, with the remaining 20% most likely white European.

The technique of gene expression used by the researchers measures the amount of protein produced in cells. Cell protein is a product of both genetic and environmental factors and can be used with statistical analysis to trace the ancestry of large groups.

Most of the race mixing is thought to have occurred during the period when slavery was legal in the United States. Slavery began soon after Virginia was settled by English colonists in 1607 and lasted over 250 years until it was finally abolished in 1865. During this period, an estimated 12 million Africans were shipped to the Americas (mostly to Brazil) to support agricultural production. The 1860 US census records almost four million slaves resident in the United States, representing over twelve percent of the total population.

The full Harvard University scientific study is available here.

More Genealogy News