HOUSTON, October 26, 2009 --In an effort to help verify the migration patterns of different African tribes, Family Tree DNA (www.familytreedna.com) will be cooperating with the Center for African American Genealogy Research (CAAGRI) and the Public Records and Archives Administration of Ghana (PRAAD), by testing several hundred members of the Nzema, Ga, Fante, Ewe and Asante tribes.
The DNA tests will be one of several aspects of a wider genealogy workshop led by Paula Royster, director of CAAGRI, aiming at "highlighting the importance of recording their oral traditions by showing them how to record it". The workshop will include the use of online databases to search for ancestors and descendants, preservation of song lyrics and photographs, transcription of stories passed down from generation to generation, and forensic genealogy. The event will take place this Friday, October 30th, at the PRAAD offices in Accra, Ghana.
The participation of Ghana's government in this effort is of fundamental importance as their archives house over four million records, many of which have to do with the trans Atlantic slave trade - which affected people of African descent.
Founded in April 2000, Family Tree DNA was the first company to develop the commercial application of DNA testing for genealogical purposes, something that had previously been available only for academic and scientific research. Almost a decade later, the Houston-based company has a database with over 265,000 individual records - the largest DNA database in genetic genealogy, a number that makes it the prime source for anyone researching recent and distant family ties.
The Center for African American Genealogical Research (www.caagri.org) is a non-profit organization that provides genealogical resources and support at no cost to the community was established in 2004. The only organization of its kind, CAAGRI offers unique on-site support services for the African American researcher which includes research assistance, informative workshops and genealogy oriented mentor programs for low-income youth. With Technical Learning Centers at William Byrd Community House and in Prince's Town, Ghana, CAAGRI continues to provide innovative ways to collect, preserve, and interpret the past for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations.