ANCESTRY.COM releases new data for African diaspora to unearth their lineage

By Samara Lynn

Genealogical website, has released 94 new and updated communities so that African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans can learn more about their roots.

Communities are part of the AncestryDNA test, which lets people from the African diaspora explore their heritage and how their ancestors migrated.

One of the new communities focuses on Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina African Americans. As per Ancestry:

“Members with this community may have ancestors that were enslaved and working on rice plantations in South Carolina and Georgia. When cotton fields came to the area in the late 1700s, many enslaved African Americans were brought to work those fields. Following the Civil War, the Great Depression, and World War II, many South Carolinians followed rail lines up North to New York and Philadelphia. This group was one of many communities that were part of the Great Migration–which was the movement of millions of African Americans during the 1900s from the South to cities in the North and West.”

Another new AncestryDNA community centers on Louisiana Creoles and African Americans. Interestingly, Ancestry’s research finds that by 1940 more than 18% of African Americans in the Bay Area were from Louisiana.

Also expanded, are Caribbean communities, with historical information for those from Haiti, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and more. Here is an interesting tidbit from Ancestry research,

“Afro-Caribbeans who moved to New York sometimes had difficulty adjusting to their new homes but by 1930 about one-third of New York’s black professionals, such as lawyers and doctors, were African Caribbeans.”

The update also has visuals and a timeline showing the migration of people from the African diaspora including a visual depicting the Great Migration—a mass exodus of African Americans fleeing the racism of the South to areas in the Northern and Western United States.

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