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Africa & the African Diaspora

Research techniques to find and connect with your African ancestor (including those from the African Diaspora)


Many people have discovered that they have a percentage of African DNA in their genetic makeup. So what next? How do you begin to find your African ancestor? What do you need to know about Africa and African people? What part of Africa or the Diaspora does/ did your ancestor come from?

You may have discovered your African ancestry through a family member, or you may have done a DNA test and have discovered that you have 6% Nigerian ethnicity in your DNA for example. What does all this mean?  Who is this missing link and how do you find this ancestor?

In this session, Yetunde Abiola will show you how to start, focus and streamline your search and provide you with important facts and useful tips and resources to help you find your unknown ancestor and, possibly, an extended family. This will include:

  • Brief historical backgrounds/events to better inform your search
  • Maps showing countries and ethnic groupings
  • Important things to know about African people: (1) births, marriages, and deaths; (2) customs and tradition; (3) ceremonies and celebrations; (4) titles and naming patterns; (5) languages and dialects (6) oral history and family trees and (7) historical migrations.
  • Collaboration with DNA matches  
  • Useful genealogy tools and resources
  • Things to keep in mind when researching the unknown

As more and more people are reaching out for information and guidance on how to trace distant and unknown African relatives, this session will be addressing this process. By the end of this session, you will be able to make a start on tracing your African ancestor or help others to do the same. It is hoped that the information and guidance provided will make for focused and less time-consuming research and add value to the work of family historians and genealogists.

Can't make this time? Book anyway as this talk will be recorded and available to watch for 2 weeks. 

Yetunde Abiola

About the speaker: 

Yetunde Abiola has been researching her family history for 12 years. As a Black British woman of Nigerian and Jamaican descent who has also lived in Nigeria, Jamaica, Switzerland, and Togo, she travels extensively for family history research and networking and is conversant with the interplay of histories and politics in today’s multicultural world. She has also served as an Ambassador to RootsTech 2019-2023 and delivers talks and presentations online (via several platforms) and in person.

New to Zoom and would like to attend the course but not sure how it works? Do contact us if you would like to arrange a free taster session.


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