Here are some commonly asked questions about the African Ancestry Experience:


Yes. If your mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence or your Y-chromosome markers have African ancestry, we can tell you what present-day country(ies) and ethnic groups in Africa that they share ancestry with. Please click here for data requirements. We cannot use data from admixture analyses.

For lineage-based tests, reliability depends on several things such as the size of the database, the sampling of the lineages and the accuracy of lineage matches. Our database is the most comprehensive resource of African lineages available. We have worked with historians, archeologists, anthropologists and other geneticists to build the  largest collection of African lineages  in the world. We use a Sequence Similarity Score (SSS) measure to determine matches. The SSS measure is a likelihood estimate based on the frequency of identical and closely related (>99%) haplotypes. It is our degree of confidence in your results. Dr. Kittles explains here.

Our results are highly accurate. For about 85% of the people we test we find identical matches in our database. For the remaining people, we find closely related lineages with greater than 95% confidence. Our database is the most comprehensive resource of African lineages available.

Our tests do not provide percentages. We tell you WHERE in Africa one branch of your family tree goes back to, not HOW MUCH African ancestry you have.

The MatriClan Test traces the ancestry of ONE branch of your family tree, mother to mother to mother on back, for the past 2,000 years.

The PatriClan Test traces the ancestry of ONE branch of your family tree, father to father to father on back, for the past 2,000 years.

In order for a woman to determine her paternal ancestry, she must use the Y-chromosome of a male on her father's side—her brother, father, father's brother, grandfather, etc. Click here for help with reviewing your lineages.

The easiest way to trace the ancestry of a deceased family member is to identify a living relative with the same lineage. Click here for help with reviewing your lineages. If there is no one available, our lab may be able to extract forensic DNA for an additional fee. Give us a call to discuss your options.

African Ancestry will analyze your DNA for ancestry. Your DNA will be destroyed once a result is determined.

Please click here to review our Terms and Conditions.

Please click here to review the Test Kit Instructions.

The Kit ID# is found on the Kit packaging and on the Activation card inside of the kit. The Kit ID# protects your confidentiality. Therefore, you must provide your Kit ID# in order to get any information from us about your kit status.

You must activate your Kit. If you send your swabs to us WITHOUT activating your kit AND lose your Kit ID#, we will be unable to locate any information about your sample. No refunds will be provided if you lose your Kit ID#. Your order number and email are not the same as the Kit ID#. They do not provide access to Test Taker information.


The MatriClan and PatriClan result packages are sent via email and include:

  • Official results with HVS1, HVS2 and HVS3 designations and haplogroup from mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that women and men inherit from their mothers
  • Certificate of Ancestry with specific ancestral country and tribe
  • E-book Guide to African History and Cultures
  • Access to our exclusive African Ancestry Online Community on Facebook
  • Online trainings with company founders and staff

The estimated timeframe for results is 8-10 weeks after receipt of your swabs. This is not a guarantee.

We will tell you if you share ancestry with one of the 400 ethnic groups in our database. There is the rare chance where we can find an African country but are unable to determine the ethnic group. There is also the chance that your result will not be African.

We do not estimate dates for the lineages since there is a large standard error involved in those estimates. The timeframe of our analysis is 500 – 2,000 years.

Our tests will only tell you about the lineage for which you submit DNA, maternal or paternal. We do not analyze your entire genome and provide a percentage breakdown of different ancestries. We provide mtDNA haplogroups. We do not provide Y Chromosome haplogroups.

If we do not find a match for your ancestry anywhere in the world, we will notify you by mail. We will keep your sequence on file and re-run it against future updates to our database. Or you can choose to receive a refund. WE DO NOT OFFER REFUNDS FOR NON-AFRICAN RESULTS.

No. The PatriClan Test is not a paternity test.


    In accordance with our Terms and Conditions, African Ancestry does not refund MatriClan Tests, PatriClan Tests or Family Packages after swabs have been received at the lab.

    Women cannot take the PatriClan Test. All PatriClan swabs submitted by women will be charged a lab fee. If your test kit order has not shipped, we will refund your entire purchase.

    If your test kit order has shipped, you are responsible for shipping the test kit to us at 5614 Connecticut Avenue, NW #297, Washington, DC 20015, and you are subject to a restocking fee. Upon receipt of the return by us, you will receive the refund.

    These items are non-refundable: Heirloom Pendants and Country Face Coverings.

    All other products may be returned us at 5614 Connecticut Avenue, NW #297, Washington, DC 20015, and are subject to a 25% restocking fee.

    Shipping and handling fees are not refunded once an order has been shipped.

Our goal is to process and fill orders received by 12 PM CST in the same business day. We commit to shipping your order within three business days of receipt.

Delivery times vary based on shipping method. We cannot control the shipping carrier. Shipping times are estimates and depend on the shipping method that you select at checkout. A tracking number is provided for all packages.

We will replace a lost kit within 90 days and you will incur a $25 replacement charge. f you return swabs for a test kit purchased more than 90 days ago, you are subject to a reactivation fee. See Section 11 of the Terms and Conditions.

Affirm is a financing alternative to credit cards and other credit-payment products. Affirm offers instant financing for online purchases to be paid in fixed monthly installments over 3, 6, or 12 months.

You must discuss any Affirm payment concerns directly with them at (855) 423-3729.


African Ancestry Family Reunions are specially curated all-inclusive birthright journeys. They are authentic, culturally immersive experiences co-created by experienced professionals in the country. We have partnered with Tourism ministries, local communities, businesses and cultural organizations and embassies, to create an unforgettable reconnection to your family’s ethnic group.

The trips are only open to AA family members (people who have taken a MatriClan or PatriClan Test and their extended family.

Yes, the AAFR price is all inclusive. It includes airfare from Washington DC, lodging (4-5 star), all meals, ground transportation in country and scheduled activities.

You will only see the trip details once you enter a valid Kit ID and the email used when you took your test.

Your unique African Ancestry Kit ID can be found on your results letter and on your Kit Information Booklet. Any request for a lost Kit ID must be emailed to

You will see the trip details once you enter a valid Kit ID and the email used when you took your test.

Currently, we offer Affirm as a payment option.


AAFRs are non-refundable. However, you may apply your payment to any future trip within one year of your original trip date.