How many African Americans do you know are still in possession of their African family seal? I know of none! Well, Ms Carter may just be the exception. As you may know, the official seal of the Harvard University Law School ( since removed due to slavery’s past ) was given to it by the original owner of the Royall House Slave Quarters Plantation in Medford, MA. Harvard University was established in the 17th century. Colonial family seals are distributed all across the New England States.
Ms Carter’s story ( published here in 2012 ) is being updated because she called us last week to tell us about her ancestral African family’s seal. It has cleared basic provenence review. She did not mention it when we interviewed her in 2012 for the article below. This writer wants to know more. We will get to the bottom of it soon.
Do (any) African American families know about their ancestor’s family seals? Ms Carter’s story is evolving.
TITLE: Indiana Family Unlocks Secrets to Their Past with Interesting Implications for African-American Families
An original post from January 11, 2012. Source call from Indiana. March 3, 2012 update written below.
Publisher’s note 10/20/17 – Since this discovery was documented in 2012, DNA testing has gone to a retail self-service model. The 23 and Me is prominent in the DNA testing field. When Clemestine first called, she had no other choice but to seek the services of expensive DNA analysis experts. But self-service DNA test kits are sold today.
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Clemestine Marshall Carter’s family was in for the shock of their lives when they submitted their DNA for genetic testing, discovering that they had six DNA markers matching those of two well-known Egyptian Pharaohs.
The Marshall family had previously assumed that they, like many African-American families, were of West African heritage; however, some doubts arose and the Carter family tracked down expert help them in their quest to understand their family’s history. Daniel Kolos, an Egyptologist in Toronto, guided them to the Journal of the American Medical Association to unlock the links to their past, which, after months of waiting, they received the results for in early 2011, revealing the six DNA markers that they shared with the Pharaohs of Egypt.
Although many decades have passed since Howard Carter discovered King Tut’s tomb, there has not yet been a living African-American link to the Egyptian royal family. Although the Marshall family is the first to discover a link, they do not believe that they are the last.
Carter believes that when her story comes to light, many other families of eastern, western, and southern African heritage will discover that they, too, have roots in Egypt, raising some interesting questions about the history of the African continent. Africa has always held the key for paleontologists and geneticists to the rest of the world’s history, where it is now commonly accepted that human life began, making the findings of the Marshall family even more intriguing.
UPDATE: March 3, 2012: “Confirmation of the DNA test results cited in the article above from a third party source is not possible at this time. This blog has been unable to obtain a copy of the report and we have not seen an independent assessment by seasoned experts in the DNA testing field who were not involved in the original testing. Therefore readers, you must form your own conclusions about this article’s subject matter.”
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