There is still some ignorance when discussing the genetics of my birth country The Bahamas. This is because unlike other island of the West Indies, the Bahamas was more like a haven for settlers or escaping peoples. If I listen to some racialist from the Anthropology segment they’ll tell me a Bahamian American what the Bahamas is. That is Gullahs and Bermudians. The first settler to the Bahamas were’ English and African Bermudians and a significant proportion of the Bahamas can trace themselves back to Gullah slaves. However the history doesn’t end there. The Bahamas is home to Black Seminoles who escape Florida, Black and Native slaves and their white owners from American states including New York and the Carolinas. The Bahamas was also a station for docking ships fro other parts of the West Indies, the are many Bahamians who have ancestors in other areas of the West Indies. There are whites from Greece, British isles and other areas. And minor influence from Chinese and Filipinos.
This is the most extensive study done on Bahamians to date.
Divergent genetic strata in five Bahamian islands.
Based on historical records, the genetic landscape of the Bahamian archipelago is presumed to be complex and to exhibit island-specific characteristics, yet the genetic composition of the island chain, which could corroborate or refute these past accounts, remains poorly defined. As such, the current investigation was undertaken to genetically characterize 5 Bahamian populations representing the Northwest (Grand Bahama and Abaco) and Central (Eleuthera, Exuma and Long Island) Bahamas across the 15 autosomal Identifiler loci routinely employed in forensic analyses. Altogether, our findings suggest that Bahamians are a genetically heterogeneous group, with each island sampled receiving differential contributions from African, European, East Asian and Native American sources. Even though the strongest genetic signal in all 5 collections emanates from continental Africa, inter-island differentiation is noted in both the Structure and admixture analyses. The presence of alleles not in common among the 5 insular populations also signals genetic heterogeneity among the islands of the archipelago. This is especially the case when considering the Long Island population, which exhibits statistically significant genetic differences in relation to the other Bahamian collections and the New World groups of African descent (Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean) in the G-test pair-wise comparisons, even after application of the Bonferroni adjustment.
This study describe the diversity of some of the settlers to the Bahamas.
The genetic legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the island of New Providence
The Bahamian archipelago has been influenced by a wide array of settlers (Lucayans, Eleutherian Adventurers, British Loyalists, Creoles from the United States and African slaves) throughout its short but dynamic history. Nevertheless, the Bahamas remains poorly characterized genetically and little is known about each group’s contribution to the island chain. In the current study, the population of New Providence was analyzed based on 15 autosomal STR loci routinely employed in forensic DNA fingerprinting applications. A comparison of this collection with African groups reveals similar genetic profiles to West African populations from Equatorial Guinea and Angola, possibly resulting from the importation of slaves from West African ports during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Although the New Providence collection exhibits strong genetic affinities to the two US African American reference populations, the detection of unique alleles among them may necessitate the utilization of population-specific databases in forensic cases especially when the STR profiles include these specific variants.
The admixture proportions generated when West and East African groups were used separately as parents for the New Providence population indicate that the majority of the influence to the collection’s gene pool is from West Africa (46.8 percent), followed by East Africa (36.8 percent), and Europe (16.3 percent).