Since 2008 when we submitted a FamilyTree y-DNA test kit, my husband Bill has been part of the FTDNA Hickey surname project.
A few months ago he was contacted by a project co-administrator, Ed Aber Leek, who recommended additional testing to confirm Bill’s unusual results. Here’s the explanation Ed sent recently regarding the first round of STR/SNP analyses:
Bill is from a line of guys –L21– begun some 5000 years ago or so, likely
in western Germany or eastern France.
There are six other Hickey Y DNA lines we know about, at least 3 of which
are also L21.
Going down this chart, he’s also descended from Mr. CTS4466, who lived
about 2000 years ago in Wales or southern Ireland.
Mr. A541 and Mr. A1135 (yes, these had to be actual people who had a
mutation at birth) lived perhaps 1400 or so years go.
Up to that point, Bill shares DNA with the other “South Irish” CTS4466
However, perhaps 1300 years ago, well before surnames came into use, Bill’s
ancestor was Mr A195, while the other South Irish Hickeys we know of are
from Mr. A11844. The fact that both groups ended up with the Hickey name is
We’ve confirmed that Bill is A195, which this chart shows in more detail.
His STRs suggest he’s closest to Gilliam.
YSEQ already found him negative for A88 (at the far left).
So that’s why the A12590 test is recommended as a next step.
BTW, All of these guys seem to have more northern origins than the A11844 Hickeys.
This is another view of the A761 group from Nigel McCarthy of the CTS4466 Project, showing how STRs sort this bunch out.
There are seven SNPs that everybody but the Gilliams share. The Gilliams
share four of the seven. I’m betting that Bill will share more than one of
I think this is fascinating! We’ve ordered the recommended A12590 test, and we’ll continue to appreciate Ed’s assistance in translating results.
In the meantime, I can’t help but contemplate the possibility our surname could have been Gilliam. “William Gilliam” has a poetic ring.