An Intriguing DNA Connection

One of my weaknesses as a genealogist is that I’m easily distracted from the particular path I am following if I find something interesting on a side-track. That’s what happened to me last night.

A DNA project forms part of my one-name study. It’s still fairly new, with just 13 members to date, some of whom are still awaiting lab results. The main focus is on males carrying the Tickle surname. Males have a Y-chromosome that is passed down, almost unchanged, from father to son. As surnames also pass down the male line, it’s possible to verify connections way back beyond paper records. (If you’re a male Tickle or Tickell reading this and would like to take a Y-DNA test you can get a discounted price if you are very quick! – see Family Tree DNA for their Father’s Day Sale.)

One of the aims of the project is to identify distinct Tickle lines. There were numerous Tickles in Lancashire, and in Devon & Cornwall. Within each group there may be different lines and it is unknown whether there is any connection between Tickles in the two areas. Quite separate from them are the Tickles in the United States who are descended from German immigrants whose original name was Digel. At present I have identified four groups, and these will be updated when further members’ test results are returned from the lab next month. You can see the results below.

Although Y-DNA is the most important element in the project, several members have also taken autosomal DNA tests. These are the kind of DNA tests that are widely available and show you those people who match more than a certain amount of your DNA. A couple of Tickles have uploaded their Ancestry DNA results to the project recently. Taking a look at them I was very surprised by what I found.

What I didn’t expect was to discover any link between the German Tickles and the Lancashire ones, but I identified at least two individuals who appear as autosomal matches on lists of matches for both ‘Digel’ Tickles and Lancashire ones!

Among information I have been sent in the past, I recall seeing a marriage between two people, both with the surname Tickle. I’m wondering if perhaps one party was descended from the German line and one from an English. I plan to investigate very soon.

If you have any information that might help explain this link or if you’d like to participate in the project, please get in touch with me.

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