Dan's Green Shoes

Got my green shoes on!

Can DNA testing reveal my true surname?


I have been using  www.ancestry.com to build up my family tree.  The experience has been fun and interesting to say the least.  For example, my research suggests that my surname should NOT be Hickman.

Allow me to explain….


My father is Donal Ray Hickman, whose father is Dolon Hickmon.   Dolon’s mother was Thetis Brumley.  Though the picture above shows James as the father of Dolon, I don’t believe this is correct.  Check this timeline out:


Thetis had my grandfather Dolon in 1920.  Thetis was married to James in 1922.  Thetis and James had a son named James Junior a year later in 1923.    I think it is weird to name your second child “Junior”.

My grandfather Dolon lists Oklahoma as his birth place, though all my family is from Tennessee.  I shared this with my father to which he basically said I was out of my mind.  Couple of weeks later, my dad and mom called me.  My dad (Donal) remembers his Dad’s (Dolon) brother James Junior referring to Dolan as his “half brother”.   He never really gave it much thought until now.

My folks made some calls and the rumor is that Thetis was working as a servant to a doctor in Tennessee who might have gotten Thetis pregnant.  Out of embarrassment, the family moved Thetis to Oklahoma to have Dolon and then 2 years later moved back to Tennessee where she met and married James Hickman.   To keep things socially acceptable, they just gave Dolon the Hickman surname.

I do not have Dolon Clyde Hickmon birth certificate.  I tried to get it from Oklahoma but was denied due to lack of supporting information.   I do have Dolon’s Army papers where he listed Oklahoma as his birth place.  I am stuck.  It really bothers me that my surname of Hickman might not be correct.  It changes everything yet nothing at all.  I requested a quote from professional genealogists and boy was it expensive with no guarantee.  I turned it down.

I love technology, science and big data.  DNA testing definitely fascinates me.  Ancestry.com invited me to beta their new DNA service.  I ordered and received the kit, spit in a tube and mailed it back.  Waiting on the results was very similar to waiting on receiving a new gadget.  Weird, but waiting can be fun.  I now have my results but I am not yet ready to share.  Promise to be back soon.


Author: Dan Hickman

Chief Technology Officer ProModel Corporation

8 thoughts on “Can DNA testing reveal my true surname?

  1. What?? Come on…I can’t wait! Did you really find out from the DNA matching?

  2. I read whole article, and waiting to know the DNA result.

  3. The DNA test has not given me the answer, but, I can see how it brings me closer to figuring it out. However, it is going to take a lot of work to reduce my known DNA matches to potentially one that is my great grandfather lineage.

  4. Well, get to work! 😉 And if you do find out who your great grandfather is, are you going to change your last name?

  5. Dan Bromley……

  6. Wow Dan. Sorting out ProModel is a doddle after this.


  7. Tim,
    Great to hear from you! I agree, my family tree is quite the challenge.

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