Dan's Green Shoes

Got my green shoes on!


My disappointing AncestryDNA results

According to family stories, my Great Grandmother was 100% Native American.  Whenever I share this, the common response is “man, you could get free college, did you know that?”.  (BTW, I did a quick google on this and the rumor of free college for Native Americans is not true.).  As a child I was known for getting extremely tan in the summers and everyone used to say “must be that Cherokee in him!”.  So funny.

I already paid for college education, but, I have to admit, I desired to claim I was Native American.  In fact, I could not wait to see how much of a mutt I was.  Heck, the more the merrier was my thinking.  So, with great disappointment, allow me to share my results….


How amazingly boring!  I am 96% from modern day England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales.  Where is Great Grandmother’s Native American blood?  I so badly want to drill into the measly 4% and get me some good ole diversity out of it.  I anxiously waited 4 weeks to be boring, /sigh.

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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.