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Update April 2023
The project is now beginning to show diversity among the Nickens lines.

Several tests have been submitted by descendants of William Nickens, who was born around 1775 in North Carolina and died in Wilson County, Tennessee in 1820. William had seven sons: Marcus, Calvin, John, Andrew, W. Cordy, Joseph and William, Jr. Thus far we have test results from descendants of five of those sons. A comparison of the results on the first 12 markers show that descendants of four of the sons (Marcus, Calvin, John, and W. Cordy) match exactly on the first twelve markers. Descendants of one son (William, Jr.) show a one-step mutation on the marker labeled 389 (the two values for 389a and b are considered as one). This means that in that particular line of descent there was a single mutation in the DNA pattern as it passed from William, Sr. to his son William, Jr., or to one of his descendants. This is a single mutation in a two-hundred year time-span. Since Test results of descendants of four sons of William Nickens are an exact match, we now know what the YDNA of William Nickens (1775-1820) was.  

A test of a descendant of another William Nickens, who died in Sumner County, Tennessee in 1826, is a match with the William who died in Wilson County, Tennessee in 1820. His line goes back to James and Margaret Carter Nickens of Hertford County, North Carolina, supprting the hypothesis that James Nickens of Hertford County and Richard Nickens of Currituck County were brothers.

Another test is from a descendant of Samuel (name may be Lamuel Nickens (b. 1794 in North Carolina) who was son of Prescott Nickens and likely a cousin of William's sons. He shares the same value of 389 with descendants of four of William's sons, but has a different value for marker 19.  However, a recent test of another descendant of Samuel is an exact match on the 12 markers.

More recent test are showing other distinct lines. One line is that of a Nickens family who first appear in records in Illinois around 1840. Although they seem to have come from Tennessee, they do not share the same DNA as William's family.

Another distinct line is that of Lemuel Nickens of Tennessee. Although he is likely related to William's family, his Y DNA is different also. It is also different than the Illinois family.

The most recent test shows the usefulness of DNA testing. It had been speculated that descendants of a family who were first identified in North Carolina and migrated to Ohio were descendants of a Willis Nickens of Hertford County. However, he does not match the DNA of William of Sumner County who was a brother of Willis, thereby indicating he was not of that family.

More information about the Nickens family can be found at the Nickens One Name Study