Key Family Y-chromosome DNA Test Project- Background



Kae, Kay, Kaye, Kayes, Kays, Kea, Keas, Keay, Kee, Kees, Keese, Keeys, Keies, Key, Keye, Keyes, Keys, Keyse, Kies, Kyee



The second KEYS (and variants) family reunion will be held in 2012 in Kesh, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland (note this reunion will likely be of interest to those whose ancestors come from Northern Ireland)   

You can join our facebook page to get all the updates and details!/home.php?sk=group_140532006017261&ap=1

The first thing we need to do is to pick a date  - so your input as to which month you prefer will be very helpful.  We recommend June, July or August as the weather may be best then.   


Everyone will be responsible for:  

a) TRAVEL: making their own travel arrangements to and from Kesh, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland

b) ACCOMMODATION: we will negotiate a reduced group rate at  the hotel(s)) but everyone will have to make their own arrangements directly with the hotel(s)

c) TOUR COSTS: we will be putting on a very interesting 5 day program in Fermanagh and surrounding areas (tours or cemeteries, visits to Keys farms etc) and so everyone will be asked to contribute to bus costs.

d) MEALS: you will also be fully responsible for all your meals etc.   


Looking forward to seeing you in Eire -  and please don’t hesitate to send this email on to other KEYS you know

Karin Keyes Endemann (in Ottawa) and David Keys (in Fermanagh)


I thought you might be interested in finding out your predicted subclade - which would help you to identify your clan more narrowly in time and place. To do this, just use the easy, free Cullen predictor at Sometimes it can predict your subclade more specifically than the currently available deep clade SNP test. If you want, you can confirm your prediction later with a deep clade test. This is now particularly useful with certain haplogroups such as I and R and will be expanded soon to include more detail on other subclades.

Once you know your subclade from the predictor, you can research what it means from time to time as new data is developed to define it more specifically. You can google your subclade and look it up on Eupedia at

You can also find out more by joining your subclade or haplogroup project (free), such as R1b, I1, I2a, or G2a group or the closest they have to your most specific haplogroup or subclade. Use the "Join Projects" button on your testkit page. Remember that we all benefit by having our Key markers out in front when the researchers are trying to figure out which subclades come from where and when.

Special Pricing for New Members
If you have had your DNA tested by another lab, you can get a great deal on testing at Family Tree… Y-DNA12 ($59) Y-DNA25 ($89) Y-DNA37 ($119) Y -DNA67 ($208). Contact the Administrator for more information.

Derivation of Key Surname

The variations of the Key (and variants) surname likely evolved in different ways and at different times and places for different and sometimes completely unrelated Key family lines during the era when surnames generally were coming into use. Key is frequently considered an occupational surname, derived from the person's occupation as a locksmith. The Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press offers these possible suggestions:

1.English and German: variant of Kay.
2.Irish: reduced form of McKay.

1.English: nickname from Middle English ca ‘jackdaw’, from an unattested Old Norse ká. See also Daw.
2.English: nickname from Middle English cai, kay, kei ‘left-handed’, ‘clumsy’.
3.English: metonymic occupational name for a locksmith, from Middle English keye, kaye ‘key’. Compare Care, Kear.
4.English: topographic name for someone living on or near a quay, Middle English kay(e), Old French cay.
5.English: from a Middle English personal name which figures in Arthurian legend. It is found in Old Welsh as Cai, Middle Welsh Kei, and is ultimately from the Latin personal name Gaius.
6.Scottish and Irish: reduced form of McKay.
7.French: variant of Quay, cognate with 2.
8.Much shortened form of any of various names, mostly Eastern European, beginning with the letter K-.
9.Variant of Danish and Frisian Kai.

Scottish and northern Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Aodha ‘son of Aodh’, an ancient personal name meaning ‘fire’. Etymologically, this is the same name as McCoy.

Scottish and Irish: variant of Key.

1.Irish: reduced form of McKee.
2.Korean: variant of Ki.

Northern Irish and Scottish: variant of McKay

General Fund