Hello fellow Nixes and Nix family tree researchers. I am writing today to all of you I have spoken with and corresponded with over the last year to announce an important milestone for our Nix DNA project. August 9th will be the one year anniversary of our project’s creation. What an exciting year it has been. It has been thrilling to have so many other Nix descendents throughout the world have expressed so much support, dedication, and interest in the DNA project. I would never have dreamed we would already have so many participants and interested parties following our progress after only just one year.
We have already accomplished a lot in our first year. We have established that there are at least 3 genetically distinct groups of Nixes. We can also now associate one of these groups with definite place of origin in Europe, from Germany. The other two groups do not have a family tree papertrail that traces back to Europe yet, but the DNA results themselves indicate likely areas of origin for them as well. One of these groups has 6 matching DNA participants in the US, and the DNA for them indicates they are are almost certainly from the British Isles or Ireland as there place of origin. The remaining group is of German-Scandinavian heritage, and could be of continental European origin, or (more likely) could be a descendent of the Anglo-Saxon/Danish/Viking/Norman migrations to the British Isles.
We already have 8 sets of DNA results back from the lab, with accompanying family tree information for all but the newest member who recently joined over from the National Geographic Society’s Genographic a few days ago. This latest member’s results match those of the large group of Nixes whose DNA matches one anothers. Perhaps his family tree information may shed additional light on this group once his ancestral information comes in.
In addition to the 8 already tested members, we have 3 additional members who have recently ordered test kits, and we are awaiting their lab results. So within another 6 weeks or so, we will hopefully have a total 11 test results back. That is a very high participation level for a first year, especially for a last name such as ours that is not particularly common!
During the course of the year, Mrs. Wanda Gregory has begun working with us to use the DNA information to help with the Nix family tree research efforts. Many of you may already know Mrs. Gregory. For those of you that do not know her, she is a genealogist from the US and Nix family tree author with an encyclopedic knowledge and a huge roomfull of files of information related to the various Nix families of America. We are thrilled to have her helping us with the family tree research end of the project. She and all of us very hopeful that the DNA testing combined with traditional family tree research can help to unravel the Nix family saga in ways that were previously unimagineable a few years ago. We know so much more now about which lines are related to one another than we did only a few months ago. The DNA results have been especially promising for the large group of Nix individual’s that have a matching DNA signature to one another, and we feel we are very near to making significant breakthoughs on the family tree origins of this line. It has certainly been very helpful to the researchers to know which Nix lines are related to one another and which are not.
Even though our project is still in its infancy at only one year old, it has begun to reveal some interesting information about the Nix family’s origins and migrations. As months and years go by with more and more Nix family lines have DNA testing done, the picture should grow increasingly clear of who is related to who, where they came from, and who their common ancestors were. A year ago, I would not have dreamed that we would have established 3 different Nix groups, and that one of those groups would have 6 matching participants already! I can only wonder at how much more we may learn in the future as additional DNA results and family tree research become available. It certainly looks very promising indeed.
Here are some of our goals for the next year:
We would like to get additional Nix family lines tested that are from outside the US. We would welcome additional Nix participants from Canada, Australia, UK, Ireland, Germany, and Holland to join us so that we can gain a better understanding of the migration and origins of various Nix lines from throughout the world.
All of our participants so far have been American Nixes. So we also want to continue to our work fleshing out the Nix family’s history in the US by getting descendents from addition Nix males whose ancestors have been established in the US for a very long time. Ultimately we would like to have DNA results for descendents of as many of these early US Nixes as possible available to compare to enhance our understanding of which ones were related to one another.
In the US, there are many African-American Nixes. Due to the use of slavery in the US in the past, most African-Americans do not have a clear picture of their male ancestral line. Many African-American families only adopted a last name at the end of the American Civil War. In some cases, they chose the last names of white male ancestors, in other cases they chose a last name for other reasons now lost to us. So far, we do not have any of the African-American Nixes participating in the project, but would welcome their participation to have some DNA results from them to compare to other Nix males’ results to see if they are in fact the descendents of Nix males of European origin, or whether they are the descendents of other male lines who chose to use the Nix surname.
In very old records, the last names Nix and Nicks were sometimes used interchangably. We would like to get some Nicks family members DNA tested to see if they are related to any of the Nix family lines. In addition, we have been carefully watching other surname projects with last names phonetically similar to Nix, such as Nixon, Nichols, etc. for any possibly relavent DNA matches. So far, no such matches have turned up.
Again, thank you all for your interest in the project! Heres to another great year. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions, comments, or concerns.
Nix Surname DNA Project