|Calif. Families Sikes Alvin Family DNA Results Sykes Surname Origins|
Most populations now use hereditary
surnames, although the date of their
establishment varies greatly around the
world, from almost 5000 years ago in
China, to only 68 years ago in Turkey.
There is also variation among regions
within countries and among social
classes. In Japan, for example, the
governing classes took hereditary
surnames from the 13th century AD,
but prohibited their use by other people
until 1868 [3.]
Before the Norman Conquest (1066) English people did not have hereditary surnames. They were usually known just by a personal name. If they had a nickname as well, this was not passed on to their children. It was the Norman barons who introduced surnames into this country, and the fashion gradually spread to other families, but it was a long drawn out process. Most English people and Lowland Scots had hereditary surnames by 1400.
Names were derived from a variety of sources:
The name "Sykes," which means "spring," "stream," or "boundary ditch", could have originated in several places where people lived close to one of these land features.
In 1999, Bryan Sykes, the Oxford geneticist and author, got usable DNA samples from 48 Sykes' in West Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cheshire counties in England.
He talked about his conclusions in a 2000 article in The American Society of Human Genetics and a 2001 BBC radio special.
This points strongly to one original Mr Sykes, but there are experts who put forward other theories. There may, for example, have been several founders, with one line being much more prolific than all the others. These less prolific lines, who simply had fewer sons, would be indistinguishable from non-paternity events.
Even if these lines do exist, the fact remains that the majority of present-day Sykeses can trace their origins back to a family living in Slaithwaite, just outside Huddersfield, in the fifteenth century, or, Bryan Sykes contends, further back to 1280 when William del Sykes held land nine miles east in Flockton.
Results of tests of 48 Sykes:
# Distance 21 exact 3 1 7 2 17 3 or more