Hathcoat/Hathcock/Heathcock Surname DNA Project

Included Surnames Haithcoat, Haithcock, Harthcock, Hatchcoat, Hatchcock, Hatcock, Hathcoat, Hathcoate, Hathcock, Hathcote, Hathcox, Heathcoat, Heathcoate, Heathcoatt, Heathcock, Heathcoe, Heathcote, Heathcott, Heathcox, Hethcoat, Hethcoatt, Hethcox.  Surname Frequency.

Project Purpose

To determine the relatedness of the Hathcoat/Hathcock/Heathcock surname and 20 plus variant spellings found to date. We hope to better determine where these lines diverged, the migration paths, and to better trace the spelling variations where the paper trails are murky. Records show that Thomas of England was the first of our name to immigrate to America in 1635. But no known records prove his descendants. Possibly they were a son Walter, having a son Edward, who had children Thomas, John, and Martha. We hope to better clarify descent in America from these or other progenitors. With adequate participants we also hope to define related American and European families.

Study Results To Date
Updated 24 January 2010

Our study results are strongly showing that all of us with Y-DNA tests to date are closely related with several surname variations represented. This supports the tradition that in America all of us are descended from one progenitor, despite the different name spellings. There is a family modal sequence represented by the first rows in the Results Table that others are exactly matching or varying from slightly, (as expected), most likely within six to eight generations. However, Douglas W. Hathcock suggested there was also a later immigration, which further testing might verify. Also we hope we will have some interested participants in England testing soon to see if we find greater or similar diversity there within the surname spellings.

Here are links to a new comparative Table of Results and also the previous Study Chart. We now have several additional surnames whose tested results are matching our family haplotype.

Here also is a link to an Hypothesis Diagram, primarily for tracing mutation pathways to determine where additional testing might be helpful, but currently without additional discussion.

Some of our cousins are currently having their tests refined to 67 markers. Many members have had "sub-clade" DNA tests run trying to help determine which broader family group we fit into during the long migration paths of humans populating our Earth. This is currently resolving to Haplogroup E1b1a, which is of interest to many and probably will get further study.

Norton Results Compared

Results are showing some lines with the Norton surname that are identical to our Hathcock/Heathcock family Y-DNA modal sequence. As history tells us, Martha Hathcock/Heathcock, the daughter of Edward, and sister of Thomas and John, was married to James Norton, Sr. during the mid to late 1700s. We do know the families were neighbors and there are recorded land sales between them. It is now speculated and being researched that probably before 1800 a Norton man took-in or adopted one or more Hathcock/Heathcock children that eventually came to use the Norton name. More testing and research hopefully can help clarify the situation.

Here is a link to an initial Norton Speculative Study Chart.

Who May Participate

This project is open to anyone having a male relative with the Hathcoat or similar surnames from any country or part of our world. This is a Y-DNA study. Only males have the Y-chromosome. It is passed from father to son, usually with no change. Thus only males with the surname are eligible to be tested for this study. Women may participate by locating and encouraging their close male relatives to join. We may later expand the study to test the mitochondrial DNA passed only by mothers to their children, but not passed on by males. Mt-DNA studies are harder to manage so we are starting with Y.

Contact Coordinator

Please contact the Project Coordinator to participate and get your test kit or for further information if it is not answered below. Contact Project Coordinator


The test is quite simple, and involves NO blood. A numbered test kit will be sent which includes two cotton cheek swabs and two test tubes. Two samples are taken to assure an adequate quantity by rubbing a swab on the inside of the cheek and placing the swab in a test tube. The kit is then mailed with payment to the lab. A release form is also included so the test result can be sent to the Project Coordinator, (me). For complete confidentiality, the test may be returned to me, and I will forward it to the lab. In this case, the lab will only know the kit number and the Project Surname.

No Medical Information

Some may be uncomfortable with the possibility that DNA test results could somehow be used to identify inherited medical conditions and that insurance companies, employers, etc. could get hold of this information. NO medical information is identified in the DNA markers used in genealogical testing.

Test Cost

The chosen testing lab has given us substantial group rate discounts. The group rate for the 12 marker test is $99. The 25 marker test is $159. The 12 marker test may later be upgraded to 25 markers for an additional $59. A 37 marker test is available for the group rate of $189. And now a 67 marker test has become available for the group rate of $269. The Lab also adds a $2 to $4 shipping and handling charge. All money goes to the testing lab. We receive no compensation of any kind from the payments or the testing lab. We have no financial interest in the testing lab. (These amounts are subject to changes by the Lab).

Which Test

If you think you are not related to the main family being tested, then the 12 marker test can show this. But if you think you are related then the 25 or 37 marker test is probably the best choice. A 12/12 match only shows a probable relatedness in about the last 1,000 or so years. Not very helpful. So a 25 or 37 marker test is then useful to get the probable relatedness narrowed down to modern times and lines. As our results are showing such close relatedness, the value of 37 markers is more apparent. We don't yet know what 67 markers will show us, but may help with fine resolution in some lines. The lab will store the DNA sample for 25 years should additional future testing be desired.

Another consideration is time. It takes about four weeks to get 12 marker results back after the lab receives a test kit. If you find that you want to upgrade to more markers, you will have to wait another four to five weeks for the additional results. If you start with the more expansive marker tests, you usually get all your results in about five weeks, and save some money.

If this seems as complicated as the US Medicare Drug Plan selections, I guess as of now, (27 March 2006), I'd say, if you think you are not closely related then order a 12 marker test. If you believe you are closely related or descended from Thomas emigrated 1635, then the 37 marker test is probably the best value to see where you fit in. In some cases, where we may try to tease lines apart, the 67 marker test may become very helpful. And notice that it costs $20 more, in total, if you later decide to upgrade a 37 to a 67, than to originally order a 67 marker test.

A 25 marker test may be refined to 37 marker for $49, and to 67 markers for $158. A 37 marker test may be refined to 67 markers for $99.

Join & Order Test Kit

You may join the Hathcoat/Hathcock Surname DNA Project and order your test kit directly from the testing lab with this link. Join DNA Project  Or for complete confidentiality you may Contact Project Coordinator to join and order your test kit.

Help with Costs

It would help to have some small pledges to help cover part of the test cost for participants that cannot afford a test but that might be needed in future to prove a particular line.

The Testing Lab

We have chosen Family Tree DNA as our testing lab for this Surname Study. This is a well respected laboratory in genealogy testing. Family Tree DNA has given us very good group rates for our registered project. Their website is filled with good technical information.

For more advanced interests in having specific markers tested, here is an excellent comparison of STR markers different labs currently test. Testing Comparison. Lab names are linked to their respective websites. Results received from different testing companies will be compared in our project if possible.

Other Surname Projects

Mumma Surname Project. Scroll down to the middle of the page for a good family tree showing how DNA and mutations are used.

Additional Surnames

Other surname studies may be launched if there is interest. Contact the Project Coordinator if you would like to participate in a different surname project.

I would particularly like to encourage descendents of Nathaniel Walter Martin and Sarah Jones to contact me about joining the Martin Surname Project.

Also I would be very happy to help with Lauterbach, Wade, Winters, McDaniel, or Turner surname studies if there are interested participants.

Additional Information

DNA Overview. An easy to comprehend illustrated overview of genealogy DNA is provided here by our testing lab. This clearly explains why we must test men and women for different types of DNA.

DNA 101. Takes the extremely complex and confusing subject of Genetics and DNA and simplifies it into layman terms. This page addresses DNA only as it applies to Y-Chromosome testing and genealogy. Technical terms are defined in this same context.

Genealogy DNA Discussion List. A very good e-mail discussion list of genealogy DNA topics and results, including searchable archives.

A good Biology refresher of DNA Basics. Interesting and painless, with good graphics and video clips.

Last updated 24 January 2010. Copyright © 2010 Paul L. Hathcoat