Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Category: 2 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is well under way, but currently in some countries only.
DNA website: www.familytreedna.com/groups/bicket
Contact: Mr David Bicket
If you are a Bicket or a Bickett, but do not know how you fit into the overall Bicket(t) family tree, please contact the project coordinator (see below) with details at least of your Bicket(t) grandparents, which will probably be enough information to determine where you fit in.
While we are researching the family tree using source records, these do not go back far enough to tie together all of the branches of the tree. We are therefore also using Y-DNA testing to try to clarify how the different branches link together. See further information on this below.
The main current variant for BICKET is BICKETT. There have been some changes to BECKET and BECKETT, but most people with those spellings appear to be unrelated since before the 1600s. BICKER is also found.
Spellings occurring in early Ayrshire records include: BECHET BECHOT BECKET BECKETT BEGGERT BICHAT BICHET BICHETT BICHOT BICKER BICKET BICKETT BIGERT BIGGER BIGGART BIGGERT BIGHOT BIRGET BOCHOT BOCKET.
My theory is that BIGGART is one of' the earliest forms of the name, and that the name is ultimately a locative or toponymic name, i.e. a designation of people who came from a particular place, in this case Biggar (on a main route to Glasgow). They settled in the area just south of Glasgow, close to Stewarton. Most people with the surnames BECKET or BECKETT appear to have different origins, so are not related.
All BICKET branches which have been identified go back to Ayrshire, in particular the area around Fenwick, Stewarton, and Kilmarnock. Two Bickett branches (originally Bicket) went to the US by way of Northern Ireland.
The Bicket family tree and its branches have humble origins at least back into the 18th century which is the farthest back to which most of the branches have been traced with reasonable certainty. Typical occupations at that time included farmers, weavers, shoemakers, bonnetmakers, and fleshers (or butchers). Only a few of our ancestors were rich enough to own land so that they appeared on tax records. Indeed, the primary reason for the emigration from Scotland of countless families including the Bickets apparently was the economic hardship of making a living in the area, in particular through periods of radical economic change caused by improved methods of farming which required less manpower, by the rise and fall of industries such as the textile industry, and by soaring population due to improved survival rates.
As of May 2019 we have identified eleven distinct branches of the Bicket/Bickett family tree with males living now, all of which have their origins in Ayrshire, Scotland, but which we cannot yet connect using historical records. To help determine how these branches are connected, we are conducting Y-DNA testing, which we can only do on males. We need a minimum of one tester per branch, and sometimes more to help clarify what the DNA markers of that branch's Most Distant Ancestor (MDA) would have been.
The table below lists the branches (and some sub-branches) we have identified, and the testing status for each as of 22 May 2019.
Note that the alphabetic designations for each branch are arbitrary, and mean little or nothing other than providing a shorthand way of identifying the different branches. There are further branches not listed because we do not know of any living direct-line male descendants for them.
A DNA project has been set up for the BICKET one-name study, with the intention of getting one or two males from each of the unlinked branches of Bickets tested, to determine how and when they were linked (most probably in the 1700s). The project is described here. You can also get in touch with David Bicket (see below) for more information.
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: