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Summary & Overview of Dycus/Dicus Families in KY
Posted by: Robert Dycus (ID *****3587) Date: May 04, 2014 at 09:21:55
  of 45598

Here is the Summary and Overview Section from the Final Edition of my book, "Early History of Dycus/Dicus Families in Southern and Border States, 1500-1810.

Robert Dixon Dycus,

Chapter 1.0

Summary and Overview

Dycus/Dicus Families in the United States

Dycus/Dicus family research has made incredible strides in real knowledge since the publication of my First Edition book in 2000. The First Edition book assumed all people with the surnames Dycus and Dicus were descendants of a William Dicas that left a Will in Kent County, Maryland in 1734. This view was based on Rufus E. Dicus’ book, History of the Dicus Family in America, 1680-1935, self published in Baltimore sequentially, 1935-1950s. In his book, Rufus contended, “To my knowledge and belief, also on what information I have collected through wills, deeds, court records, and traditions--the one said William Dicas, who resided in Kent County, Maryland, at or before 1705 was the ancestor of all the white people in the United States of America by the name of Dicus, Dicas, Dacas, Dycus, or Dicos. It being the same name only spelled a little differently. Our early Americans were not sufficiently educated to know how to spell their names correctly and of course the Dicas family was no exception.”

After publication of the First Edition book, I began working closely with Jacob Dicus, 8th to solve some of the remaining Dycus family mysteries. Jacob had a Dicus/Dycus family history website; and was, and still is, a very active Dycus family researcher.

At the time, I thought with more data collection and analyses, the understanding and picture of early Dycus family history would become clearer. So, I made some extensive data collection trips to the Mormon-Church Family History Library in Salt Lake City and to over forty different state, county, and genealogical libraries in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

Unfortunately, more data collection and analyses just resulted in a lot of wheel spinning and blind alley journeys. To help prove or disprove various Dycus family theories, I started a Dycus/Dicus family DNA test program in November of 2001. The program started with Relative Genetics and migrated to Up to now, twenty three individuals have been tested. This program has proved more valuable than one could imagine.

The first round of DNA tests showed there were at least three different major Dycus/Dicus ancestral DNA lines in the United States. The three were:

(1) The Kent County, Maryland ancestral line. This is the largest Dycus/Dicus ancestral line and stems from the William Dicas that left the Will in Kent County, Maryland in 1734.

(2) The Anne Arundel County, Maryland ancestral line. Jacob Dicus, 8th is a descendant of this line which traces back to a James Dicus in Anne Arundel, County circa 1729.

(3) The Michael Watson Dycus ancestral line. This is my ancestral line, and is composed of the descendants of Michael Watson Dycus, born 1799, probably in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.

These three separate DNA lines were presented in my Second Edition book. At the time, there was a misconception that all three lines had a common ancestor born around 1315 AD. This misconception stemmed from analyses provided by the DNA testing laboratory. Jacob Dicus 8th and I thought the common ancestor may have been Welsh, and been in or near Cheshire, England on the Wales border. However, the parts and pieces of that scenario just did not fit together.

Significant New Findings and Discoveries

Significant advancements have been made since the Second Edition book and are contained in this Third and Final Edition book:

(1) Family information combined with DNA testing has differentiated a fourth important and large DNA line—the Scottsboro, Alabama Dicus Ancestral Line.

(2) A DNA location analysis approach was developed that has determined where the four largest Dycus/Dicas ancestral lines began in Europe. Two lines trace to Scotland and two trace to Germany.

(3) There is now proof that a William Dycus came with Edward Dycus 1st and Edward Dycus 2nd into Rowan County, North Carolina circa 1749.

(4) There is now proof that the William Dycus line descendants were in Rutherford County, North Carolina with the Edward line descendants by 1779.

(5) An Edward Dycus remained in Rutherford County, North Carolina after Edward C. Dycus departed for Rutherford County, Tennessee in 1803. This Edward Dycus was the Edward Dycus appearing in Hickman County, Tennessee in 1808-1810.

(6) A plausible model has been developed that traces the Anne Arundel, Maryland Dicuses back to London in the mid 1600s.

(7) A plausible model traces the ancestors of Michael Watson Dycus back to Dublin, Ireland in 1729.

(8) DNA tests have shown that phonetic Dycus spellings were associated with the William Dykes ancestral line in: Pittsylvania County, Virginia; Stokes and Surry Counties of North Carolina; and Hawkins, Washington and Grundy Counties of Tennessee.

(9) Dycus enclaves in Dyer and Gibson Counties of Tennessee and Jefferson, Fayette, and Sangamon Counties of Illinois have been connected to the Kent County, Maryland Genetic Line.

(10) Most Dycus/Dicus enclaves in Tennessee and Kentucky during the 1800s have now been traced to the four major Dycus/Dicus genetic lines as presented in the accompanying “Genetic Line Helper.”

(11) Since Tennessee and Kentucky had the highest number of recorded Dycuses/Dicuses around 1900, suggests most, probably over 90%, of current day Caucasian Dycuses and Dicuses trace to the four largest known Dycus/Dicus genetic lines. Dycus/Dicus families immigrating into the United States after 1850 simply did not have sufficient time to generate a large number of descendants.

This Third Edition book has finally arrived at some important ground truth. The ground truth is that various people with a phonetic name like Dycus/Dicus came to the colonies and the United States at different times and at different locations. Probably over 90 percent of Dycuses/Dicuses in the United States today are descendants of the four major Dycus/Dicus ancestral lines; and have an ancestry traceable to Scotland or Germany. A few small genetic lines have an ancestry traceable to countries on the Baltic Sea and other areas of Europe.

Talley of People with the Surname Dycus or Dicus in the United States

Today, there are probably around 4,500 people in the United States with the surname of Dycus or Dicus. It is difficult to get an exact fix on the number. The 1920 US Census showed about 385 families with the surname Dycus or Dicus. There were about 4.4 persons per household then, leading to a total of about 1,700 people. Since then, the population has grown about 265 % to 2000. This suggests a total of 4,500 Dycuses/Dicuses in 2000AD. There are slightly more Dycuses than Dicuses; so the breakdown might be around 2,400 Dycus and 2,100 Dicus.

There are some genetic black Dycuses/Dicuses. One might guess about 2/3 of white Dycuses/Dicuses were in Southern and Border States circa 1860. In 2002, about 12.7 percent of the US population were Afro-American; so possibly 8.5 percent of Dycuses/Dicuses may be Afro-American. This would translate into 400 Afro-American genetic Dycuses/Dicuses, and 4,100 Caucasian genetic Dycuses/Dicuses. Obviously, the Afro-American projection is on pretty shaky ground—not sure how else to project it.

A web site at www.My gives an independent U.S. current snapshot of: Dycus—2,084 and Dicus—1,916, totaling 4,000. The round 4,000 number indicates some type of estimate also.

Our name sounds phonetically like Dike-us or Die-cuss. It is most often spelled Dycus or Dicus. The DNA tests have shown that on a broad statistical basis, the name Dycus is most often traced to Scotland as origin, and the name Dicus is most often traced to a Germanic place of origin. Again, this is a statistical sort of thing; some genetic lines such as the Scottsboro, Alabama genetic line have both spellings in their various family branches. In general, the Dycus/Dicus differentiation to Scotland or Germany seems stronger when one looks at the earliest recorded spellings.

The Four Major Dycus/Dicus Genetic Lines

The four major Dycus/Dicus genetic lines as known to this date and discussed in this Third Edition book are:

Scottish Origin

Descendants of Michael Watson Dycus. This is my family line, and is traceable to Dublin, Ireland in the late 1700s. Family statements of being Scotch/Irish are confirmed by DNA location analysis. Michael Watson Dycus went with his family from Spartanburg, South Carolina to Caldwell County, Kentucky in 1833/34. They then went into nearby Lyon and Livingston Counties of Kentucky, and dispersed widely from those locations.

The Kent County, Maryland Genetic Line. This genetic line traces to William Dicas of Kent County, Maryland that left a Will in 1734, and is the largest Dycus/Dicus genetic line in the United States. DNA location analysis suggests the ancestral line was in Scotland around 1300, and later the ancestors were in England. Rufus E. Dicus mentioned several times in his book that William Dicas came from England. Descendants of this line dispersed by the early 1800s into: Delaware then Pennsylvania; Rutherford County, North Carolina; Jackson County, Tennessee; Montgomery County, Tennessee; Pickens County, South Carolina; Shelby County, Kentucky; and Barren County, Kentucky.

Edward C. Dycus in this genetic line served in the Revolutionary War, and applied for a pension in Jackson County, Tennessee during 1833. One of Edward’s brothers, James, was probably in Eastern Kentucky after 1782 and in proximity to Daniel Boone. James appears to have returned to Rutherford County, North Carolina, and died there around 1811. Another of Edward’s brothers, John Dycus, left a Will in Montgomery County, Tennessee in 1812. One of John’s descendants, Greenberry Dycus, established the town of Dycusburg, Kentucky in 1847.

Germanic Origin

The Anne Arundel County, Maryland Dicus Ancestral Line. This line was established circa 1729 by James Dicus, and has been traced via DNA to Germany, possibly the Black Forest area.

Rufus E. Dicus is a member of this line, and described his family line as, “large people with jet black hair, dark eyes, high jaw bones and olive skin, very religious all belonging to the Methodist Church.” A John Dicus of this family line was a drummer in the Revolutionary War, and died in 1783 from wounds received in combat. Isaac Dicus in this line also served in the Revolutionary War. Jacob Dicus 8th is the eighth Jacob in a line of Dicus millers in the Patapsco River area of Maryland. Today, Dicus Mill Road is still a main road running westward from Annapolis, Maryland.

Descendants in this line went into Western Pennsylvania and Ohio, and then westward into Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Washington State.

The Scottsboro, Alabama and Oze Dicus Line of Wayne County, Tennessee. Albert Morgan, wrote a letter in 1947 describing the early history of this line. The genetic line was started by Touy Deicheus a German immigrant from Hesse, Germany. Touy and his wife Gertrude were originally in North Carolina and eventually settled along Eagle Creek in Wayne County, Tennessee. Morgan claimed that Touy was in the Battle of Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War. At some point, Touy’s surname was anglicized to Dicus.

It appears that a descendant, George Dicus, was in the 1830 Federal Census of adjoining Lawrence County, Tennessee. From here, George Dicus and his family went into Scottsboro, Jackson County, Alabama; and are detailed in the 1850 Federal Census there. DNA location analysis of a George Dicus descendant shows remarkable correlation to neighbor surnames and locations as described in Albert Morgan’s letter.

This is a very large and successful Dicus genetic family line. Rufus Dicus devoted perhaps a quarter of his book to members of this line. Descendants went into Lonoke, Hazen and Little Rock, Arkansas; Southeastern Missouri (Poplar Bluff and St Louis) areas; Texas; Clinton, South Carolina; and Asheville, North Carolina. Many stayed in Scottsboro.

The four major genetic Dycus/Dicus lines are supported by DNA tests of individuals and DNA location analyses. These tested lines are the oldest known to date, and had the most generational time to produce a significant number of current day Dycuses/Dicuses. Consequently, these four lines probably produce over 90 percent of the genetic white Dycuses/Dicuses in the United States today.

There is Cherokee Indian blood in some of the Dycus/Dicus lines. Cherokee marriages were rather common early in our nation’s history where there was a scarcity of European-stock women. The intermarriages are difficult to determine, and were in some but not all of the Kent County Maryland line Dycuses in North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. Also, there were some Cherokee wives in some Scottsboro, Alabama lines in Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas.

Eldon Dicus, born in Arkansas, played professional football in the 1930s when the National Football League had some Indian teams. He later became a rather famous Baptist preacher that went from church to church as a featured speaker.

Black Dycuses and Dicuses

Black Dycuses/Dicuses obtained their surnames from their owners of course. For the most part, the Dycuses/Dicuses did not have many slaves even though many of them were in the southern and border states. George Dicus, founder of the Scottsboro Dicus line, was an exception and had about 15 slaves per census data. On the other hand, Michael Watson Dycus of Caldwell County, Kentucky and Edward Dicus of Greenfield County, Missouri both freed their slaves before the Civil War began.

Connie Dycus was a black Rock’ Roll Singer in the late 1950s to 1970s. He recorded songs for Mercury Records and under other labels. His Mercury recordings included: Rock-A-Bye Baby Rock and Mind If I Cry.

It is possible, although difficult, for black families to trace their genetic lines. Census data, slave tables, and historical records are available. Alex Haley’s family history tracement presented in the book and TV series Roots is an excellent example of what can be accomplished.

In Conclusion

My research has been aimed at the 1500-1810 time frame. Consequently, there is not the usual family tree breakdowns found in most genealogical publications. Hopefully, most readers can trace their ancestors back to around 1800, and latch onto the Dycus/Dicus genetic line descriptions presented in this book.

Is this a book that looks like a report, or a report that is kind of like a book? This is a report that is kind of like a book. This Third Edition is my best shot of how things shake out based on currently available information. Going forward, one should expect some refinements and a few surprises as more historical data are uncovered and more DNA tests are conducted.

This is the 3rd and definitely the Final Edition of this book. Unfortunately, at age 77, energy and desire (among other things) are slipping away. Hopefully, this Final Edition will prove helpful to many Dycuses and Dicuses in the United States. Best wishes to all Dycuses/Dicuses going forward.

Here is an aid that might be helpful to some readers. These are the main genetic lines of your Tennessee or Kentucky County ancestors in the 1800s.



Circa 1830, Scottsboro, AL Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Henry Dykes/Dicas Line


Henry Dykes/Dicas Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Mix, Kent Co, MD—Edward Line
Mix, Kent Co, MD—William Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Probably, Crawford Co, IN Line


Eastern, Kent Co, MD—Edward Line
Western, Crawford Co, IN Line


Circa 1860, Kent Co, MD—William Line
Later, Not Sure

Henry Dykes/Dicas Line


Mix, Kent Co, MD—William Line
Mix, Scottsboro, AL Line


Before 1850, Kent Co, MD—William Line
After 1850, Unknown



Kent Co, MD—William Line


Kent Co, MD—William Line


Michael Watson Dycus Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Kent Co, MD—William Line


Briefly, 1870s, Kent Co, MD--John Line


Kent Co, MD—William Line


Kent Co, MD—William Line


Kent Co, MD—William Line


Mostly, Michael Watson Dycus Line


Grand Rivers Area, Michael Watson Dycus Line
Kuttawa Area, Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Kent Co, MD—William Line


Kent Co, MD—William Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Kent Co, MD—Edward Line


Briefly, Circa 1830, Probably, Kent Co, MD—Edward Line

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