The name Sankey appears to originate uniquely from the north shore of the Mersey River in England, where a township of that name predates the Norman conquest. Early documents mostly use the form Sonky; the variant Sainty arose more recently in East Anglia, Sinkey in Pennsylvania ca.1800.
Before about 1500, surnames such as those of European culture use today did not exist in England. Anyone living in the area could have used the form "de Sankey" to denote where they lived. So, holders of the name are not necessarily related. Given the history of the area, people with this surname should be of either male Norse, Saxon or Norman provenance, with a chance of earlier Briton. A complication is that the male ancestry of the Normans 1000 years ago was largely Norse as well. However, as a search on Facebook will quickly show, it appears that a slave owner named Sankey in the southern USA gave all his black slaves his name; these people will not be related to the English line.
The first aim of the Project will be to determine to what extent holders of the name possess haplotypes classifiable as one of the above possible provenances. Some DNA features change rapidly, some more slowly. The haplotype groups those features which change the most slowly of all.
If you are a male Sankey who can trace his male line ancestry back to England, or if you already live there, please join us!
If you have a YDNA test under the Genographic Project or with Family Tree DNA, login to FTDNA and associate yourself with the SANKEY project.
If you have determined your haplotype through a DNA service other than FTDNA, contact me directly.
If you are new to DNA testing, visit the FTDNA site above.
Contact the SANKEY project administrator.