• 209 members

About us

The Barry Project is collaborating with University College Dublin on the Earls of Barrymore DNA Project, the first effort to do DNA testing on the remains of a member of the Irish nobility. Phase I of the project has now been completed.  See the results here and watch a presentation on the findings from the Genetic Genealogy Ireland Conference on YouTube.

The Irish Barry family is commonly considered to be of Anglo-Norman origin, having arrived in Ireland with the 12thcentury Norman-Welsh invasion, although recent scholarship indicates that the family probably originated in Flanders. In Ireland the family is associated primarily with County Cork where several branches developed:  Barry Mor (Great or Elder Barry), Barry Roe (Red Barry) and Barry Og (Younger Barry). Other branches of the family had variations on their names such as Barry Bhán/Barrivane (White Barry) and Barry Laidir (Strong Barry).  There were also compound names including the MacRobinson/MacRobston Barrys, the Mac James (FitzJames Barrys), the MacAdamBarrys and the Smith Barrys.

In later centuries this Barry family dispersed throughout Ireland and its members can be found today in every county, as well as in North America, England, Australia, New Zealand, France and in every location of the Irish Diaspora.

Some Barrys are native Irish, rather than Anglo-Norman or Flemish in origin, having descended from O’Beare or O’Beargha families of Mayo and Limerick, respectively.  The variant Barrie may be of Scottish origin. In addition, some Barry families changed their name to Berry for various reasons.  If this was the case in your family, please consider joining both this project and the Berry surname project.

One of the major goals of this project is to sort out the various branches of the Barry family and confirm or refine the information on these diverse groups and their origins.


The Barry project is open to all women and men who have direct Barry ancestors on any line of descent. See list of surnames for all eligible name variations.

YDNA Testing Recommendations

Men who are, or suspect they may be, direct paternal Barry descendants should begin with YDNA testing. We recommend a YDNA test of at least 37 markers.  There is a discount for testing through Family Tree DNA for project members. If you have already tested with another company, you may be able to transfer and supplement your results at a low cost. 

We also suggest that you do additional YDNA testing to determine your haplogroup, or deep paternal ancestral group. The project administrators can advise you on testing options.

Autosomal Testing Recommendations

Women, and men whose Barry ancestors are on other than direct paternal lines, should begin with an autosomal DNA test, which evaluates all direct ancestral branches. (This is also valuable for men who are direct Barry paternal descendants.) Autosomal testing is available through Family Tree DNA's FamilyFinder test. Individuals who tested with other companies may be able to transfer their results to Family Finder for a fee. In addition to the results from Family Tree DNA, there is a special web site open only to Barry Project participants that provides further analysis of autosomal test results.


A bibliography of print and online sources on the Barry family is available here.

Project Findings

The Results page details the findings of the project to date.  A summary table of DNA Results is available on this project web site.


For questions or assistance with any aspect of this project, please contact the administrators at or