Hourihane, Horrigan, Hanrahan, and Horan

Joint DNA Projects
  • 38 members

About us

Please see the FAQ page (left sidebar) for more on project policies, member how-tos, etc. BEFORE emailing project administrators or clicking the JOIN button.

Project Background

The Project General Fund

Genetic genealogy can be a costly hobby. There are Hourihanes, Hor(ri)gans, Han(d)rahans, and Horans in the British Isles and the diaspora, maybe struggling out in a rural area, who are probably just as interested as we are in researching one's own family history. They are not able to afford the cost of testing. Some of these people can provide a "high value" lineage to the project because they may know exactly where their paternal ancestors were from!

The project needs financial donations to attract/recruit prospective testers! The cost of one 37 marker kit mailed overseas is about USD $136 during a test sale.

Please donate to the Project General Fund. Even small amounts of $5 and $10 will help, because they add up. That way you can help new members get on board when there is no chance otherwise.

If you'd like your funds to go to a specific candidate, review the genealogies of our prospective testers on our Testing Candidates page and provide the Tester Code in the Note field.

Specify your name and kit number or provide contact information when you donate in the Note field so we can personally thank you! Our donors are kept private.

This joint project is interested in four major surname categories:

  • O'Hourihan(e), Hourahan, Horahan, and variants.
  • O'Horgan, Harrigan, Horrigan, Organ and variants.
  • O'Hanrahan, Handrahan and variants.
  • O'Horan, Houren and variants.

These names are all believed to have originated in Ireland. In old genealogy records, one name might have been written to look like another (e.g., Hourahan resembling Hanrahan.) Some names have been anglicized or otherwise changed over time (e.g., Hourihane to Howard or to Horan, Hanrahan to Henderson, etc.)

Please review the surnames on our Rootsweb pages for more extensive backgrounds.

One objective of the project is to carve out the distinct genetic groups for these surnames, and prove (or refute) relationships between these names. See Goals.

Note: This is NOT the HOULIHANE project.


Project Membership

The DNA project is open to men with a relevant project surname or variant spelling. You do not need to know exactly where in the British Isles your earliest known paternal ancestor was from - over time the project hopes to be able to illuminate geographic origins. Enrollment requires a Y-DNA STR (short tandem repeat marker) sample by a male tester with a project surname.

Large-scale SNP tests such Geno 2.0 and The Big Y do not qualify by themselves without STR testing. (Some terminal SNP testing can prove useful once sufficient STR testing is in place.)

See the Surnames page (left sidebar) for surname variations. We can't have too many testers!

Setting up your FTDNA account and having your Family Tree in place in your FTDNA account are project requirements. Names, dates (even approximate ones), locations, and spouses are details that will help distinguish your lineage from another.

Anyone else who wishes to be enrolled in the project must also comply with FTDNA account setup and ancestry documentation requirements.

The project offers, as funds permit, 37 marker testing scholarships to prospective members who can prove their origin from a specific location in Ireland. The tester must unequivocally know the origin (civil parish, townland, or village) of the paternal line. See the FAQ for details.


Get a Test Kit and Join the Project

To purchase a DNA test kit and and enroll in the project, click here for a project discount.

For most people, 111 markers is a big first step to take. Therefore 37 markers minimum are required for inclusion in our analysis and results discussions. 67 markers or more will help us make a better prediction of your terminal SNP and get a better idea of who your recent relatives might be. You can always start with 37 markers then purchase an upgrade on your test sample later, when circumstances warrant.

111 markers are ideal for most people for two reasons. It will eliminate a lot of match "noise" and focus on recent relatives. Second, by fully extending your marker definition, we can observe how the markers mutate from 68 to 111, thereby contributing to an understanding of their mutation rates. This should eventually help us draw the phylogenetic tree specific to your surname group / DNA matches, detailing how various testers sub-branched.

Be aware that some men who have tested have no meaningful genealogical matches whatsoever. This could happen to you. If you cannot live with this possible disappointment, think twice before testing.


Project Administration

Susan J. Barretta   Chief Project Administrator   All other tasks.
Colm Ó hAnnracháin   Co-Administrator   Hourihane / Group 2 / South Irish Representative
Eric Johnson   Co-Administrator   Horrigan / Group 5 / Leinster Representative

Susan Barretta is the main project administrator and handles project inquiries, web development, recruitment, and other project tasks. Feel free to contact a co-administrator for questions about the project results of the surnames they represent.


Project History

The project was launched in August 2012 by three people with west Cork ancestry who are passionate about genealogy. It is still a very new project!


Banner image attribution: Raúl Corral. This image of Ringabella is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.