See the FAQ page for more on project policies, member how-tos, etc. BEFORE emailing project administrators or clicking the JOIN button.
This joint project is interested in four major Irish 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 project website 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.
Note: This is NOT the HOULIHANE project.
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!
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
For most people, 111 markers is a big first step to take. Therefore 37 markers minimum are required plus the prescribed FTDNA account setup 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. For those who do more extensive SNP testing, a full extension of your STR markers will help haplogroup researchers detect possibly significant correlations between STR mutations and certain SNPs.
Be aware that some men who have tested have no meaningful genealogical matches whatsoever. This could happen to you. If you do not have the patience to wait for future matches, think twice before testing.
Susan Barretta is the main project administrator and handles project inquiries, web development, recruitment, promotion, and other project tasks.
Co-administrators willing to acquire some technical HTML / web page development skills before coming on board are desired.
Banner image attribution: Raúl Corral. This image of Ringabella is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.