Hourihane, Horrigan, Hanrahan, and Horan

Joint DNA Projects
  • 55 members

About us

See the About Us (Overview) page prior to clicking JOIN.


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 $150 during a test sale.

Please donate to the Project General Fund. Even small amounts of $10 and $20 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 towards a specific surname category, please specify this in the Note field in the donation form.

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 investigating 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.) Houricane could be Hourihane or Hourigan. These examples illustrate the difficulties in reading old records.

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.


Project Membership

The yDNA project is open to men of Irish ancestry whose last name is one of the project surnames, or a 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.

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


Get a Test Kit and Join the Project

Read the FAQ page first. To purchase a Y 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 plus the prescribed FTDNA account setup are required for inclusion in our analysis and results discussions. So far in this project, 37 markers have told us very little, so 67 markers or more is strongly recommended. Sometimes the first 37 markers are more volatile and your matches might start showing up at 67 markers. Testing to that level gives a better estimate of your terminal SNP and you'll 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 relatively 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.


Project Administration

Susan Barretta is the project administrator and handles project inquiries, web development, recruitment, promotion, and other project tasks. Colm O'Hanrahan, the co-administrator, assists with research.