Hourihane, Horrigan, Hanrahan, and Horan

Joint DNA Projects
  • 47 members


QUESTIONS on administrative policies, project eligibility, FTDNA account setup, eligibility for testing scholarships, and more.

  1. What is the origin and purpose of the project and who is eligible to join?

  2. I'm new to DNA and yDNA testing. Where can I learn more?

  3. I'm not eligible but I have Hourihane, Hanrahan, Horrigan, or Horan ancestry. Is there anything you can do for me?

  4. How much does a Y test cost?

  5. I'm eligible. How do I join?

  6. Based on my Y DNA test and my genetic matches, I believe I am a Hourihane / Hor(ri)gan / Han(d)rahan / Horan. What if my last name is not eligible?

  7. What should I do if I see the word NO when I try to access the project website?

  8. I have privacy concerns. Will my name and contact information be put on the Internet?

  9. How long does it take to get back test results?

  10. How is the project administered?

  11. What do the administrators do to recruit for the project?

  12. I'd like to donate money to the project. Can the administrators steal my donation?

  13. I'd like to contribute genealogy research records to the website. How do I do this?

  14. What am I expected to know?

  15. What is the mailing list?

  16. Will you email a project member for me?

  17. Why don't I get emails from the project administrator or the project?

  18. How should I set up my FTDNA Profile?

  19. How do I set up my earliest paternal ancestor?

  20. How do I set up my results to be publicly viewable?

  21. How do I upload a family tree into my FTDNA account?

  22. How do I get my results included in the extensive analysis on the project website?

  23. What other projects should I join?

  24. What are the eligibility criteria for a Y test scholarship?


Origin, Purpose and Eligibility Back to top

Three people with west Cork Hourihane ancestry corresponding with each other wondered about the genetic origins of the Hourihanes and the DNA project was thus launched in August 2012.

Because of similarities to other Irish surnames in written historical and genealogical records, and because of known name changes, the Hourihane DNA project became the Joint DNA projects covering Hourihane, Hor(ri)gan, Han(d)rahan, and Horan.

The ultimate purpose of the project is simply to help men with these surnames find their closest genetic cousins and possibly determine their geographic origin in Ireland. Our means of achieving that goal is by collecting and analyzing Y DNA.

This is a yDNA project for men of Irish direct paternal lineage whose last name is HOURIHANE, HORRIGAN, HANRAHAN, or HORAN or a spelling variation. See SURNAMES. This is NOT a haplogroup (SNP) project, an autosomal DNA match project, or a mitochondrial DNA project. Female relatives; autosomal test transfers and FTDNA Family Finder testers can enroll their eligible male relatives if they themselves are not eligible.

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.) Enrollment requires a Y-DNA STR (short tandem repeat marker) DNA test.

See the project website for more on the backgrounds of the project surnames.


New to DNA Testing Back to top

See our more extensive testing FAQ.


Options for Non-Eligible Researchers Back to top

If you have a genuine interest in the various project surnames and the Y haplogroups we are uncovering, and you want to be made aware of any research developments, subscribe to our mailing list.

Research inquiries can be posted on Ancestry.com, on World Families, on Roots Chat or some other venue of your choice. See Links in the sidebar for relevant links.

See also What Other Projects to Join below if you are ineligible but have done DNA testing.


Cost of Y Test Back to top

See Part I, #4 on our extensive FAQ.


How to Join Back to top

Click JOIN when you are READY to purchase a Y test or already have one.

If you are already a FTDNA customer, but do not have a Y test on file or on order, log in with your FTDNA account and password after you click JOIN. You will have 72 hours to purchase your Y test after your kit is admitted. If you do not order a Y test within that time, your kit will be removed from the project. Please join our mailing list instead, then come back and join the project when you are ready to purchase a Y test.


Non-Project Surname Back to top

Non paternity events (NPEs) happen to many of us, as well as name changes. Contact the administrator before clicking JOIN. You will need to provide additional details about your family before you are admitted to the project. You may or may not be admitted, depending on how close your existing matches are.


Cannot access project website Back to top

If you see NO when accessing a page on the project website, visit What is my IP address?, write down your IP address in dotted decimal format, then email Susan at hourihanedna@pobox.com with your IP address for assistance.


Privacy concerns Back to top

Only your earliest paternal ancestor, lineage, and yDNA values are ever published on the Internet if you choose to participate in more extensive analysis. Your results do not reveal any particular medical problems you might be experiencing. We don't publish a project member list. And when we publish your lineage on the project website, we won't publish the names of living people (you have every right to proof-read and approve what we put online).


How long to get back results Back to top

How long it will take to get your results is a matter of luck. It could take six weeks or six months. Expect results to take longer after a major sale.

The lab can misplace kits. It is strongly recommended to obtain a postal tracking number for your kit at the post office so you'll know when it is delivered to the lab in Houston. You may need that information to show the lab that the kit was delivered.


How the project is administered Back to top

Project administration is 100% volunteer work. The administrator receives no compensation from FTDNA.

All project pages are maintained by the project administrator.

If you are interested in one day helping administer this project, see this page for more details on what software tools are used. You should have some kind of vested interest in the project - one of these surnames in your ancestry (it need not be your direct paternal line). yDNA testing experience is also essential.


Project Recruitment Back to top

Recruitment runs along two lines - general recruitment, and sponsored (DNA "scholarships") recruitment of men in Ireland who know the geographic origin of their paternal lineages. Due to lack of funds sponsorship does not occur often.

See GOALS for shorter term project objectives, which are all part of recruitment.


General Fund Back to top

Donations made to the project General Fund cannot be embezzled. Such funds must be used for project testing.

If you want your $$$ targeted towards a specific surname, please specify that in the Note field of your donation. Thank you!


Genealogical Record Contributions Back to top

Contact Susan if you have material you'd like to contribute. Newspaper extracts are of particular value.

Many Cork church records are transcribed or they are poorly transcribed. There is ongoing activity to extract the project surnames into spreadsheets, for further processing. The goal is to aggregate records into families. Contact Susan if you'd like to help.


What members should know Back to top

While we don't expect you to be an expert overnight, we DO expect you to develop understanding of the following, in roughly this order:
-- project eligibility
-- basic differences between DNA tests - check our testing FAQ if necessary
-- familiarity with the operation of your FTDNA accounts and account setup
-- the necessity of family tree documentation INSIDE your FTDNA account
-- project web pages

Reading this entire FAQ is an excellent start.


Why join the mailing list Back to top

The mailing list is for family history researchers of these surnames, whether eligible for the project or not.


Email Forwarding Back to top

The project administrator is not an email forwarding service. We do not pass along messages from non-members to members or between non-matching members.


I never get email Back to top

Make sure email with the addresses of FTDNA (familytreedna.com), the administrator and co-administrator are not getting filed into your spam folder.


Set up profile Back to top

In your Profile, under About Me, state who you are and where your project surname lineage was from. If you are not the tester, state how you are related to the tester.


Set up paternal ancestor Back to top

Access Account Settings | Genealogy | Most Distant Ancestor


When you see this screen, under Ancestral Locations, then Direct Paternal, click Update Location.


Enter the name of your earliest known direct paternal ancestor, an approximate birth date, and a location.

Example: Martin Hanrahan b.c. 1800 England l. Hamilton Co, Ohio


Enter a known location for your paternal ancestor. You can use the location search tool built into FTDNA, or you can customize your own latitude and longitude by using a tool such as iTouchMap to zoom to and get the coordinates of your own location. If your ancestor came from a townland with a frequently used name (e.g., Scart) please customize it.

If you want to participate in the extensive results analysis on the project website, go into Privacy Settings and check the box Share My Most Distant Ancestor.

How to make Y results publicly viewable Back to top

Access Privacy Settings | Who can view my DNA results in group projects? If you want your results to be included in extensive results analysis and group promotional efforts, set your results so they are publicly viewable.


How to upload a family tree Back to top

You can use the built-in editor to create a family tree if you want. However, it is far more efficient to produce a GEDCOM file externally and upload it into your FTDNA account.

To export a GEDCOM file out of Ancestry.com:

  1. Log in to your Ancestry account.
  2. Under Family Trees, click the tree to export.
  3. Under Tree Settings, view Manage your tree.
  4. Click where it says Export Tree.
  5. Save the GEDCOM file on your computer.

To create a GEDCOM file from scratch, try one of the following programs:

  1. MyHeritage Tree Builder (free)
  2. GenealogyJ (free)
  3. Personal Ancestral File (free for Macs; no longer supported)
  4. Ancestral Quest
  5. Legacy Family Tree (compatible with Family Search Family Tree)
  6. Family Tree Maker (Ancestry.com product; support outsourced)

To upload your GEDCOM, in your FTDNA account, click myFamilyTree. Click the Upload GEDCOM icon then choose the GEDCOM file on your computer to upload it.


How to get my results included in project analysis pages Back to top

If you've set up your account as prescribed on this page, your results will be automatically included in our analysis.


What other DNA projects to join Back to top

Members are encouraged to join at least one haplogroup project. Haplogroup project administrators may prefer members who have tested 67 STR markers or better and may expect you to undergo and therefore financially commit to further SNP testing. See the project LINKS (in the left sidebar) for projects relevant to your haplogroup. Project members should know the basic differences between STR testing and SNP testing.

Ireland mtDNA will accept mtDNA tests with Irish maternal ancestors.

Family Finder testers may choose to upload their results to GEDMATCH, or dna.land.

There are some regional Ireland projects that accept Family Finder. Their analytical activity may vary. You'll need to check for those in FTDNA.

It is otherwise up to you to seek out alternative projects and analytical venues.


Eligibility for Y Test Scholarship Back to top

At this time we no longer offer scholarships, except to follow up on maybe two specific Horgan tests agreed to beforehand.

We will leave open an offer to split the cost of Y111 tests 50/50 (excluding S&H), during the end-of-year test sale, for men named HOURIHAN(E) with County Cork ancestry, provided they meet the criteria below. An eligible man named Hourihane could get a Y111 test for about $130, when we consider the sale discount, additional sale coupons, and the project contribution toward the test.

Scholarship recipients must possess and be able to demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Must possess the last name HOURIHANE, or a spelling variation. The name was often changed to Howard or Horan, which is acceptable as long as you can provide documentation.

  • Knows unequivocally the origin of the earliest known paternal ancestor, pre-famine (early-mid 19th century or earlier), to the townland or village in Cork, Ireland.

  • Earliest known family history reflects the life of the typical 19th century Irishman in the lower classes - tenant farmer, labourer, fisherman, apprentice, possibly transport convict - usually Roman Catholic, etc.

  • Lineage must not already be sponsored in the project (highly unlikely).

  • Able to submit a lineage to the project with names, places, BMD years to the fullest extent possible, including brother branches. If you haven't been maintaining a family tree in an organized manner, preparing your documentation will probably constitute the bulk of your work.

  • Active in local historical and family history societies relevant to your paternal line and surname family history.

  • Curious about the ancient peoples who settled Ireland in prehistoric and early historic times.

  • Interested in complementing their paternal line family history research with a genetics component.

  • Likes the idea of their test results helping others with the same surname in the Ireland diaspora trace their roots back to Ireland.

  • Willingness to share lineage / family history and test results with the project.

  • Willingness to allow results to be published and discussed in any future project promotional efforts.

  • Ability to - communicate in a timely and courteous fashion; read some basic information, including the rest of this FAQ, our testing FAQ if you are new to testing, and FTDNA's policies on revoking test consent; follow some written instructions, and fill out some forms, which can be done online.

  • Willingness to work with the project administrator to pool funds for the test by submitting your portion of the cost of your test to the project General Fund, and having the administrator complete the purchase.

You are known only by your sample number, test results, and family history. Your name and contact information are NEVER publicly revealed.