Hourihane, Horrigan, Hanrahan, and Horan

Joint DNA Projects
  • 50 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. What is the project website?

  3. Why can't I view the Y DNA results?

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

  5. How much does a Y test cost?

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

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

  8. 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?

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

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

  11. How is the project administered?

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

  13. What am I expected to know?

  14. What is the mailing list?

  15. Will you email a project member for me?

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

  17. What is the difference between being a project member and an Active Project Participant?

  18. (Required) How should I set up my FTDNA Profile?

  19. (for Active Project Participants) How do I set up my earliest paternal ancestor?

  20. (for Active Project Participants) How do I set up my results to be publicly viewable?

  21. (for Active Project Participants) How do I upload a family tree into my FTDNA account?

  22. (for Active Project Participants) What else should I be doing in my account?

  23. (for Active Project Participants) How do I grant permission to the project administrator to include my results in published analysis?

  24. (for Active Project Participants) How do I get my results included in the extensive analysis on the project website?

  25. What other projects should I join?

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


1. 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 of Irish paternal line descent with one of these last names HOURIHANE, HORRIGAN, HANRAHAN, or HORAN find their closest genetic cousins and possibly determine their geographic origin in Ireland. (See also the spelling variations in SURNAMES.) We do this by collecting and analyzing Y DNA. See also: project goals.

*** To be a member of the project, you must be a man with one of these surnames as a last name, have Irish paternal line ancestry, and take a Y test of 37 or more markers. 67 or more markers is ideal. ***

This is NOT a haplogroup (SNP) project, an autosomal DNA match project, or a mitochondrial DNA project.

If you have access to old Y DNA data from Ancestry.com or from any lab that used the Sorenson 33 or 46 marker test, you may transfer it to FTDNA. A straight transfer is not sufficient. In order for it to be qualify for the project, you must order a transfer+upgrade product and do a swab from FTDNA so that your results will be better aligned with FTDNA's test and so that you'll be enabled for matches in FTDNA's database. See: Transfer DNA and also the $58 transfer+upgrade Y products.

If your transfer+upgrade produces less than 37 markers you will need to perform a Y25 to Y37 marker upgrade at FTDNA to be eligible for the project.

*** See: How to Join. ***

Female relatives; autosomal transfer or FTDNA Family Finder testers or other non-eligible relatives may test and enroll an eligible male relative named Hourihane, Horrigan, Hanrahan, or Horan (or spelling variation) since they themselves are not eligible.

Y SNP transfers from Nat Geo, Living DNA, or other companies are not sufficient for eligibility.

If you are not eligible see Options for Non-Eligible Researchers below.

This is *NOT* the Houlihane or Hallaghan project!


2. Project Website Back to top

There are two websites associated with the Joint Surnames project. Because the testing lab is FTDNA, there is a representation of the project here at FTDNA ("the FTDNA website"). The second website ("the project website") at jointprojects.dnagen.org is the administrator's own hosted space and is not part of or under the control of FTDNA. The third website is at World Families, also not under the direct control of FTDNA.

The FTDNA website holds this page, some basic information pages about the project, and Y DNA results. The project website holds genealogy information, historical information, and more extensive analysis of Y DNA results for those who are Active Project Participants. Y DNA analysis on the project website goes considerably beyond that offered at the FTDNA website.

If you see NO when trying to access 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.


3. Cannot see project Y DNA results Back to top

The project administrators made a decision in May 2018 to make the results visible only to project members. There were several reasons for this:

-- New regulations from Europe have raised our consciousness of our obligation to protect the private data of our project members.

-- No matter how user friendly the FTDNA website settings become, some members who do not want their data publicly displayed might inadvertently Opt In to publicly share out their data. Locking the Y DNA results will prevent that.

-- We wish to prevent unwarranted regulatory scrutiny of Y DNA data or misuse of that data.

Please do not email the administrators to nag us about making the results public again. We will not budge on this decision. We know visitors are disappointed. The project website is being wiped clean but with time permitting and adequate permission granted by project members to use their data, we will over time reconstruct our content there.


4. New to DNA Testing Back to top

See Part I of our more extensive DNA testing FAQ for an explanation of three basic types of DNA tests.


5. Cost of Y Test Back to top


6. Options for Non-Eligible Researchers Back to top

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

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

Look at the locations where your Hourihane, Horrigan, Hanrahan, or Horan ancestors resided for a considerable period of time and seek relevant regional autosomal DNA projects that might be able to assist you with triangulation and segment matching. Consider starting a regional project up yourself! You would be performing a great service.

See Part II, #4 on our extensive FAQ.


7. How to Join Back to top

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

If you are already a FTDNA customer, but do not yet have a Y test on file or on order, log in with your FTDNA account and password after you click JOIN. You will have 24 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.


8. 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.

  • -- You should have a minimum 67 markers tested.
  • -- You should have at least two matches at that level with that surname.
  • -- Your matches with a project surname must also be in the project and must also have same-surname matches in order for you to be admitted. Without same-surname matches there is a chance our project member should be in YOUR surname project instead.
  • -- If you are an adoptee without paternal line data, this must be explained under My Story in your account Profile.

9. Privacy concerns Back to top

See our Privacy Policies and Information on the Code of Conduct page.


10. 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 three weeks or six months. Expect results to take longer after a major sale.

The lab does misplace kits, so we strongly recommend using a postal tracking number on your kit 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.


11. How the project is administered Back to top

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

The project administrators do try to help members with their research if requested. We cannot assist non-members other than pointing you to major Ireland Genealogy research websites (see Links).

We maintain these pages and those on the external project website.

We cooperate with haplogroup projects affiliated with these surnames. Our promotional efforts are limited. Travel is time consuming and expensive. Nor do we have the time to hang around on genealogy forums and chat boards.

We have normal life commitments and obligations outside the Joint Surnames project, which is why your cooperation is vital and appreciated.


12. 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!

Please contact the project administrator before making any big donation.


13. 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
-- kit profile configuration (see Set up Profile, below)
-- the necessity of family tree documentation INSIDE your FTDNA account
-- project website

Reading this FAQ is an excellent start. If you need guidance intrepreting your Y results, you are expected to first read our testing FAQ, which also provides links to many more resources.


14. Why join the mailing list Back to top

The mailing list is for those interested in the genetic histories of these surname. It is a resource for non-members who want to receive research updates, project news, announcements of Y DNA test sales, etc. It is not necessary for project members to join.


15. Email Forwarding Back to top

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


16. I never get email Back to top

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


17. Set up profile Back to top

In your Profile, under My Personal Story, 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.

[At the time of writing, the My Personal Story is currently disabled. You can still edit your story by going back to your dashboard, clicking myFamilyTree, then clicking View Profile on your "node" in the tree. Click Story to edit.]

If you are supervising the test for someone else, enter the tester's name. Under Middle Name, enter C/O Your Name. Example: John C/O Jane Smith Handrahan.

Make sure all the emails on the account are up to date and that your primary email is accurate.

Maintaining the profile in this manner clarifies who has access to this tester's data. It makes your information super-clear to the project administrators and saves us time when looking at hundreds of kits. If you do not enter the tester's name, there is a good chance that any GEDCOM you upload for the tester's family tree will get mangled due to misalignment between the actual tester and the GEDCOM focal person that you specify.

*** This profile configuration is a requirement of ALL project members no matter what your participation level. Otherwise your kit may be removed from the project. ***


18. Difference between project member and Active Project Participants Back to top

All project members will get their Y results categorized under a suitably labeled cluster under Y DNA Results on the FTDNA website. They may or may not share out results and data with others or may choose to remain completely private. This is one participation level.

Active Project Participants go out of their way to share out their results and family history data. They do sufficient levels of Y testing so there is enough data to compare with others. They give explicit written permission to the project administrator to include their data in published analysis on the project website. Their data is published tagged with assigned project member numbers, not FTDNA kit numbers. When project members take these steps, the project administrator will be able to perform further analysis and interpretation. This is the second participation level. Requirements are listed below.


19. Set up paternal ancestor Back to top

Access My Profile | Genealogy | Earliest Known Ancestors and click.


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.


20. How to share your Y results Back to top

Access the Privacy and Sharings Settings menu and under Group Project Profile check the box Opt in to Sharing.


21. 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.

To adjust the privacy settings on your family tree, click the Cog wheel where it says Settings. The project recommends sharing your tree with your MATCHES.


22. What else should I be doing in my FTDNA account?

Under My Profile then Genealogy then Surnames, make sure you have filled out the surnames in your pedigree, along with specific locations (as specific as possible). This is even more important if you have done other types of DNA testing.


23. Granting permission to the administrator to publish certain data Back to top

Submit an email to the project administrator, with the tester's name and FTDNA kit number. If you are not the tester state who you are. Include the following language:

I want to participate on the project website and hearby grant permission to the Collins project administrator to publish my yDNA results (STR and SNP data), and ancestral origins, as provided by me. I understand the types of data the project publishes and that it will be tagged with a project number - not my FTDNA kit number.

Please email the project administrator if you wish to REVOKE permission.


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

You are considered an Active Project Participant (second level participation) - not just a project member (first level) - if the following is completed:

  1. 1. The kit profile is properly set up.
  2. 2. There is sufficient testing in place of 67 or more markers.
  3. 3. You have filled in your ancestral data under My Profile | Genealogy.
  4. 4. Through your Privacy Settings you have checked Opt In to share out your Y and ancestral results.
  5. 5. You have provided at minimum a direct paternal HOURIHANE, HORRIGAN, HANRAHAN, or HORAN lineage in your family tree, with names, dates, spouses, and places. Your family tree is shared out with MATCHES.
  6. 6. You have given the project administrator explicit permission to publish your Y DNA results and some ancestral data, tagged with your project number (not your FTDNA kit number).

Updates of published analysis pages are announced on the Activity Feed and the mailing list.


25. 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.

There are some regional Ireland projects that accept Family Finder. Their analytical activity may vary.

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


26. Eligibility for Y Test Scholarship Back to top

Unconditional free tests are not given at DNA shows. We no longer offer Y37 scholarships, as they provide too little data.

Men with Cork ancestry named HOURIHAN(E) are eligible to have a Y37 test upgraded to Y111, subject to the terms and conditions below.

The process below is designed to safeguard project funds and guarantee the project gets both family tree and genetic data for its time and financial commitment. If this process is not acceptable to you, then do not apply.
  • Must be named HOURIHAN, HOURIHANE (or spelling variant) with paternal line ancestry from County Cork.

  • Earliest known family history reflects the life of the typical 18th/19th century man in the lower and labouring classes. Tenant farmer, labourer, servant, fisherman, transport convict, etc. Catholic religion, etc.

  • Earliest known paternal line ancestry should predate the Tithe Applotment books in Ireland (about 1835).

  • An existing project member who shares your direct paternal ancestry must not already be funded or partially funded by the project (not likely a problem).

  • If your Hourihane paternal line genetic pedigree is already significantly represented in the project, your test is not eligible for sponsorship (nor likely a problem).

  • Tester must be a new FTDNA tester, not an existing FTDNA customer.

  • Take a Y37 test (or arrange to test your eligible male Hourihane relative). If you want to wait for a good sale opportunity, join our mailing list to receive notifications of sales events.

  • Set up your FTDNA account for Active Project Participation, including documentation of your paternal line family tree (read the FAQ above).

  • Once the above steps are completed, you may be eligible for a project sponsored Y111 upgrade. If you are more than one generation removed from Ireland, you will need to provide documentation of the direct paternal line, starting from the tester to the earliest known ancestor (copies of birth certs, baptisms, pages from family bible, etc) in a single PDF file before we commit resources to your upgrade.

You are known only by your sample number, test results, and family history. In accordance with the project's privacy policies, your name and contact information are NEVER published.

That's it! Thanks for all your efforts organizing and contributing your valuable data, and WELCOME TO THE PROJECT !