Hourihane, Horrigan, Hanrahan, and Horan

Joint DNA Projects
  • 55 members


This information was last updated on June 8, 2019. See #2, 3, 4.

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. Based on my Y test, I believe I am a Horan/Hourihan/Hanrahan/Horrigan. What if my last name is not a project surname?

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

  4. How do I contact the project administrator?

  5. What is the project website?

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

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

  8. How much does a Y test cost?

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

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

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

  12. How is the project administered?

  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. (Required) How should I set up my FTDNA Contact Information?

  18. (Required) Do I need to grant the administrator(s) access to my account?

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

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

  21. (for Active Project Participants) How do I set up my results to be shared?

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

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

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

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

  26. What other projects should I join?

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


  1. 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 bearing 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.

    *** This project is for MEN whose LAST NAME is Hourihane, Horgan, Hanrahan, Horan, or a spelling variation of one of the project surnames. These are Irish surnames but are known to be present through the British Isles and its diaspora. ***

    *** A Y test of 37 or more markers must be obtained or already have been obtained from FTDNA. ***

    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!


    It was common for families named Hourihane to change their name to Howard. There are similar anglicized or phonetically related substitutions for Handrahan, Horan, Horgan, etc. If this applies to you, mention the name change when you join.

    Some families named Hourihane also used the name Brien. If a patterned name change applies to you, mention this when you join.


    Because the project remains small, with only one known lineage, most of which can be illustrated by conventional genealogy records, the project generally does not admit men with non-eligible surnames. Exceptions are those who are perfect matches to men with project surnames:

    -- You must be tested at 111 markers as well as your match.

    -- Your match must be IN the project.

    -- Your Genetic Distance to the project match at 111 markers must be 0 or 1.

    -- If genetic evidence shows you are in a SNP subclade that conflicts with those of your matches, you must accept that your kit could be removed from the project.


    1. I have tested 111 markers.
    2. List your terminal SNP or haplogroup,
    as given in your haplogroup badge on your
    account home page: __________
    3. List the name, email, Genetic Distance, and 
    terminal SNP of your project surname match
    with lowest Genetic Distance at 111 markers:
    Name: _____________
    Email: _____________
    Genetic Distance: _____
    Terminal SNP: _______
  3. MEN WITH ELIGIBLE NAMES: State in the JOIN window after you click the JOIN button that you have ordered/tested Y37 or better.

    MEN WITH AN ANGLICIZED OR PATTERNED NAME CHANGE: In the JOIN window when you click the JOIN button, state both the former name and the current name as well as that you have ordered/tested Y37 or better.

    MEN WITH NON-ELIGIBLE SURNAMES: Follow the instructions in the prior question.

  4. Contact the project administrator Back to top
  5. - After reviewing this FAQ, SUMMARIZE your questions in a BRIEF email note (300 words or less) to Susan at hourihanedna@pobox.com.

    - Subject line must include the phrase JOINT PROJECTS.


    - Add your kit number in the subject line of your email IF YOU ARE ALREADY A PROJECT MEMBER.

    Emails that do not adhere to these guidelines will probably not get a response!

  6. 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.

  7. 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 cooperation by project members to use their data, we will reconstruct whatever content we can on the project website.

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

  9. See Part II, #4 on our extensive FAQ.

  10. 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.

  11. See our Privacy Policies and Information on the Code of Conduct page. It includes information on law enforcement searches.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

  18. Click Account Settings | Account Information. Under Contact Information | 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.

    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. If more than one person is accessing your account, please put TWO emails in the primary email field. Separate them with a semicolon (;). Example: johndoesdaughter@gmail.com;johndoe1@gmail.com

    Safeguarding of the privacy of all members is the main priority of the project. Kits set up this way not only save the project administrators time, it helps minimize the risk of data breaches through present and future administrators. Kits without a proper setup could face removal from the project. See Code of Conduct.

  19. By default, FTDNA sets your Project Administrator access settings to MINIMAL access. This gives the project administrators NO access. Administrators cannot access your kit to see your matches and their haplogroups, or read your family tree, or any other helpful information you might have written.

    Kits with MINIMAL access will NOT be assigned a cluster on the Y DNA results page and remain UNCLUSTERED. In other words, the project administrator won't touch your results - and will remove your kit from the project during the end-of-year project housecleaning if you have not granted access within a reasonable time. So if you want to be in the project and your results properly assigned a category, please provide the administrators LIMITED or better access:

    3. Under Your Projects, locate the Hourihane project and click Edit. Then follow the prompts to grant access.

    Your screen should look something like this when you have properly granted LIMITED access:

    See also: Project Group Preferences Page.

    See also: Project Administrator Settings Page.

    See also: Group Administrator Access Levels and Permissions.

  20. 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.

  21. Access Account Settings | Genealogy | Earliest Known Ancestors and click.


    - Click save (bottom left; not shown).

    - Click Update Location (on the right).

    - Now underneath the map, on the left side for Paternal, click edit location.


    Under Direct Paternal Ancestor, enter the earliest known ancestor name; a birth, marriage, or death year; and a location.

    - Enter a Country of Origin.


    - Under Step 1 - Choose Ancestor Type, click update paternal location (lower left; not shown).

    - If you already entered your ancestor's name, date, and abbreviated location, click next to skip this step.

    - If you didn't enter it before, under Step 2 - Update Paternal Information, enter the ancestor name, an approximate birth or death date, and a location. See the left graphic for one example.

    Here is another example:
    Martin Smith b.c. 1800 l. Hamilton Co, OH, USA

    - Click next to save your information or skip Step 2.


    - Under Step 3 - Find a Location on the Map, enter a known location for your paternal ancestor - where he might have been born, resided or died. 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 getLatLong 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.

    - Whichever way you enter the location, click search.

    - Click select on the map.

    Under Step 4, enter the display format of the location that you want to use on the map, e.g., Gortnascreeny, Caheragh, Co Cork, Ireland. Click next.
    Under Step 5, review all the information you entered for accuracy, and click save & exit.
  22. Access Account Settings | Project Preferences | Project Sharing | Group Project Profile, then check the box Opt in to Sharing. Ordinarily, this makes your results viewable to the public if the Y DNA results page were public. It is the policy of the project to keep FTDNA Y results viewable to project members only, but by checking this box you are communicating that it is okay for outside visitors to see your data, should that policy one day change. By sharing out your results your project administrator will also be able to manipulate your data in a spreadsheet. Otherwise, your data is inaccessible to the administrator.

  23. 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.

  24. What else should I be doing in my FTDNA account?
  25. Under Account Settings then Genealogy | 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.

  26. The administrator deals with dozens of emails across several projects and needs this clarity in order to be able search emails effectively. If your email does not turn up in a search of subject lines, your data will not be published. So your cooperation is vital and appreciated!

    To submit an email to the project administrator to give permission to publish Y DNA data:

    The subject line needs to state: the PROJECT, the KIT NUMBER, TESTER'S NAME, and the words Y DATA PUBLICATION PERMISSION:

    example: JOINT SURNAMES Project kit #abcdef John Doe Horan Y Data Publication Permission

    If YOU are the tester USE THIS LANGUAGE in the body of your email:

    I want to participate on the project website and hearby grant permission to the Joint Surnames 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. I understand that hourihane.dnagen.org is NOT the FTDNA website.

    If you are supervising somebody else's test, USE THIS LANGUAGE in the body of your email, completing the information in the square brackets []:

    My name is [monitor name] and I am the [relationship - daughter, wife, etc] of the tester. I am authorized to act on his behalf. We want to participate on the project website and hearby grant permission to the Joint Surnames project administrator to publish the tester's 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. I understand that hourihane.dnagen.org is NOT the FTDNA website.

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

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

    Men with paternal line Cork ancestry named HOURIHAN(E) and paternal line West Cork ancestry named HORAN may qualify for partial testing scholarships. Eligible men should be able to provide documentation and a family tree placing their earliest known paternal line ancestor to or prior to the Tithe Applotment Books (roughly 1820's). These men should be able and willing to purchase a Y37 test initially. But before doing any testing, contact the project administrator if you think you are eligible and would like to work toward a scholarship for more Y testing.

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