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About us


This project is for people interested in the surname of Merry including the variants listed belowIt is restricted to participants who have embarked on yDNA testing as it is the yDNA which is related to surnames ande inherited through the male line.  Males with different surnames, but who may have inherited Merry or variant yDNA through non-paternal events (adoption, illegitimacy, etc.), are also welcome. 

It has been set up to complement the Merry One-Name Study established up through the Guild of One-Name Studies (see the Guild web site  This web site gives a more complete background of the Merry and variant surnames.  The surname is thought to be mainly British (in the broad geographical sense), though there have been Merry surnames recorded in France from at least the 17th Century and at the present time is mostly found in English speaking countries.  Early spellings vary but include Myrry, Myrrye, Mery, Merye and similar forms, but have standarised by the 19th C to the surnames mentioned above.

The historically-noted association of the Irish Merry surname with Houlihan and variants has been confirmed by DNA testing.  Irish males with the Merry surname who match Houlihan should also join the Hulihan Surname Project.

Variants spellings of the surname

The common modern spellings in English speaking countries include Merry, Merrey and Merrie, though Merrie is very uncommon these days.  The surname Mery, which is most comon in France, may be realted to the Merry variants, and one aim of this project is to look for DNA links that may support this.  These surnames are thought to be distinct from the Scottish surname Murray.  Project members who think they may have Scottish connection, or their surname may have been anglicised to Merry, should also consider joining the Murray surname project (through the Projects menu of the FTDNA web site), but should be aware that Merry (often Merrie in earlier times) is a fairly common name in south-west Scotland (Ayrshire and neighbouring counties).

yDNA testing

If you are considering yDNA testing and are able to join the Merry surname project, please consider testing for a minimum of 37 STR markers initially, and consider 67 or more markers if possible.  Deep clade or SNP testing may also be considered, but is not essential.


The Merry Project Admministrator is Richard Merry who lives in Adelaide, South Australia.  He is also the the person who holds the registered surname Merry and variants with the Guild of One-Name Studies.  A co-administrator is being sought for this project.

Email contact:

See the Goals page for an outline of what we hope to achieve with this project.