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The O'Hourihane, Hor(ri)gan
Han(d)rahan, and Horan DNA Projects


Project Report November 2013. #2.

This is the 2013 project report. August 2013 was the one year project anniversary. If you do not have a kit enrolled in the DNA project and you wish to receive future notifications about this project, please sign up on the Rootsweb project mailing list.

FTDNA End of Year Sale

FTDNA's winter sale is ongoing until December 31. If you have tested less than 67 Y markers, there is a small chance, though no guarantees, that by upgrading you will see more relevant matches. This is because the more markers that are tested, the more steps removed are tolerated. For example, if a potential match does not show as a match at 37 markers because he is seven steps removed, but there are no other differences in the panel between 38 and 67 markers, the match would then show up at 67 markers. One of my own Y test kits has 54 matches at 37 markers, but 86 matches at 67 markers. Some of you have very few matches, which I know from my own experience is frustrating. The state of DNA testing now is much like the early development of the personal computer, with rapid advances in technology every few months. You are pioneers in that regard, but I believe your patience will one day be rewarded.

If you are not in the Y project and you are a project-eligible male or you have a relative who is a project-eligible male, you can purchase a test now at a sale price, or you can transfer Y results from another company for $58. (There is a Y-DNA transfer product for $19, but you would still have to upgrade from that to see your matches.) Autosomal DNA testing (Family Finder) is permanently reduced to $99. If you are not enrolled in the project and wish to order a test and enroll, now is a good time to do so. Please visit the project DNA test page for further information.

Y-DNA Project Developments

In November 2012 the project had three Y testers. As of November 2013 it has eight Y testers.

I am extending an offer to Y-DNA project members. I live very close to the Family History Library (FHL) here in Salt Lake City. I can do project-relevant civil registration lookups for you if you email me and ask. FHL does not have just an index; it has the civil registration records of non-Catholic marriages 1845-1870; all marriages 1864-1870; deaths 1864-1870; births 1864-1880 and starting again in 1901. My goal is to eventually provide transcriptions for Y testers in the project via login, but that will take a while, with the biggest challenge being organizing my work by registration district. Check this document if you are unfamiliar with the registration districts of Ireland. For this transcription effort I am working initially on counties Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, Limerick, Galway, and Londonderry, starting with pre-1864 marriages and 1864 births. Visit Family Search and try searching in registration districts potentially relevant to your families. The FHL also has other data sources and journals. I can, for instance, look up O'Kief Coshe Mang's Inchigeelagh church records if given an approximate date and names.

The project Y dataset consists of 2 Horgans (1 test result pending) and 1 Harrigan; 2 Horans, 1 Handrahan, and 1 O'Hanrahan/aka Hourihane. The two Horans are unrelated. #64764 has a Niall of the Nine Hostages DNA pattern, indicative of northwest Ireland roots. #289359 is believed to have ancestry from County Kerry; his R1b haplotype does not appear to fit in one of the Type I - Type IV or Leinster haplotypes but is still indicative of R1b Europe. #255002 Horgan fits the Leinster modal haplotype best. #164120 Harrigan is believed to have ancestry from northern Ireland due to having a Protestant background. These two kits fit the Leinster modal best, however #164120 does not test positive for L159.2, an SNP which appears indicative of this haplotype. #314503 Horgan is pending. Our pioneering Han(d)rahan #298333 is believed to have had ancestry from "southern Ireland," which sounds like Munster. My initial project hypothesis about Han(d)rahans from the Thomond/Clare/Galway/Kilkenney areas was that they would fall into the Dal Cais (Irish Type II) group. This one sample does not support that hypothesis and does not fall into the Type I - Type IV or Leinster haplotypes, but also falls into a R1b Europe haplotype. #253758 Hourihane/Hanrahan fits best under South Irish.

Project member #248002 has just submitted some information that may place Hourihanes in west Cork before 1700 and may link some Castlehaven parish Hourihanes to some west side Caheragh parish Hourihanes. The project background page has been updated with this information, much of it still in the stage of being conjecture as there are as yet no independent sources to verify it. In light of this discovery, #248002 and I are making a few inquiries, with the hopes of gaining a few more Y testers in the process.

The Y-DNA results page and the breakdown compared to modal haplotypes on the project website has been updated. Your kit is under a grouping where your results best fit. The kits under "R1b Other" (Horan and Handrahan) are a 12/12 match to each other. Haplogroup prediction data comes from Jim Cullen's haplogroup predictor. I have seen the output of the haplogroup predictor shift as testers add more markers to their results - another reason to upgrade your Y-DNA test at least to 67 markers if you have not done so. By definition, your recent relatives must belong to the same haplotype and have the same SNPs that you do. Also, if you haven't uploaded your Y results to Y-Search, please do so. Log in to your FTDNA account, click on Y-DNA matches, look at the bottom of the page below the table of matches and you'll see an orange button that says "Upload to ysearch.org."

This is not a project requirement, and not necessary for finding your relatively recent ancestry, but if you have a particular interest in SNP testing and genetic anthropology, FTDNA has just come out with a new product called The Big Y. It tests for 25,000 SNPs, more than Geno 2.0's 12,000 Y SNPs. The introductory price is $495 until December 1, after which it will be $695. Data from these tests will likely contribute to the body of knowledge about the settlement of Ireland and the British Isles, long before the plantation settlements, the Viking raids, the Anglo-Saxon raids, Niall's raids on England (which may have included kidnapping St. Patrick), or the Romans, which are relatively recent events in the big scheme of things.

Family Finder (Autosomal DNA) Developments

We have to be extremely careful how we interpret results here, and the reality is we might need 100x-1000x the data we currently have before being able to draw solid conclusions about our connections. The Autosomal DNA results table has been updated with new FF testers and a connection diagram has been added. The connection diagram illustrates one potential use of the the mtDNA test; some project members concluded through conventional research that they shared a common direct maternal origin via Hourihane sisters, and an exact full genomic sequence mtDNA match verified those findings. Keep in mind both the table and the connection diagram are experimental data structures. I may decide to present the data in another way in the future, especially if the available connection data grows by an order of magnitude or two.

If you haven't already done so, I encourage uploading your autosomal DNA results to GEDMATCH. GEDMATCH has been growing explosively, and has been experiencing the ups and downs pains from that growth, but over time it could prove to be useful. New uploads are currently suspended until December 1, but you can still retrieve your data out of FTDNA for uploading later. GEDMATCH accepts uploads not just from FTDNA but from 23AndMe and from Ancestry.

FTDNA and GEDMATCH may use slightly different criteria in determining a "match." In addition, GEDMATCH has a few fun tools you may want to play with on your own data. On the DNA kit of my uncle, whose ancestry is very localized to a specific area, I ran a utility to see if his parents (my grandparents) were related. According to the tool, my grandparents may have been fourth cousins, giving some weight to a family rumor.

To download your raw data for GEDMATCH:

Next Report

If you wish to discuss this report or genealogy research related to the project, please sign up for the Rootsweb mailing list and let's discuss it there.

Have a good Christmas and New Year's and let's hope 2014 is a good year!

Report Archive

November 2012

Susan J. Barretta, Project Administrator
Or message hourihanedna on ancestry.com.

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Last updated: Tuesday, 19-Nov-2013 20:57:14 MST