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Harrison DNA Project

From ISOGG Wiki

Harrison DNA Project
John Harrison
[email protected]
Harrison DNA Project Website
Additional Project Information
DNA type(s) used Y-DNA
Founded Jan 2005
Project size 650+
Surname variations Harrison, Harrisson, Haruson, & variants
Geographic areas Worldwide


The Harrison DNA Project is a Y-DNA Project that was started in 2005 to use genetic genealogy to help unravel the many tangled lines of Harrison families. There are currently well over 650 members, and we have identified 94 separate Harrison lineage groups so far. Harrisons from around the world have shared their family lines and been tested, and we welcome your participation.

Project Focus

The focus of the project is to

1. Help researchers on common or related families work together to find their common heritage (See the Patriarch Page)

2. Identify the DNA of the ancestor families and compile them and their lost branches into distinct genetic lineages through DNA matches. While a surname itself may give us incomplete or misleading or, at best, only general information about the origin of a family, DNA-testing can give us concrete evidence for identifying and separating family lines. Y-chromosome DNA testing is especially helpful because the male Y-chromosome is handed down, father to son, unchanged through the generations, except for rare mutations which, in themselves, can be helpful indicators of branching.

Worldwide Project

The Harrison Project is global in scope. Our project is open to anyone with the ability to test a male Harrison, Harrisson, Haruson, and all other variations, or to anyone believing that he or she is descended from one of those names. Participants are sought worldwide. We have many members from the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. Many people wonder about the roots of the Harrison surname. Harrison families have ancient roots that go back to England, Scotland, or Ireland in most of the Y-DNA haplogroups identified so far. When the adoption of surnames became popular in the 1300s, many unrelated people became Harrisons as various sons of unrelated men named Henry, Henri, Harry, Harris, and the like became known as Henryson, Harryson, or Harrisson. Eventually by the 1600s, most of these came to be spelled "Harrison," although variations still exist. The 1881 UK Census shows the distribution of Harrisons across the British Isles, and most Harrison families were found in northern England. Harrisons were most commonly found in York, Harrogate, Preston, Lincoln, and Derby.

How to Join the Harrison DNA Project

HARRISON, HARRESON, HARISON, HARRISEN, and any other reasonable spelling variations are welcome to join the project. Only males have Y-chromosomes, so only a male HARRISON (or variant spellings) who is the son of a son of a son of a Harrison male can participate in the Y-DNA Project. If you are female, you can have a male HARRISON (or variations) relative submit a sample for your line. To participate meaningfully, you will need to share your direct male line ancestry from your earliest known Harrison down to around 1900 (to keep information on living people off of the website). We have established many distinct Harrison lineage groups, and we welcome your participation in this important project! Females can also order a test for themselves, which will be a mitochondrial (or mtDNA) test, but the results of their test do not tie to the surname project. A Family Finder test is also available and looks at autosomal DNA, which is passed to a child from both parents, but it is challenging to identify which DNA belongs to a particular surname, and autosomal DNA is not used in the DNA Project. While there are several DNA testing companies, the majority of our project participants have tested with FamilyTree DNA. We welcome you to join the project and see if your Harrison family line can be connected!

External Links