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Hauri Surname DNA Project

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All male Hauris and Haurys in Switzerland, France and Germany, and their Howery, Howry and Howrey cousins in America, theoretically should have nearly identical y chromosomes, because we almost certainly belong to the same male line, originating in Beromünster, Switzerland in the early 1300s. There hasn’t been time for many mutations in our y chromosomes. The Hauries in France, the Haurys in Poland, and the Howries in Scotland should have different y chromosomes, because they almost certainly originated independently. And, that’s what our results show.

Justin (Howery) Swanström and Fred Haury launched the Hauri yDNA project in October 2000. The results were one of the earliest validations of using genetics for genealogy, and received favorable press coverage in the Wall Street Journal. Fred and Justin matched on 12 out of 12 markers, proving that they belong to the same male lineage. Current research suggests they probably share a common male-line ancestor who lived about 1400, perhaps in Reinach, Aargau, Switzerland.

Subsequent DNA testing on scattered descendants of the family shows the main family of Hauris belongs to an isolated branch of yDNA haplogroup G2a3b1a2a, a Middle Eastern group that is rare in Europe.

The closest y-chromosome relatives of the Hauris appear to include

  • the Hierholzer family, of Hierholz, Baden-Württemberg;
  • the Krider family of Gelterkinden, Baselland, Switzerland;
  • the Lehman family of Emmenthal, Bern, Switzerland.

These families are projected to share a common male ancestor who lived about 400 BCE.


Surnames: Hauri, Haurie, Haury, Horrie, Horry, Hourie, Houry, Howery, Howrey, Howrie, Howry

We invite interested Hauri males, of whatever spelling, to have a yDNA test and share their results with us. The Hauri yDNA project uses Family Tree DNA, which will do the test, report the results and notify us (with your permission). Family Tree DNA uses the lab of Dr. Michael Hammer at the University of Arizona, who has done pioneering work in the field of genetic genealogy. To join the project or for more information, see the link below.

  • We are looking for paternal descendants of the Swiss Hauris and German and French Haurys, including descendants of Jacob Howry of Virginia. Most Swiss and German Hauri and Haury men should have the same y chromosome. A positive match would strengthen the evidence that all branches of the Hauri family have a common ancestor.
  • We are looking for paternal descendants of Hans Howry, the 18th century Mennonite immigrant to Pennsylvania. The results will tell us how closely related the Virginia and Pennsylvania lines might be.
  • We are looking for male members of Beromünster’s historic families (Baumli, Brandstetter, Dangel, Dolder, Ernst, Estermann, Frey, Herzog, Kopp, Lüthert, Maier, Röthelin, Schlee, Schumacher, Stauffer, Suter, Troxler, Vonarburg, and Weber). Some of those families probably have a common male line but adopted different surnames in the 13th century. The results could show whether the Hauris were one of a group of local families, or whether they came from elsewhere in Switzerland or Germany.
  • We are looking for male members of the Scottish (Orcadian) Horrie, Horry, Hourie, Houry and Howrie families. The results will show whether there is a relationship with the Swiss family. The Scottish and Swiss families probably belong to entirely different male lineages.
  • We are looking for male members of the French (Béarnese) Haurie, Haury, Horry and Hourie families. The results will show whether there is a relationship with the Swiss Hauris. The French and Swiss families probably belong to entirely different male lineages.