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The Hoar, Hoare & Hore Surname DNA Project is open to all families with this surname, and all derivatives in all locations.
The surname appears to mostly originate in the Southwest England region in the early middle ages. Roots to/from Ireland exist as do branches in Wales and the wider Southern to Middle England. The surname was often changed after emigration from England; especially going to North America. The three surnames forming the title here are the most common root sources and still the main ones found around the world today.
This Surname DNA Project, like most, concentrates on using yDNA testing to verify male-lineages with a most recent common ancestor (MRCA) that is upwards of 300 to 900 years ago. Often further back than written records can reliably prove. We are slowly expanding the work, as the number of members grows, to include Autosomal DNA testing to find strong matching for nearer term relatives (100-200 years) and possibly build some evidence further out (200 to 400 years). See our page on Genetic Genealogy for a further explanation.
The following surnames are included in this project:
Hoare is the most common surname that still exists; predominantly in Southern England and Ireland today with a large concentration in Oceania as well. Hore is more rare now and mostly isolated to a very narrow area around Devonshire but also significant in Australia. Hore was most often changed to Hoar when emigrating to North America. As a result, Hoar is most common in North America today rather than in England but almost always derives from this base. Once in North America, a change from Hoar to Horr or Hoard was common in the 1700's. More recently, some have changed to already used surnames of Harr as well as Orr, Ore and Oar. The latter three dropping the H that was commonly silent in the English use of the surname; the former to a spelling more like how the name was pronounced in the 1800's Massachusetts. A few family lines did a more explicit, drastic name change to more common surnames of Hobart, Howard, and Shorr by adding one or more consonants. Hord is a special case we are including as (a) there are some distinct lines in North America but the surname is not common in England and (b) early DNA tests are showing an overlap with the main surname lines and geographic origins already covered here. Other variations we have seen listed elsewhere are Hoor, Hoore, Hor, and Horre. (de) le Hore is an early base surname before Hore reported in research but unknown to be linked. There may be more. See our Surname Frequency forum post for more information.
This particular Surname DNA project seems to hit a sweat spot that will make it more successful for those hitting genealogical road blocks. One, the surnames are more rare or unique in use. Thus making research back for hundreds of years possible and more fruitful. Two, the surname was often changed over the past 500-800 years and thus people often hit roadblocks in research not realizing this. And three, the surname seems to have been distinct and isolated to a small area of England (and possibly Ireland) before spreading further out and transforming. As a result, we have having easy and early success with using genetic genealogy in conjunction with traditional methods to link people who are separated by hundreds of years (10 generations or more). So if your DNA is hitting a match in one of our project subgroups, or you think there may have been a name change from one of those surnames listed above, come explore our work further.
The real genealogical results to help any user, whether you have done any DNA testing or not, are on the Patriarchs page accessible via the tab across the top of most pages. Also check out our Forum for postings and discussions of research results. To get started in DNA Genetic testing, see our Genetic Genealogy page. Our DNA Groupings page is a further refinement of our Y-DNA surname groups and provides the bridge from the yDNA project to our Patriarchs page. There are too many lines not linked back for upwards of 300-500 years to have everyone list their individual lineages. So we summarize each lineage in the appropriate grouping and reference each researchers work on their own line. Also, many of the researchers all link back to a commonly reported Hore line at Risford Manor in County Devon that existed from 1330 to 1630. As many early publications simply regurgitated information passed on about this family and gave weak claims of linkage to them, we do not want everyone repeating these same claims here. Hence only references to others work in our Patriarchs page. We are still working to incorporate the y-Results page concept of this hosting site with our yDNA Surname project table at FTDNA. Once we do, we can incorporate some into the results that are only in yMatch.org and not a formal member of the FTDNA yDNA group.
Discovered History and Pronunciation of the Surname:
(citations needed here)
During the middle ages, the surname was predominantly Hore in Devon, England and Hoare in other parts of Southwest England and far-eastern Ireland it appears. Hoar became a predominant variation upon arrival in the North America in the 1600's and beyond. It is believed to have been pronounced H-aw-r in England and is still that way today in the Boston and Maine area. But those simply seeing the spelling later on seemed to have caused a pronunciation change over time to the more phonetically-looking way that rhymes with Door and makes the H explicit. Due to similarity with another term in more common use in the America's, this is likely the reason for the more drastic changes to other forms like Hoard. The New England pronunciation would explain the change to Harr by many in the late 1800's when written records and documents of people started becoming more formal. There is an anecdotal citation that confirms this but much is written (especially on changed North American pronunciations) to do with leading H's being silent or not. (Think Herb as a spice versus a person's given name; or Where versus Who.)
Some claim the surname derives from a Norman (Brittany) town of Auray as the English lines appear to link to a Norman invader and possibly a family there. Others believe the name is derived from the old English color and name of marker stones that were of a type of granite that would turn whitish with age. This stone is found naturally in the Southwest England and Wexford, Ireland areas. The color use is also the origin of terms such as Hoar Frost and Hoar Fog. The surname presumably derives from coming from the area where these outcroppings naturally occur. Another variation to this color theme is that those with the surname went prematurely greyish-white without losing any hair. Hence the surname is after a hair color and not location. For many in this group today, they definitely still exhibit this historical claim and wonder if there is a yDNA gene that could explain this.