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Surname DNA testing is the newest tool available to genealogists. These tests help genealogists verify their paternal ancestry (father's father) in a quick and easy way. It saves time, prevents mistakes, and provides invaluable data that can be obtained in no other way.


This Family Project is started to:

1. Help researchers of 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 Y-DNA matches




The name Byrne(s) has many phonetic similarities, and their different origins have caused much confusion. A few of these are:

Beirne, Birne, Birney, Bourne, Bournes, Breen, Brien, Burn, Burne, Burnes, Burns, Byrne, Byrnes, O'Beirne, O'Byrne


Many of us without verifiable paper trails have depended on oral history for our ancestral linkage, and have found this to be inaccurate. In Ireland there was the Clan O’Byrne of Leinster, the O’Beirne sept of Roscommon, the Muinter Birne of Tyrone, the MacConboirne of Mayo, the O’Braoin/O’Breen of Westmeath, the MacBraoin/MacBreen of Kilkenny and other as yet unidentified groups whose Gaelic names were anglicized to Byrne, Burns, Breen or another of the above.

Similarly, in Scotland there were several groups of Burns and Burness—in Argyll, Kincardinshire, Ayrshire, and east Teviotdale—that may be of common origins, or may be completely separate. Some of these migrated directly to far lands, while many went to Ireland, and later their descendants moved to America or other countries. DNA finally has given us a tool to sort out this confusion and help us identify which of the many ancestral possibilities we each can claim.


This project will endeavor to separate clans, septs and families with surnames similar to Byrne, and trace each back to its origins. Since surnames are passed down from father to son like the Y-chromosome, this test is for males only with one of the above, or similar, surnames. Since this is a Y-chromosome surname project, we do not include mtDNA information in it, nor can we accept members whose link to our surnames is through a maternal connection. We urge those people to find a male relative with one of our surnames. Howwever, such people are welcome to post a surname pedigree on this web site (Project membership is not required to post pedigrees).

The project also aims to provide evidence of common ancestors for genealogical researchers in their quest to pool resources, so by joining, members agree that the administrators may upload test results to Ysearch and other databases, as long as identities and privacy are respected.


This project uses Family Tree DNA to do its testing, and although FTDNA offers 12, 25, 37, 67, and 111-marker tests, we require at least 37 markers for posting results on this site. The 12 and 25 marker tests do not provide sufficient information. An applicant is urged to select the 37-marker test as a minimum, and we strongly urge the 67 or 111-marker one.


Project Goals


  1. To separate the various groups with surnames phonetically similar to Byrne(s).
  2. To connect each member to his appropriate group, such as the O'Byrne clan of Leinster, the O'Beirne sept of Roscommon, the Burns sept of Argyll, or any other group or family.
  3. To determine the origins of other as yet unknown groups whose names are phonetically similar to Byrne(s).


Useful Links

FTDNA website:

World Families Network Forums
Byrne Family Forum
Pedigree Forum
World Families Network General Discussion

Click here to order a DNA test now

For basic information, visit World Families Network and check out the "Getting Started" block


Group admins

Project Administrators