About the DNA Project

Welcome to the blog for the Ryan DNA Project. This will serve to provide regular updates on the status of the DNA Project and as a repository for stories, and general genealogical information that will advance the study of the Ryan surname. Everyone is invited to contribute and if you have a particular story that you would like to see published, please submit it to the Admin.

The Ryan DNA Project is hosted on the WorldFamilies.net (WFN) website run by Terry Barton and his team. This allows for automatic grouping of new project members as they join (it happens overnight)  and reduces the workload for the Admin (i.e. no / little need for grouping manually). Another major advantage of the WFN format is that the display of the Y-DNA results is coloured, allowing for easy recognition of genetic signatures that are specific to the various genetic groups within the project.

The unique genetic signatures of Ryan Lineages II, III, IV & V
(indicated by the coloured columns) 

The goals of the project are to identify and distinguish the various genetic groups associated with the Ryan surname (as revealed by Y-DNA) and to assist those interested in finding their genealogical relationships with other members.

By using DNA to identify people who are close genetic cousins to each other, these people can then collaborate, share genealogical information, and thus help each other to break down the Brick Walls in their own particular family tree research. When sufficient members join, it will hopefully be possible to determine the origins of the various Ryan groups, as well as their evolution over time. It will even be possible to build a "Mutation History Tree" based on DNA mutations which will give a crude estimate of when the different branches of the larger "Ryan Family Tree" branched away from each other.

The DNA project has been running since 2005 and has accumulated over 250 members over the course   of the intervening years. Lewis (Lou) Hart ran the project for many years. Maurice Gleeson and Martha Bowes took over as Administrators early in 2018.

Project recruitment 2005-2018

The project is open to anyone with a suspected Ryan ancestor, especially anyone whose surname is Ryan or one of its many possible variants, including any of the following names … Mulrain, Mulrane, Mulrean, Mulrenan, Mulrenin, Mulrennan, Mulrennin, Mulrine, Mulryan, O'Mulrenan, O'Mulrenin, O'Mulrennan, O'Mulrennin, O'Ryan, Rian, Rians, Riehn, Riehne, Rien, Ryan, Ryen, Ryon, Ryons, etc

All three major types of DNA are accepted by the project, whether it is Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA, or autosomal DNA (e.g. Family Finder). However, the primary focus of the project is the Ryan surname and its inheritance along the direct male line (your father’s father’s father’s line). Hence Y-DNA is of particular importance. A Y-DNA-37 test is the minimum recommended for reliable allocation to a particular genetic family and all members are encouraged to purchase (or upgrade to) at least this 37-marker test.

Click on the following links to find instructions on how to Join the Project or Upgrade your Test.

And be sure to join the Ryan Genealogy Forum on Facebook - this is a very useful way for seeking information and getting help with your Ryan research.

Any questions?

If you have specific questions about the Ryan DNA Project, please post them below in the Comments section, or in the Ryan Genealogy Forum Facebook group, or simply email us. We will answer all questions either individually or devote a separate blog post to each one (so that everyone can benefit from the answer).

Maurice Gleeson
January 2018


  1. I do not know how to access the information behind the code that Gedmatch sent me. I need a step by step help. Please help.

    1. Try this ... https://familyhistorydaily.com/free-genealogy-resources/gedmatch-offers-completely-free-dna-reports-and-cousin-matches-well-show-you-how/

  2. I am not a Ryan male. I have a G3 grandmother named Margaret Ryan who married Joseph Fogarty (B. Kilkenny, Ireland, but lived in Tipperary later) approximately 1815-1820. She is my most distant maternal line mother. I have done Y, Mt, and At tests. My Gedmatch Kit is only At. Is it possible to upload Mitochondrial DNA to Gedmatch?

    1. Following the demise of mitoSearch following the introduction of GDPR, the best place to upload your mtDNA data is https://www.mitoydna.org


New feature (Group Time Tree) reveals early success of the Ryan Clan of Tipperary

FTDNA recently introduced a new feature that Project Administrators have been asking for for quite some time. It is called the Group Time Tr...