The H600 Project: A Surname Study utilizes DNA analysis along with traditional genealogical records to link family lines through the centuries and locations. The Project is open to all family members with a covered surname, and all variations and derivatives in all locations. We also do some one-name study work for these surnames.
The Hore, Hoar, and Hoare surnames covered here are the most common still used in England and around the world today. It is believed they have common roots (that is, are variations) but we may find they are distinct. The surname Hore appears to originate during the middle ages in Southwest England. Early roots to/from Ireland exist as do branches in Wales. The wider Southern to Middle England soon took root as well. There are some ancient references claiming the name sourced with a Norman invader from Auray, Brittany in France and more specifically a William le Hore who went as Strongbow's flag bearer to Ireland. We will use the DNA work to help verify or disprove these stories of old where possible. We are still investigating the historical use of Hoar and Hoare more fully.
This Surname Study, like most, concentrates on using yDNA STR testing to verify male-lineages with a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) that existed 300 to 900 years ago. Further back than written records can reliably prove. We are expanding to support Autosomal DNA testing to help find matching of nearer term family branches (100-200 years) and possibly build some ability for 200 to 400 year out extreme matching. Autosomal DNA helps in that any person can test, not just the patrilineal (male line) direct descent. See our page on Genetic Genealogy for a further explanation of these DNA techniques.
Surname Studies arise as a way to link patrilineal family lines through hundreds of years. Mainly by looking for and collecting all uses of the surname and then helping others to link them into family branches. Just the collection of a name use is termed a one-name study. Ancestors with the inherited surname are often the first and easiest to find and link up. Thus providing a thread through time. When the threads of all the other family members are found, a fabric of ones ancestry can be developed. It must be stated that the lineage and web of families is as much, if not more, a contribution of the mother's involved whose birth surname is often lost when creating a new family with a spouse. The goal here is recreating the nuclear families that existed and laying that on-top of any pedigree that can be delineated.
Surname Studies (and genealogy in general) are possible due to historical written records of commoner families being kept in most Western European cultures. Surnames had become common by time record keeping was adopted (likely, the written record growth and surname use are intertwined). Early records created were tax rolls to help determine who and what to tax. The Roman Catholic church decreed that the sacraments be recorded starting in 1508ref needed. Hence the growth of written records and the use of surnames to identify individuals and families in Western Europe. Thus the start of Birth, Marriage and Death (BMD) event recording among the commoners. Historically, only royal families or breading stock had their lines recorded and tracked. It should be noted that many other legal and related governmental documents existed over time also (e.g. to aid in tax assessments or distributing property after death) that contribute greatly to the study capability.
Surnames are Patrilineal in most Western Europeans in that they follow the male line down for many generations. This happens to correspond to the transfer of a near-identical copy of the Y Chromosome in the cell nucleus down this same line and hence the benefit of merging DNA analysis with patrilineal (surname) records research to create the initial family thread through time.
Surnames in this project
Hoare is the most common surname that exists today; predominantly in Southern England and Ireland with a large concentration in Oceania as well. Hore is more rare today 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 more common in North America than England today but almost always derives from the Hore base in England. Once in North America, a change from Hoar to Horr or Hoard was common in the 1700's. More recently, some have changed to existing surnames of Harr as well as Orr, Ore and Oar. The latter three dropping the H that was silent in some British use of the surname; the former to a spelling more like how the name was pronounced in 1800's Massachusetts. A few family lines did a more explicit, drastic name change to a existing surname of Hobart, Howard, or Shorr by adding one or more consonants (like Hoard mentioned earlier). 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 covered here. Hord was often changed to Hoard in North America and thus causing a mixing of variations even more. Other variations we have seen reported are Hoor, Hoore, Hor, and Horre. (de) le Hore is an early base surname before Hore, reported in research, but unknown whether linked at this time. There may be more. See our Surname Frequency page for more information. It is not clear yet which of these are Variants, Deviants or simply purposeful changes.
This particular Surname family seems to hit a sweet spot of factors that make it successful as a project:
- the surnames are more rare and unique in use. Thus making research back for hundreds of years more fruitful.
- the surname has changed often over the past 500-800 years and thus people often hit roadblocks in traditional research when they do not look for the change. And
- the surname seems to have been distinct and isolated to a small area of England (and Ireland) before spreading further out and transforming.
As a result of these factors, we are having an 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) and sometimes very different surnames. And helping many stumped researchers get past roadblocks with traditional records research. So if your DNA is hitting a match in one of our project subgroups, or you think there may have been a name change in your past, then come explore our project further.
The real genealogical results to help any user, whether you have done any DNA testing or not, is in the Family Branches page. Also check out our Forums for postings and discussions of research results. Our DNA Groupings page provides the bridge from the yDNA and other genetic genealogy testing to our Family Branches page. Our Autosomal DNA work is created in Sub-Branches of the Family Branches and DNA Groupings. To get started in DNA Genetic testing, see our Genetic Genealogy page. There is a developing Glossary to help with all the terms and a generalized Site Help pages of general nature. These are the Wiki Structures. Make sure to visit the other aspects of this site such as the Forums, Blogs, Articles, and Galleries.
Discovered History and Pronunciation of the Surname
(citations needed here; needs to become an article or separate page)
During the middle ages, it appears the surname was predominantly Hore in Devon, England and Hoare in other parts of Southwest England and far-eastern Ireland. 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. There is an anecdotal citation and much written on whether leading H's are silent or not (especially on changed North American pronunciations of English words — think Herb as a spice versus a person's given name; or Where versus Who when the opposite consonant is silent in each.)
There are many origins of surnames as explained at the Guild. Some claim the surname is locative and 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 it is a nickname derived from the old English color and name of marker stones. The stones were of a type of granite that would turn whitish with age and found naturally in the Southwest England and Wexford, Ireland areas; especially Devon. The color use is also the origin of terms such as Hoar Frost and Hoar Fog. The English word Hour is a also sourced from this term as it was a marker of time as opposed to distance on the road. The surname presumably derives for people that come from the area where these outcroppings of rock occur; and thus would be a variation on locative also. Another explanation tied 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 (physical appearance) and not location (locative). For many in this group today, they definitely still exhibit this historical claim and wonder if there is a gene variation and test that could explain this.
Why the (re)branding to H600?
We needed an easily identifiable domain name where most/all of the common extensions were available so confusion would not exist. While one of the main surnames could work, it would potentially label us as partial or specific to that surname. Roz had been using the US Census Bureau Soundex code for the three main variations of the original name for years — H600. This happens to cover some variants the name was changed to in North America after immigration as well (except for the special class of H630 — can you determine what variations fit that?) So a simple, easy-to-remember domain name that was available in (almost) all the major TLDs (including .eu and .uk) was decided on. The project (re)branding process has begun. (Still hoping to get the .com TLD someday.)
What we are or are not
- We are a site to publish information that others have discovered or collected to aid others in their research. And to that end, be a one-name study on all things related to the Surname to the extent possible by our members. As a result, we have now registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies (GOONS).
- We are not a site to settle disputes but to highlight newly discovered information that is uncovered or derived by the members. The hope is that we can all come to agreement on the likely, most correct interpretation of known information. And maybe develop and promote strong evidence and proofs to support or dispute earlier work. Our over-riding goal is to make all information (or references thereof) available to everyone as much as possible so everyone can draw their own conclusions.
- We are not a heraldry site. While some of the families are formally cataloged and listed in the college of heraldry, we are not trying to prove or disprove families and their participation there. To the extent that coats of arms or crests are similar and in use among what are seemingly disparate families, we only use that information along with other clues given by DNA and records to develop our best hypothesis on likely relations. DNA is providing a big benefit to helping prove or disprove theories in this regard; possibly better than accepted, documented Heraldry records may show.