Where did our Harrison families originate?

Harrison families have ancient roots that go back to England, Scotland, or Ireland in most of the Y-DNA haplogroups identified so far. When the adoption of surnames became popular in the 1300s, many unrelated people became Harrisons as various sons of unrelated men named Henry, Henri, Harry, Harris, and the like became known as Henryson, Harryson, or Harrisson. Eventually by the 1600s most of these came to be spelled "Harrison," although variations still exist. The 1881 UK Census shows the distribution of Harrisons across the British Isles, and most Harrison families were found in northern England. Harrisons were most commonly found in York, Harrogate, Preston, Lincoln, and Derby. The following map shows where Harrisons were most commonly found in the UK in 1881.


Distribution of Harrisons in England, 1881
(Darker colors represent higher concentrations of Harrison families)
Location of Harrisons in England 1881
Distribution of Harrisons in London, 1881
(Darker colors represent higher concentrations of Harrison families)
Location of Harrisons in London 1881

How close a match do I need to be considered "related" to another person?

This is an excellent question.  FamilytreeDNA has analyzed hundreds of thousands of samples and matches, and has determined that two individuals will either be considered "related," "probably related," or "not related," based on how closely the two peoples' results match. This is complicated a little by the fact that some markers mutate faster than others, so a match of 35 out of 37 markers could still indicate a very close relationship if the two markers that are different are fast changing markers.  These charts below adapted from FamilytreeDNA data should help you establish whether you and another Harrison are related based on your test results:

111 Marker Tests:

111/111                       Distance of 0          Very tightly related

109/111 or 110/111     Distance of 1 or 2   Tightly related

106/111 to 108/111     Distance of 3 to 5   Related

104/111 or 105/111     Distance of 6 or 7   Probably related

101/111 to 103/111     Distance of 8 to 10 Only possibly related

100/111 or less            Distance of 10 +     Not related

67 Marker Tests:

67/67                   Distance of 0          Very tightly related

65/67 or 66/67     Distance of 1 or 2   Tightly related

61/67 to 64/67     Distance of 3 to 6   Related

60/67                   Distance of 7          Probably related

58/67 or 59/67     Distance of 8 or 9   Only possibly related

57/67 or less        Distance of 10 +     Not related

37 Marker Tests:

37/37                   Distance of 0          Very tightly related

36/37                   Distance of 1          Tightly related

34/37 to 35/37     Distance of 2 to 3    Related

33/37                   Distance of 4           Probably related

32/37                   Distance of 5          Only possibly related

31/37 or less        Distance of 6 +       Not related

25 Marker Tests:

25/25                  Distance of 0          Related

24/25                  Distance of 1          Related

23/25                  Distance of 2          Probably related

22/25                  Distance of 3          Probably not related

21/25                  Distance of 4          Not closely related

20/25                  Distance of 5          Not related in last 2000 years

19/25                  Distance of 6          Not related in last 5000 years

18/25 or less       Distance of 7+        Totally unrelated



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For more information, contact: John Harrison

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