This YDNA project is open to men who have the surname Hayner, Hainer, Haner or any variant spellings, including Haynor, Hainor, Hanor, Hahner, Hiner, Heiner, Hoehner, Hoener and Heaner. These spellings are believed to have originated in Germany and/or Switzerland. It will be interesting to find out if many of these last names share common roots. Unfortunately, because women do not carry YDNA, they are not eligible to participate, but they can encourage men in their families who carry any of the surnames mentioned above, or similar surnames, to join the project.

As of the beginning of 2013, we have 29 participants in the DNA study.  The purpose of the study is to offer individuals with the surname Haner, Hayner, Hainer and other variations, a means for identifying themselves with others who share the same genetic code, thereby allowing them to further their genealogical research in a more focused and directed fashion.

The book A Haner/Hayner Family in America has played a very important part in allowing us to take the individuals who test today and follow their lineages back as far as possible. Continuing to keep this research up to date is crucial to making sense of the DNA results. The biological science goes hand in hand with the research to help us decipher how different families might be connected.

We have so far found three separate Haplogroups among our tested individuals. Individuals who belong to separate Haplogroups cannot descend from the same Hayner progenitor.  A Haplogroup is a very large branch of the human family tree that can give you an interesting glimpse into the deep ancestry of your paternal line. Haplogroups give you more of an anthropological look way back thousands of years, rather than a look at your descendancy over the last few centuries.   

The family of Johannes Haner is in the E1b1b1 Haplogroup. E1b1b1 is thought to have originated in East Africa about 25,000 years ago. Some famous individuals who belong to this haplogroup include the Wright Brothers, Lyndon Baines Johnson, George Stephanopolous, Pope Paul V, and Albert Einstein as well as the Borghese, Rothschild and Hatfield (of the Hatfiels & McCoys) families.

The table below shows each person who has tested who is confirmed to have descended from the same family as Johannes Haner, the immigrant, who was born in what is now the Storndorf area of Germany about 1675. Those color coded in yellow have confirmed lineage traced back to Johannes and then are used as a baseline for others. The folks in yellow will be found in Volume 1 of the two-book set, A Haner/Hayner Family in America. Each other color represents a formerly unconnected or “supplemental” line. Each of those lines are listed the 2nd volume of the two-book set. Each person is listed with his number in the book, if he was listed in the last book. The number at the intersection of two individuals shows how many markers they differ from each other on the 37 markers tested.  

For example, Clifford Hayner and Keith James Hayner show a number 1 at their intersection.  This means they differ from each other by only one out of 37 markers, or to say it another way, they match on 36 of 37 markers.  The smaller the number, the closer the genealogical match and the closer they are to what we call their Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA), which is the most recent individual from which two individuals descended.  This is not always known and the purpose of the study is to find the MRCA of individuals taking the test. 

Below is the key to the lines as they are represented above with each color’s most distant known ancestor listed.

Looking at Clifford Hayner and Denis Robert Hayner, you can note that they differ from each other by two markers (matching 35 of 37.)  Since they have a known relationship listed below as 5th cousins once removed, this gives us the information that two markers, in this case, out of 37, change or mutated over that number of generations.  

Looking at Harry Hayner and Keith James Hayner, you can note that they differ from each other by one marker (matching 36 of 37.)  Since they have a known relationship listed below as 4th cousins, meaning their “Most Recent Common Ancestor” (MRCA) was their 3rd great grandfather. We can see from these two individuals that 4th cousins typically differ by about one marker. However, in that same family, Keith James Hayner and Richard C. Hayner are fourth cousins once removed, just a bit farther separated than Keith and Harry, yet Keith and Richard match exactly. There has been no mutation of any of the 37 markers between their MRCA and themselves. And lastly in that family, Harry and Richard are even closer, third cousins once removed, yet they differ from each other by one marker.

Note that Edward L. Haynor and Rodney J. Haynor are 2nd cousins and differ from each other by one marker. 

Besides Keith James and Richard C. Hayner, we have no other exact matches. In looking at the individuals who differ by only one marker (highlighted in gray) we can think that they probably are no further removed than 5th cousins. This would tell Keith and Richard to both start looking into the possibility that they are anywhere from 2rd to 5th cousins with Clifford Hayner. That knowledge can tell them where to start looking for the connection between their Hayner ancestors and Clifford’s Hayner ancestors. This would also go for Clifford and Robert Charles Hayner; John Allen Haner and George Scott Hayner; and Bruce Jon Hayner with Keith James and Richard Hayner. 

Those in white do not appear in the book. These individuals have a different last name due to a “non-paternal” event somewhere in their ancestry.  In other words, they carry the Hayner DNA, however, they do not have the Hayner surname either through an adoption, name change, etc.

Below are the known relationships between people on the table above.  These can be studied along with the table above to see the genealogical distance below, as related to the genetic DNA distance above:

Additional Haplogroups

We also have other testees in other Haplogroups. Those in different haplogroups descend from different Hayner families. One of those Haplogroups is the I2 group (some belonging to I2b2 and some to I2b1)  There are five individuals in this group, one Hanor, three Hainers, and one Hahner. The three Hainer individuals have proven to be related, the Hanor and the Hahner are still waiting for other individuals to take the test and find genetic matches.

The last Haplogroup in our study has identified is R1a1 and R1a2. There are eight individuals in these groups with the following spellings:  Haynor, Hayner, Haner, Hainor, Hiner and Hahne. At this time none of them has proven to be related to another. With more individual of common surnames testing, they may find genetic matches.   

There is a lot of information to study and comprehend, however, this study has given us more clear cut paths to follow in our research and has also allowed us to stop wasting research time going down paths that we have now been able to prove as unrelated, making our research more productive and focused.

Getting your DNA tested

You are eligible to be tested for the project if you are a male with the surname Hayner/Haner/Hainer or any other variant spelling and were not adopted. If you are a female in a Hayner line, you can sponsor or persuade a male relative with the Hayner surname to participate, such as a brother, father, uncle, cousin. 

For details, contact Valerie Hayner Auld at

The test you will need for the purposes of this study is the Y-DNA37. You may order the Y-DNA67 or Y-DNA111 if you choose but at this time we use only the first 37 markers which are included in the 67 or 111. Those tests are more expensive. You can discuss the pros and cons with the staff at Family Tree DNA if you wish.

Do you have questions about how the DNA testing works? Go to Family Tree DNA’s Frequently Asked Questions.