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Prall Family Association

DNA Project - Prall, Praal, Praul, etc.
   Latest updates as of February 2007 are at the bottom of the page, after the links...

   Rewritten February 2007 -by webmaster Dan Prall-- The Association is participating in a Surname Project at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). Board member Berniece Cowan ordered a 12 marker test for her last surviving Prall cousin, Douglas Earl Prall. In December 2005 when this site was started, I [Josef Daniel Prall] was tested and found to be a 12-point match. This page was started in early April 2006, when the Surname Project was initiated, to give information for anyone who either is a male Prall [or varied spellings], or who has a relative who is. Anyone who joins our project when ordering a test kit will get it at a reduced Group rate; currently $99 {+$2 domestic/$4 foreign S&H] versus $149+ for the 12 marker test, which can be upgraded later if desired to a level of 37 or 67 markers, also at the group rate. Samples will be stored for 25 years so resampling is not needed when upgrading. The Association makes no profit from this except for the value of the results.

   As this is written we have five PFA members who have completed Y-DNA testing. One is Michiel Praal, living in the Netherlands. He tested to be unrelated, but there are many reasons possible for that. The one I find most interesting is that sometime within a few generations before Arendt Jansen Praal left for Nieuw Amsterdam, a Praal had one natural son and adopted another. Maybe the adopted son was orphaned by the wars against the Spanish? In any event, without further information through written records, there's no way to tell which was the "real" Praal; Arendt [or one of his forebears], or Michael's ancestor; assuming they're related at all or just coincidently and independently took the surname Praal.

   Suppose your grandparents adopted an orphan? Do you consider him any less your uncle? Same thing, if those grandparents adopted your father. I say Michael Praal is my cousin.

   The National Geographic Society (NGS) has started a five year Genographic Project worldwide. For more information see the link below. The tests for that project are being done by FTDNA, and there are ways to share the same data between the two. One difference between the projects is that unless an upgrade is ordered from FTDNA before the end of the NGS project, NGS samples will be discarded.

   Speaking for myself, I recommend ordering the kit from FTDNA. After you get your results, you can transfer data to the NGS project for $15 and your samples will be kept for 25 years and an upgrade can be ordered on that sample anytime during that period. Total cost for both projects with 25 year storage is $116. Ordering from NGS is $99.95 + $7.55 S&H plus sales tax and samples are discarded within five years.

   If you order a test at any level be sure to do so through the second link below to get the Group rate.

   Why would you want samples stored for 25 years rather than 5? Suppose new documents are discovered in seven years relating to the Prall family, and you or your heirs want to upgrade? It would cost the full amount of a new test for that level if the NGS sample was destroyed. Suppose you died in six years? Add the cost of digging you up to get a sample.... let's not go too far down that line...

   Below are several links to the FTDNA and NGS websites that should answer most questions. Please contact FTDNA directly for questions relating to testing, and for Prall-related questions, see the Links page and contact officers who know more about research than I do. I do my part by running the site; they do actual research and recordkeeping, or know better contacts. I'm just a computer geek... Following that is info updated as of February 2007.

Home page for Family Tree DNA
The Prall, Praal, Praul, etc. Surname Project.
Understanding 12 Marker test results [pdf]
More on understanding matches
Understanding Genetic Distance
FAQs for the National Geographic Genographic Project. See question 9 for more links.

   As of January 2007, there were five completed Y-DNA tests; one to 67 markers [me]; two to 37 [Douglas/Richard], and two to 12 [Michael, S.R.]. Since mine is largest, I'll use myself as a baseline for comparison. This chart compares all of us.

   Here are two FtDNA-generated charts between me and Douglas/Richard. Note the difference the one-marker mismatch between Richard and me makes, versus Douglas, where the split goes back several more generations [see tree chart below]. FtDNA states that the DYS# markers shown in red are more "volatile" than the others, and so may not be as significant as others.

   In this tree chart, the five of us who have been tested are underlined. Our common links back to Arendt are found in various records, reflecting the many tens of thousands of hours spent by diligent researchers over many years. What, not one adoption or cheatin' wife in all five branches over all those years? Pralls can definitely claim the "family values" trophy, unlike many b*****ds out there! Barefoot in the winter and pregnant in the summer seemed to work for our male pioneering ancestors. [Webmaster solely responsible for the opinions in this paragraph. No offense intended.]

   So DNA testing is valuable for confirming links shown by written records and for demonstrating a need for more research where one or more links is missing. It can also show an absence of recent links, as happens with adoptions outside the immediate male hereditary family, or by wifely infidelity. [Sorry no male chauvinist piggery here; Y-DNA caused by your choice: genetics or a god.] It can't replace diligent research of records, cemeteries, and other traditional methods, but it is another valuable tool.


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