Friday, December 30, 2016

Favorite Ancestors: Aaron & Cornelius Prall

Aaron Prall, Edward's father, was my direct ancestor. Unraveling his story took five years of old-style research - phone calls, letter writing and ordering records. [This was pre-computers!] There were three of us checking and cross-checking documents and ideas.

Early research on Aaron's line was scattered and numerous incorrect assumptions were made about his family. Aaron's widow named 4 children in her will, so only James, Benjamin, Elizabeth and Jemima were credited to the family.

Edward and Cornelius Sr. were eventually confirmed as children, as we suspected. Edward, already a successful merchant, wrote his mother's [Mary] will. Cornelius was deeded his share of the estate prior to Aaron's death.

Edward had been assigned a wife and children, partly based on his Bounty Land Warrant file. The heirs were primarily nieces and nephews.

Cornelius was married three times. He died in 1813, but the estate was settled in 1819. So Cornelius became two men, one dying in 1813, the other in 1819. Each was assigned children and spouse or spouses. Cornelius' estate settlement was located and his children identified.

Of the former "two Corneliuses," some of the children were correct and some previously unknown were added to the mix.

All along we suspected Cornelius belonged to Aaron and Mary. One court document sealed the deal, "Cornelius Praalle, son of Aaron."

Five years of work lands Aaron and his son Cornelius on the favorites list

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