Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Misinterpretaion of Deeds & Probate: Three Generations of Pralls - Pieter's will

Next we have the will of Pieter Prall written in 1742. Pieter clearly names his sons Johannes, Aaron, Peter, Cornelius, Isaac and Abraham. The names of his daughters were another story!  In making his initial bequests, Pieter names Catherine and Ann. Later in the document, daughters Mary, Catherine and Ann are named. The will was seriously challenged where punctuation was concerned. In fact there were no commas between the names of the children.

Had Mary's name been inadvertently omitted from the will when the first bequests were made? Was Catherine really Mary Catherine?

The 1706 Staten Island Census listed girls Mary Prall and Catherine Prall. That suggests an error in transcribing the will. Other sources are shaky at best in identifying spouses or later references to the girls.

To add to the mystery, at least two sources name a daughter Irene, born c1711. It is believed that Irene died in infancy or as a child.

Until conclusive evidence proves otherwise, I have listed the children of Pieter and Maria [Christopher] Prall in the following order, based on known births and naming order in Pieter's will:
Johannes, Mary, Aaron, Pieter, Catherine, Cornelius, Abraham, Anne, Isaac and Irene.

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