As many on this group know, there is a large number of similar sounding surnames with a core P-L-N phonological pattern (e.g. Palen / Pelan / Palén / Palon / Pelling / Palin / Paling). Some of these originate from the province of Ulster in Ireland, from Brittany in France or from England. Many examples can be found in Scandinavia or Eastern Europe and in the New World.
Over the centuries, due to language, lack of widespread conventions and poor literacy for example, the spellings of these surnames has changed and mutated. This can also arise as a result of migrating into an area with a similar surname. Thus Pelan can change to Palen, for example, if the latter name is already well established.
This can make life very difficult for a genealogist, particularly where a documented lineage is hard to come by (e.g. Ireland). Can you be sure that James Palon is really your James Palen ?
As a result of the confusion, I am conducting a genetic genealogy study which seeks to demonstrate *scientifically*, the inter-relatedness of people with this class of surnames (if any). In other words, a study which will establish the distinct lineages irrespective of the surname spelling.
Any male bearing one of these surnames is invited to volunteer to take part although the cost of testing (at least US $99) needs to be covered. I am prepared to subsidise the tests of one or two individuals with defined lineages back to Co. Antrim in Ireland.
I have a few volunteers already (thank-you!) but many more are needed if a complete picture is to be established.
Please note that the DNA test is self-administered, by a painless mouth-swab. No one comes to your home and you can do this pseudo-anonymously if desired. The recommended testing labs are FTDNA operating in conjunction with the University of Arizona.
Please contact me by e-mail if you are interested - dna 'at' pelan.org .