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Beal & Beall DNA Projects



The Beal Surname DNA Project began as a multi-surname DNA project. A system called Soundex was invented to index names included in United States censuses, and in that system, Beal is found at the designation B400. Some surnames indexed under B400 include BALE, BEAL, BEALE, BEALL, BEEL, BEALS, and BELL.


Genealogy has traditionally used oral history and documentation as a means of identifying family members and their ancestors. Researchers have primarily used documents and records to track generations of families by establishing pedigrees and lines of descent. In genealogy research, the surname is frequently a usable tool to trace descent from one generation to another generation. As early as 2850 BC, the Chinese found the use of surnames was practical to identify families and to prevent the intermarriage of close relatives. There were always questions regarding skin, hair color and other physical characteristics and people recognized there must be something in their families that passed these similarities or differences down through successive generations. There were few answers until genetic science was used in genealogy!

There have been questions in each of the project surname's lineages about parallel lines of descent, with same or similar surnames, which could not be connected to a common ancestor. Questions were also asked about the origins of their surnames. Was each surname from the same geographical location, maybe a county or city in England, Scotland, or elsewhere? Were other similar surnames from the same origin? From a common ancestor?

Genealogists have examined other surnames spelled much like their own or that sounded the same in efforts to find ancestors. Names were frequently misspelled because individuals could not read or write, and clerks spelled the surnames and gave the families names as they saw them. Ancestors decided to add letters like a, s, l and e to their names; others simply dropped letters out of their family names; while still others took completely new names when they migrated. Records were lost by fire, war and other disasters. Genealogy can be a very frustrating, challenging and time consuming endeavor. Traditional investigative methods do not always find that elusive ancestor. "Brick Walls" are what the genealogist frequently call the dead ends, where all attempts to find an ancestor failed.

Today, there is a new investigative tool called genetic genealogy. This is the branch of knowledge arising out of the study of genes first identified in 1909 for identification of inherited physical characteristics. Later, it was found that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was contained in chromosomes and acted as a carrier of genetic information. Since 1940, the chemical nature of DNA has become a science revealing more and more of the mysteries that make up the human body. It now has become a science that permits the identification of individuals by the use of DNA.

Mitochondrial DNA has been demonstrated  to be a useful way of tracing maternal relatives. It was successfully used in identifying the daughters and Czarina in the Anastasia case in Russia. It was also used in Argentina in the investigation of murder and kidnapping where children had to be identified.

More recently, the use of the Y-chromosome has been used in family reconstruction, and Y chromosome haplotypes have been used in male descent lines to establish common markers for inclusion or exclusion from a family paternal lines. Haplotypes are a set of markers on the Y chromosome. This is the DNA used to trace surnames in our testing.

If you are interested in being on the cutting edge of this new genealogy tool, proceed to our sign-up page.


The objectives of this Project are:

1. To establish Y chromosome Ancestral Haplotypes for each of the surnames included in this project.

2. To set up charts of the Y Chromosome DNA, including each DNA sample that has been submitted by the participants.

3. To establish if there are common ancestors for each of the surnames.

4. To determine the commonality, if any, between the participating surnames.

5. To determine any commonality in the origins of the surnames, using the first ancestral place of origin from each pedigree for each sample.

6. To provide a genetic signature (Ancestral Haplotype) for as many early immigrant colonial ancestors, as possible.

7. To place participants Y-DNA test results in the web pages for this project and a thumbnail migration pattern for each under their name or a coded designation.

8. To merge traditional and genetic genealogies, and to show DNA changes in lineages.


A living person's privacy will be protected during the course of the project. Each participant will be assigned a privacy code, which is used to identify your results in our charts. The DNA sample collection is done painlessly, by swabbing the inside of the cheeks of your mouth, in the privacy of your own home. Kits and instructions will be furnished to each participant for that purpose.

Our web pages are the focal point for the project, and email is our primary means of contact.We cannot enter into postal correspondence concerning this project, as the postal costs would be prohibitive. We are volunteers, and receive no remuneration of any type for coordinating this project.

Each participant will also receive their individual results from the testing agency. None of the participants' names will be posted without their permission.


We have several participants who have more than 12 generations of documented male surname ancestry in our study. We encourage people with documented ancestry to share that ancestry with other participants in our DNA study. Individuals with little or no recorded ancestry may participate in hopes of making a match to an existing haplotype (genetic signature) already part of the project or known data bases. This has been done in several cases in the project.


Any male (Beal, Beall) is encouraged to join our surname project. Females may participate in our studies by using a living, male, close relative as surrogate for the testing. Females may also participate in a mtDNA test.

Questions or comments about this page should be addressed to the webmaster.

Updated: 8 October 2013