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Breland DNA Project

  • 66 members

About us

The Breland DNA Project was started in 2014 by Tom Hughes, son of Gloria Breland Hughes and a descendant of Abraham Breler/Breland, who was born about 1725 and died in the vicinity of Beaufort, South Carolina, about 1805. Most members of the Breland DNA Project are descendants of his. Mark Breland joined the project and became co-administrator in 2017. During Abraham's lifetime, his last name was spelled several different ways in various records pertaining to him. Some of these variations include Brealow, Brailer, Breler, Breeler, Breelo, Belew, Brelar, Brular, and Brelow. (Source: http://www.cwoodcock.com/cgi-bin/igmget.cgi/n=ebfamily?I291) By the end of his life, Abraham and his children spelled their last name as "Breland," and today most of his descendants spell the name as "Breland" or "Breeland." Neither "Breland" nor "Breeland" are common surnames in the United States. The 2010 U.S. Census included 5,510 people named "Breland" and 741 named "Breeland." In terms of surname frequency, "Breland" was ranked No. 6,209 and "Breeland" was No. 31,285. (Source: File B at: https://www.census.gov/topics/population/genealogy/data/2010_surnames.html) This project also seeks to recruit both Canadians and Norwegians with the Breland or Breeland surnames, to find out if there is any genealogically relevant connection between either of these two groups and current members of the project. I have not been able to find an official source for the number of Brelands in Canada, but the Find A Grave website lists 60 people named Breland in Canada. Some of these have first and middle names that suggest French Canadian ancestry, while others have first and middle names that suggest Anglo-American ancestry. According to Statistics Norway, there were 82 people named Breland living in Norway in 2015. (Source: https://www.ssb.no/en/befolkning/statistikker/navn/aar/2017-01-24) In addition, the Find A Grave website shows there are 23 Brelands buried in a church cemetery in Åseral municipality, which is about 65 km north of the south coast town of Mandal. North of the church, there is a community called Breland on the shore of a lake called Brelandsvatnet. There is a separate village called Breland in the Marnardal municipality, where there is a small railway stop called Breland Station. The train station is near a small lake called Brelandsvann. The distance between these two Norwegian Breland communities is 83 km, or a drive of about an hour and a half.