Friday, August 2, 2013
Belarus-Lida Region and Prokopowicz surname Family Tree DNA projects
One benefit of testing with Family Tree DNA is that it hosts thousands of projects—7,620 at last count, devoted to surnames and geographic areas large and small. Joining a project allows you to view your test results in relation to those of people with whom you may share some factor in common, such as ancestry in the same part of the globe. By putting your results in a bigger context, a DNA project can offer insight into your origins that you might not otherwise discover. Quite simply, it can help you figure out how and where you fit in.
A number of excellent Family Tree DNA projects focus on eastern European ancestry. Some broadly relate to countries of origin. Some concentrate on dynasties, nobility lines, or clans; others, on ethnicities. Some are quite large: the Polish project currently has 3,330 members. All projects are overseen by volunteer administrators. These projects are well worth joining. Through my own mtDNA test results, I joined the Cossack DNA, Lithuanian DNA, Lituania Propria, Polish, RussiaDNA, and Russia-Slavic DNA projects.
And because I have a particular interest in the Lida region and in the Prokopowicz surname, I submitted proposals to FTDNA to create projects focusing on those two themes.
About the Belarus-Lida Region geographic project
Belarus-Lida Region project was that this area has had a complicated history, evident in the ever-changing national borders that have encompassed it; and that its population has similarly comprised several distinct ethnic groups. Belarus-Lida Region is a dual geographic project, meaning that it accommodates both Y-DNA and mtDNA test results. The goals are twofold:
To help members identify a common male ancestor and/or a common female ancestor in the Lida region.
To help identify relationships between family branches that in recent generations may have become separated or estranged due to emigration, war, deportation, resettlement, etc. These upheavals have scattered people with Lida roots throughout the world.
About the Prokopowicz project
My original rationale for the Prokopowicz surname project was that this was a common patronymic surname in my particular region of interest, the lands of the onetime Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth—today's Poland, Lithuania, and Belarus. It is also common in Ukraine, Russia, and other Slavic nations; variant spellings of Prokopowicz appear throughout eastern and central Europe. And emigration, war, deportation, and resettlement have carried it worldwide, far from its families' places of origin.
Because a primary goal of this project is to help determine which families bearing this surname may share a common male ancestor at some point in the past, Y-DNA testing is required for membership.
Both the Belarus-Lida Region and the Prokopowicz projects are small. I welcome and encourage anyone with relevant ancestry to join them.