Remember that your ancestor might have been known by several different first names. This can be especially confusing when a researcher is “fixed” on one name. My great-grandfather was actually Frederick, but sometimes he was Fred and sometimes he was Fritz (the latter more in his younger years).
Another ancestor was John Michael Trautvetter. He went by one of several different names:
- Jahn (a German version of his first name)
- J. M.
Some nicknames are not quite as obvious. Sally was a common nickname for Sarah. If you can’t find your ancestor, learn nicknames that were derived from the original name. The ancestor might simply be hiding under a nickname.