In families where the same name was used repeatedly, it can be easy to:

  • merge two different people with the same name into being the same person
  • confuse two different people with the same name and assign the wrong record or event to the wrong person
  • overlook yet another relative with the same name–there could always be one more

Correctly sifting out people with the same name can be difficult. Look at records that mention:

  • age
  • middle initials–if they even have them
  • spouse
  • occupational clues
  • specific residence or residential clues
  • relatives

And look at every record you can get your hands on in the area where all these people with the same name lived.



3 Responses

  1. This really applies when researching Mennonite families! Everyone named their sons Abraham, Johann, Jacob, Cornelius etc and their daughters Anna, Helena, Mary, Katharina, Aganetha etc. I have learned alot in researching my late husband’s ancestors for the last forty years!!

    • It certain families, it seems like using certain names was the unwritten law. For my Trautvetters: George, Michael, and Adam. For my Ufkeses: Fred, John, and Henry. For my Rampleys: James.

  2. I know same problem with the names jn my families. I can’t tell whether the name belongs either to the maiden names side of the family or the married named side of the family if they r female or the fathers side or mother’s side if the person is male . Fortunately I have and others who do this genealogy tipoftheday website to help us. U certainly have have helped me many times in finding information I might have over looked otherwise or areas where I didn’t see something the first time around.

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