Repeated names can be clues to names of earlier family members. Repeated names are not guaranteed to mean that any given ancestor had a particular name, but names used over and over may mean something.

A relative who died in the 1880s had several grandchildren who either had Riley as a first or a middle name. It may be a clue that there is a connection to someone with that name. It may just be a coincidence. If there was a child named Riley in every set of that relative’s children, it would be an even bigger clue.

But it would still just be a clue. It’s not even what we would consider hard evidence.

Don’t just look in your direct line of descent for name clues. Make certain you have branched out.

But remember that repeated names are clues and not facts extending into earlier generations.



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