When the Name is the Same

If you are searching for an ancestor with a common name, it is not uncommon to have difficulty figuring out exactly which one in a group belongs to you. There are a few ways to help.

1-Add some details. Even if you don't know your ancestor's exact birthdate, a general year range can narrow the field substantially. Location can also help.

2-Look for unique names. If your ancestor married a woman with a distinctive last name or had a knack for naming his children off-the-wall names, add these names to your search. They will often lead you to your ancestor.

3-If your problem lies with a family with a propensity for naming all the children similar names, you may have to delve a little deeper to connect known relatives. I ran into this problem with my maternal line and for over a year had the wrong parents for my great-great-grandfather. It wasn't until I recently learned the name of one of his brothers that I realized I had him in the wrong family and was finally able to locate his true family. (The family I had him linked to originally were actually his cousins.)

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