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05 August 2010

They Might Have Used That Name Twice

In some locations in some time periods, it was not unusual for couples to reuse names of deceased children. While today the practice would be frowned upon, many of my low-German ancestors had several children with the exact same name, the first ones all dying at a young age. And it wasn't just this ethnic group that engaged in this practice.

So consider that those church records indicating three children born with the same name could be correct and look for a death entry for the first ones.

Don't just assume they were different children who had the same christening name and took different names later.

All of which makes the point that it is important to learn about cultural practices for your ancestor's ethnic group.