Sponsored By GenealogyBank

05 August 2011

Odd Names Doesn't Mean Same Person

Use unusual names for clues, but don't conclude that they have to be the same person. I was looking for the parents of a man, lets call him Ebenezer Whatshisname, who was aged 61 in the 1850 census for Michigan and was from New England and old enough to have had children born by 1820. There's another Ebenezer Whathisname whose father was in the Revolutionary War from New York and received a pension. Researchers concluded both Ebenezers were the same person. When you read the pension application of this soldier father, he states that his Ebenezer was born in 1810---towards the end of his group of approximately 12 children all listed chronologically.

Could there be a connection between the two Ebenezers? Certainly. But don't assume an unusual name means you have the EXACT same person--often people pass names in families and first, second, or more distantly related cousins may have the exact same name.


  1. I agree, I was researching a Robert Taylor & discovered that there were two that lived in the same area, their wives names were the same (first & middle) & they also both had a daughter born a month apart with the same name! That one took awhile to figure out!

  2. I thought the same thing after all how many Zenas Williams' could there be in NJ. Hah almost a dozen.