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23 August 2013

Two With the Same Name?

Just because two individuals have the same name does not mean that they are the same person. They could be first cousins, uncle and nephew, or just un-related. In any of these cases, they are not the same individual. Don't use name alone to "match."


  1. If one examines the sometimes accepted "genealogy" of Col. Andrew Hampton of Revolutionary War fame, this seems to be the situation. There were apparently two men with the same name in the same time period in the same state. How does one prove or disprove the ancestry and descendants of Andrew Hampton?

  2. I'm struggling with a J Henry, James Henry & James H - all born in the same state, in the same county, within a 2 year period and all DOBs were "abt" ... causes a little more gray hair to go with the rest! Even the family names are similar. I have currently printed out everything I can find and tomorrow when I am fresh, I am going to try to figure it out ... wish me luck. I'll keep checking back for any hints.

    1. :D Good luck, hope it worked out! Family names are causing me grief, so know how you were feeling!

  3. I had 2 Robert Grahams living in the same county/state in 1840, both men were born about 1816-1818. They have been confused by lots of researchers for years and had become completely entwined everywhere I looked. I finally had to just start from scratch and research both men until I was able to put them in separate families. While I finally separated the 2, I am still struggling with the parents of each, but it is becoming clearer as I continue to research both men's lives completely.

  4. Very early in my genealogy research, I ran into exactly this problem...I was looking for my great-grandfather and found 2 men with the same name - AND their wives had the same name, 7 of their 9 children had the same names, they were 2 years apart in age, immigrated within a couple of years of eath other and lived in the same neighborhood. I just wanted to quit right then and there! Fortunately, by working forward, backward and around in circles I was finally able to separate the 2 men and figure out which one was mine.

  5. Few people realize that there were two Abraham Lincolns living in central Illinois at the same time prior to the Civil War.

  6. Considering that in old days families rarely moved more than a few miles from each other, had 10+ kids, and all kids had to name THEIR children after parents/grandparents, etc, it's quite "normal" to have several people of the same name, same approx age, and living in the same town.
    And in some cases church records only mentioned the male parent of the child, so they couldn't be sorted that way!
    Genealogy is a puzzle, but too many people have yet to recognize it!

  7. Researching in northwest Germany and Northeast Netherlands, I have many cases where a child dies and the next child born of the same sex is given the same name. The most I have found is 4 males with the same name. The first 3 died. The 4th survived past the mother's child-bearing years.

  8. I have an Isaac Hanks who also had a cousin Isaac Hanks. I had to research the other Isaac Hanks to prove he was not my Isaac Hanks who is my ancestor.