TIP # 27

Have you ever began researching a family only to find you are stuck with 4 men all named John Frederick or 5 women named Mary Elizabeth? Of course you have...I am beginning to think it is normal to find this as I have so many.

I personally have one family lineage that contained 8 original children and of course it is most sensible to run down the male lineages, or maybe just easier.

Anyway... there were 4 males in the family and all four men had children named: Harrison Jackson, Robert, Sarah, Elizabeth, Margaret, Mary and Rebecca. Confusing?? You bet it was. It was even more confusing when into the second generation two brothers married the same woman, so consequently the children of the first marriage appeared to be children of the man of the second marriage.

Assuming you are lucky enough to have military records, bible records or census records to reference or better yet, obituaries..try the following idea for sorting them out. It is not perfect but it seems to work the best when things get REALLY confusing as in the situation above.

Take a pack of 3 x 5 index cards and place the name of the parents at the top. Systematically add the children, using the facts you can find in whatever documentation you can lay your hands on. Pay special attention to when the parents migrated where and this is a good clue as to the rightful parents of many of the same name within the same generation.

Color code these also as to generation, that also help in sorting. As we all know, many of these families carried on names for several generations. In my own lines, the Goss family in particular..there were 13 children of one man, each of those 13 children named a child Ephraim and a child Frederick. Although Ephraim is an unusual name, when you have several in the same generation in the same geographic area, it is almost impossible to sort them out.

Of course the method above only sorts out the children into different families.

In order to deal with a variety of persons with the same name and to determine just which are which or if you are dealing with the same person. Use your 3 x 5 cards again ( I like them, they are inexpensive) place the name of the persons on each card; one to a card. Start placing the details of their lives on each card as you can. The birth place, marriage place, any other facts..military service. Look for any similarities, then determine whether you have enough for this to be one and the same.