There are times when we only have an ancestor’s name to work with in the course of our family research; especially if your ancestral history is filled with one name ancestors (e.g. enslaved ancestors).
Understanding your family’s naming conventions – among your different ancestral lines – can give you major clues to work with when it comes to pushing your family’s story back further.
For enslaved African-descended people in America, who were forbidden from reading and writing, the names they chose for their children were laden with their family’s history…and clues you can work with.
Have you ever wondered how a person got their name? How about why there are so many Augustus, Carrie, Janie, and Alphonso in one family? With women in particular, if you only have a first name to go by, her first name can be a vital clue to her family connection.
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