Webinar: Same Name, Must be the Same Person (Georgia Genealogical Society)

Title: “Same Name, Must be the Same Person”
Presenter: Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer
Date viewed: December 10, 2020 (1h15m)
Permalink: Available only to members. ConferenceKeeper link for reference.


An unprepared family historian can waste valuable research time tracking a supposed ancestor who isn’t actually in the person’s family; on the other hand, the family historian might not realize that an ancestor used more than one name. This talk discusses points related to personal identity to keep in mind when researching. Learn the kinds of unique identifiers that you can use to recognize ancestors, no matter what name they used, and differentiate them from other same-named people, so you will research your own ancestors, and not someone else’s.

An excellently presented webinar from a seasoned presenter. Went over the pitfalls of researching people with the same names in the same area around the same time period (a problem most people have had before) and what to do to separate them out. Meticulous notes, a good genealogy program, and thinking outside the box is necessary for success.

Good discussion about nicknames, name changes, patronymics, fluctuating spelling and the broad range of family relationships and how those meanings have changed over time. It might be old hat for seasoned researchers, but it was presented in a logical and informative way that was much better than other similar presentations I’ve attended before. I’d definitely recommend checking this presentation/presenter out if possible.

Included a free handout which has a bibliography of 130(!) resources, which I have added to my document collection. A resource of particular note was Christine Rose’s Nicknames: Past and Present, which doesn’t seem to be available as an ebook. However, new copies are under $10 and used are even cheaper, so I’ll be adding this to my paper library collection shortly.


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