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As you may have already noticed, it’s not uncommon for duplicate names to show up when searching for ancestors. Many people have discovered that your distant cousin Margaret was really the same person as Uncle Charlie’s wife Margaret after the fact. Cleaning up records can be a long, strenuous task but more importantly, accuracy should be the final goal.

Our record-keeping is no different. Given the vast numbers of John Smith’s or James Brown’s, it’s easy to lose track of where you are and with which generation you’re dealing. Duplicates can also be fathers and sons without the suffix so that’s why it’s also important to keep track of dates if possible. Don’t forget that it was also common for women to revert back to their maiden name before being remarried a second time. Also, in extremely rare cases where it benefited both socially and financially, the male actually took his new wife’s last name.

As an example, we can confirm that Valentine Sevier was married twice and this is reflected in our records. His first wife was Nancy Dinwiddle and the second being Vinerah Cannon. The marriages will always be shown in chronological order. Organizing the records this way assures us of no unnecessary duplicate listings for all three parties involved.

If you are aware of or can help us clean up duplicate listings in our Genealogical Name Index, don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll take the steps for making the necessary corrections.


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