So many names to look for and so many names are the same in the family. I would guess that happed a lot back in the 1800's. It seems like William had a son William, then that William had a son named William, and so on. I guess our ancestors never realized that generations to come would try to find out who was who, where they went, and better yet what did they do with their lives.
Names that were common in the 1800's are all out dated now. Good sturdy names like Ruth, Ruby, Nathaniel, Elijah, well you get the picture. I suppose our children's children will say the same about our generation.
After you find their names, whether it's in the census or city directories, you begin to wonder where did they work, what did they do for recreation, and how did they live. Pieces to a puzzle and you have to put the puzzle together.
When you see their name in the census you see that they have listed their occupation as a farmer, blacksmith, cobbler, or banker. They could have given the dollar amount on their property if they owned property.
I've found it interesting that after finding my ancestors in the census I look for the history of the town where they lived. I've found more information on how they lived their lives.
Now back to the names..........yes I have ancestors that have very common names and they moved around a LOT. Finding them is like finding a needle in the haystack but I keep on trying. One of these days I'm going to have that ahhhaaaaa moment when I'm going to accidently run onto their name.......and it's going to be MY ancestor!
I WILL SHOUT IT OUT THEN!