Tracing Heritage Thru First Names ?

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frattlaw
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Tracing Heritage Thru First Names ?

Postby frattlaw » 21 May 2015, 07:09

So after 10 years of research I have been able to trace my heritage and surname back to 1139 through examination of land grants and church charters. But thats where the trail goes cold.

Prior to 1100 the use of surnames was not as prevalent as in the 13th century and later. Based on the dates of the charters from Amalfi and Ravello I can place the birth of my named ancestor at or around 1080 using 30-40 yrs for each generation.

However, I cannot go back any further. By 1100 the family already owned quite a bit of land. Therefore, I know it didnt just fall into their laps it had to come from prior generations. And in 1140 or so a daughter married into the Comitemaurone family in Amalfi, descendants of a Count Mauro. To marry into such a family - my family had to come from at least a family of somewhat equal social standing.

But now I am left with trying to find prior ancestors using the Italian tradition of naming sons after grandfathers and so forth, for example, Giovanni son of Sergius son of Giovanni.

Are there any tips or advice anyone can give that has any experience with tracing lineage through first names alone ?

Thanks in advance...

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