Merging or separating identities is a core genealogical problem. Sometimes we find a person of the same name in several different places over time. Other times, we find two easily confounded people in the same place and time. A series of short case studies illustrates the importance of certain identity.
J. H. (“Jay”) Fonkert, CG, is a genealogy researcher, educator, and writer, who focuses on 19th-century Midwest research. He is a co-managing editor of Minnesota Genealogist and president of the Minnesota Genealogical Society. He has lectured at numerous regional and national conferences, lectured for genealogy societies in eleven states, and has published more than 80 research and teaching articles, including three in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. He is a former trustee of the BCG Education Fund and a former director of the Association of Professional Genealogists.