It is in the nature of human beings to forget their past.
People who take up the task of researching their family orgians have a different task of searching through hundreds and possibly thousands of documents. This task calls for the keenest of minds to distinguish between hearsay, oral communications which has
been handed down over many generations and due to the lack of verifiable documentation must always be viewed as suspect. This doesn’t mean that the oral tradition is false but it needs to be verified before been accepted as fact.
Further documentation of a historical nature is not always found in the same place some historical documents can be found in the original home country from which your family originated in other cases the records of passenger lists of vessels could produce some interesting results. The records in military archives can be of great value I’d any of your ancestors we’re in the military. Prior to telephone directories towns had directories of residents the address and occupation are listed.
The named of fathers we’re often past down to elder sons together with property of the deceased father thus John James Smith born 1791 in main road Hatfield and the John James Smith at the same address in 1856 may not be the same person as John James Smith whose death notice in 1882 for instance this might be a grandfather, father and grandson if the same name.