Where things get confusing is when there are cousins with the same name. My grandmother had a brother named Nachum FAINSTEIN, as well as a first cousin of the same name. They had different middle names, however, so that helps sort things out.
The most tangled records I’ve found in my family are for Abram HAYKEL (or KHAYKEL) from Pumpenai / Puselatos, Lithuania. There is one who is the son of Iokhel and one who is the son of Nosel. I think that the latter is a brother of my great-great-great-grandfather, Tevel HAYKEL (who later used the surname KHONKEL to make things more confusing). But it looks like the Abram who is Iokhel’s son also had a brother named Nosel.
And then there is another KHAIKEL family (within the limits of similar orthography) who lived in Skaudville, who also had at least one Abram. But they show up on lists of wealthy tax-payers, so I am pretty sure they aren’t among my relatives.
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