Some localities and cultures used traditional patterns in naming their children. Often two or more individuals with the same name resided in the same area contemporaneously. After searching all traditional record sources it is often difficult or impossible to prove which "John Smith" born in the 1720's in a given locality is the ancestor. But knowing traditional naming customs can assist in determining which individual is the ancestor. Strong naming patterns were found in Scotland, the Netherlands, New England, Virginia and the Chesapeake, or with cultures such as Jewish, Quaker, Puritan, Native American or Scandinavian families. Other areas such as England, Ireland, France and Germany had more subtle, yet distinct naming customs. The focus will be with pre-1750 families. A discussion will be given showing examples of each of the patterns for naming children in these different societies and how they influence andhelp genealogists in linking their ancestors.