I recently had a huge breakthrough with my Kisner line from Pfeifer, Russia. Part of my problem was just not being able to see the whole "picture". One night I couldn't sleep; I had the nagging feeling that I was on the verge of putting the pieces together. In a scene reminiscent of the show Numbers, I flipped over my giant National Geographic map and grabbed a Sharpie. I began writing everything that I knew about my family names and started connecting the people with lines and relationships. Then the magic happened! I was able to see which line was mine and make the needed connections. Part of my problem was the names, so redundant... I have since found this article, thanks to the Edmonton Chapter. Maybe it will help you in figuring it all out.
It was a common practice in some German families to name the
-1st son after the child's paternal grandfather
-2nd son after the maternal grandfather
-3rd son after the father
-4th son after the father's father's father
-5th son after the mother's father's father
-6th son after the father's mother's father
-7th son after the mother's mother's father
-1st daughter after the maternal grandmother
-2nd daughter after the paternal grandmother
-3rd daughter after the mother
-4th daughter after the father's father's mother
-5th daughter after the mother's father's mother
-6th daughter after the father's mother's mother
-7th daughter after the mother's mother's mother
In the OLD GERMAN...
The first name of each daughter was usually the first name of the mother. The first name of the son was usually the first name of the father. Often the middle name of each child was the name of the baby's baptismal sponsor, and they were usually called by his/her middle name; or in some cases, a totally different nickname, because there were too many people with the same first and last name. (I've found evidence of this in even more recent generations of some of my lines.)
Hope this will help you!