A critical issue in genealogy is proving genealogical identity. Failure to do so often results in generational linkages and entire pedigrees built on fantasy. Correctly separating different individuals and combining records related to the same individual require careful analysis and consideration of evidence using personal qualities, relations, events, and objects such as places of residence or employment, key dates, occupation, religion, and physical characteristics. This article explores two behavioral identifiers—criminal modus operandi and psychoanalysis. To illustrate the argument that they can serve an important role in establishing identity, it examines the case of John Hatton, a teenaged London thief who was transported to America in 1726. Using a trial transcript and other evidence, the paper argues that criminal modus operandi and psychoanalysis can, where adequate evidence survives, be used to adduce genealogical identity, thus enabling one to combine evidence recorded at different times and across two continents.
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