One thing I learned researching my family tree is names carry on from generation to generation. Knowing these family names helps make connections.
For example: My Great Grandfather is Aaron Edward Spence (B: 1906). His brother was Enoch Spence (B: 1894). Their father was Aaron Edward Spence (B: 1853). His father was Enoch Spence (B: 1807, D: 1880-1900).
I found this on Ireland naming patterns. My family is far from Irish, but some of these patterns seem to ring true with African-American ancestry.
I was able to make these connections by names alone. But to prove it, I ordered marriage and death certificates. But it proved, at least in my family, the names of your ancestors can help you make family connections.