The reason many Americans can't fill in their family trees is because their ancestors were Jewish. You'll notice Americans did funny things with their surnames, creating difficulties for descendants to trace them back to the old country. There was a lot of Anglicizing of names, both first and last. You will be surprised when you start listening and seeing the names through a better wisdom. The early Jewish Immigrants hid who they were because the Inquisitional stories were still quite fresh and they wanted to begin new lives partaking of the same opportunities available to other Colonists.
Suellen Ocean is the author of "Secret Genealogy" available at Amazon.