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I've once heard that naming a child after a person is a zchus for that person's neshoma. I cannot find a mention of this. I'm not asking about the influence the name has on the child, or cultural reasons to name after a ancestor. I'm trying to find a source that it is a benefit for the ancestor. Thanks

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    I would think it's only a zechus if that child goes in the ways of the Torah . – sam Jan 14 at 16:39
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Rav Chaim Kanievsky says in his sefer "Shemos Baaretz":

יש אומרים שיש לנפטר נחת רוח כשקוראין על שמו וכתבתי י"א כי באחרונים ראיתי שיש שכתבו כן ויש אומרים שזה טוב לתינוק עיין יומא ל"ח ב חזי מאי סליק ביה שנקרא בשם של רשע ובשם מרן החזו"א אמרו כי כאשר קורין שם ע"ש הנפטר הוא טובה לנפטר וכשקורין שם מפרשת השבוע הוא טובה לתינוק

There are those that say that the deceased receives "Nachas Ruach" when a child is named after them. I wrote: "there are those that say" because [only] in the the later generations was this written. And there are those that say that it is good for the child. ... And in the name of the Chazon Ish, they say that when one names after the deceased it is good for the deceased. When one names after the Parshas Hashavua, it is good for the child.

There, in a footnote, it points out:

והנה באמת בימים קדמונים היה סבור מו"ר שליט"א שאין בקריאת שם ע"ש הנפטר טובה לנפטר והוא רק למזכרת אבל עתה סבור מו"ר שיש לנפטר נחת רוח והוסיף לי ע"ז עיין מועד קטן כה ב וראה להלן

In truth, at an earlier time Rav Chaim Kanievsky held that there was no benefit to the decesased by naming after them, rather it was only in their memory. However, now he understands that there is a "Nachas Ruach" for the deceased.

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This is a source, though admittedly not an old one.

The reason for this seems to be that it is a merit for a deceased person to have a descendant (or other relative) named after him or her.

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