Christopher Bache mentioned the work of David Cliness of Youngstown State University in his book "LifeCycles." It is fascinating research that may not have been published, I haven't found anything online except this mention in Bache's book:
"Cliness’ understanding of the dynamics of reincarnation is that our present life represents a composite of issues, abilities, foibles, and tasks drawn from not one but numerous former lives, assuming that we are dealing with someone who has had a few. He likens the process to playing cards. The deck includes 52 cards from which we are dealt a considerably smaller hand. The cards we are dealt are those lives that the Oversoul is now moving forward for work. Their issues are collected and organized into a new hand, and we are that hand. We are born into existence not free but deeply programmed from lives that, in one sense, we never knew.
...Each lifecycle is a reshuffling of the deck, bringing to the surface issues (and relationships) from different centuries and different lifetimes.
I love how Cliness brings the enormity of our experience and all our past lives that got us to where we are now to a finite graspable concept - a few cards representing our history, held in our hands.