Voldemort had a number of clues to work with, notably an attack that was recorded by the Ministry of Magic and which resulted in a charge being filed. Assuming wizarding justice is anything like muggle justice, both the name of the accused (Marvolo) and his victim (Tom Riddle) would be a matter of public record.
‘Oh, she survived,’ said Dumbledore, reseating himself behind his desk and indicating that Harry should sit down too. ‘Ogden Apparated back to the Ministry and returned with reinforcements within fifteen minutes. Morfin and his father attempted to fight, but both were overpowered, removed from the cottage and subsequently convicted by the Wizengamot. Morfin, who already had a record of Muggle attacks, was sentenced to three years in Azkaban. Marvolo, who had injured several Ministry employees in addition to Ogden, received six months.’
‘Marvolo?’ Harry repeated wonderingly.
‘That’s right,’ said Dumbledore, smiling in approval. ‘I am glad to see you’re keeping up.’
‘That old man was –?’
‘Voldemort’s grandfather, yes,’ said Dumbledore. ‘Marvolo, his son Morfin and his daughter Merope were the last of the Gaunts, a very ancient wizarding family noted for a vein of instability and violence that flourished through the generations due to their habit of marrying their own cousins. Lack of sense coupled with a great liking for grandeur meant that the family gold was squandered several generations before Marvolo was born. He, as you saw, was left in squalor and poverty, with a very nasty temper, a fantastic amount of arrogance and pride, and a couple of family heirlooms that he treasured just as much as his son, and rather more than his daughter.’
‘So Merope,’ said Harry, leaning forwards in his chair and staring at Dumbledore, ‘so Merope was … sir, does that mean she was … Voldemort’s mother?’
‘It does,’ said Dumbledore. ‘And it so happens that we also had a glimpse of Voldemort’s father. I wonder whether you noticed?’
‘The Muggle Morfin attacked? The man on the horse?’
‘Very good indeed,’ said Dumbledore, beaming. ‘Yes, that was Tom Riddle Senior, the handsome Muggle who used to go riding past the Gaunt cottage and for whom Merope Gaunt cherished a secret, burning passion.’