History’s Mysteries LLC is a researching firm setting out to uncover answers to your inquiries about history in Northeast Iowa, central to the Waterloo area in Black Hawk County. Our expertise lies in the research of real estate in Iowa and cemeteries in the Midwest as well as other areas of genealogical and ephemera research.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

History vs. Genealogy


For anyone interested in genealogy or history, I would highly reading Elizabeth Shown Mills’ article, “Bridging the Historic Divide: Family History and ‘Academic’ History.” It is filled with beneficial data about the differences between historians and genealogists, as well as the issues we face together.
We can better these realms for our own use along with improving our image in the public eye. This snipet references Mills’ writing of James Horton…

It is clear that most citizens have an appalling ignorance . . . of the substance of American history. . . .
[…]
Horton is correct. Yet I see the issue through a different prism. The bridge that
needs building between historians and the public needs two-way traffic. Historians have much to gain from interaction with genealogical scholars. Yes, much of the public sector has an “appalling ignorance” of history. Still, outside academe, many historical researchers expertly use a wider range of primary sources than historians typically consult. Many have developed sophisticated techniques for mining and linking historical evidence, techniques not yet common in academia.

Read the article in its entirety here-
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Mills, Elizabeth Shown. “Bridging the Historic Divide: Family History and ‘Academic’ History.” History and Genealogy: Why Not Both? Papers from the Midwestern Roots Conference. Indiana University Department of History. Indiana Magazine of History: Online Resources. http://www.iub.edu/~imaghist/online_content/online_June_2007.html. PDF. Elizabeth Shown Mills, Historic Pathways. http://www.HistoricPathways.com : January 14, 2015.

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