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.

We are a proud member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (profile here) and abide by APG Code of Ethics. We are currently working on our certification through the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Applicants for BCG must demonstrate The Genealogical Proof Standard which can be seen here.
If you would like our assistance to answer a burning question you might have, please send an email to Research@HistorysMysteriesLLC.com. In your email, specify your question and provide additional background on what you already know and what steps you have taken (if any) to previously research this question. A phone conversation can then take place to proceed.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Needle in a haystack or a blessing in disguise?

Family histories are an interesting study in and of themselves. They may have been started as a small project of hobby and grown to a massive size. Some get pitched when the compiler passes on. Other family histories get donated to a historical or genealogical society. Often times these compilations lack rhyme or reason as to how they were compiled. Other times the creator follows a tried and true method.
Yet, it seems there is always something lacking. We can spend countless hours combing through these histories only to be left in confusion. Numerous blanks can be found for the obvious reasons of continuing research. The more problematic areas, though, may be no recognition for the creator. When was the work compiled? What resources did the compiler have available for use? What connection does the crafter have to the names searched? Without a name or other particulars of creation, we have little insight into who they are, why the work was created, and how to assess the existing status of the ongoing research at hand.

Sometimes these histories are filled with images of copies, often difficult to read, and the lack of source citation is large. If you are lucky, original photographs may have been included, showing grave markers that no longer can be found. Yet, these attachments may have become loose or missing.

Troublesome as these issues may be, something is better than nothing. Where we are lacking, we try to make up for somewhere else. As genealogists, we search for clues. We will use what little we have to resurrect the missing fragments from anywhere else that may hold that potential clue to solve these mysteries.

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