Is There One Thing I Don’t Know?

One reason for tripping over a stumbling block in our research is that there’s a piece of information we don’t have and that we don’t know we don’t have. When a research situation is confusing you, ask yourself:

  • Was there a historical event taking place of which I am not aware?
  • Did these two people have a relationship that I don’t know about and which might not have left a record?
  • Is there a term that I don’t understand?
  • Is there a process (legal, military enlistment, religious, cultural, etc.) that I don’t understand completely or am not aware of?
  • And so on.

The difficulty is that we don’t always know what we don’t know.

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