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.