Genealogists enjoy solving good mysteries
By Tamie Dehler
Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE — Nearly everybody likes a good mystery. Solving mysteries is part of the appeal of genealogy. But when the mystery is too much for us, it becomes a formidable brick wall. Writer Emily Anne Croom has written a book that applies the language and methods of our favorite literary detectives to solving the mysteries of our family heritage. Her work is entitled The Sleuth Book for Genealogists: Strategies for More Successful Family History Research.
Croom uses the creative approach of applying the quotations and problem-solving techniques of our favorite fictional detectives-such as Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and Miss Marple-to uncover the facts in our own family histories. Interwoven with the advice of the sleuths are practical approaches to goal-setting, research, organization, and documentation, with interesting tips and reminders along the way. The book also includes several real-life case studies in which she takes us step-by-step through an analysis of brick walls that eventually came tumbling down. These research examples include finding the parents of a Civil War veteran, finding slave ancestors, and finding the elusive line of a female ancestor.
The author devotes a chapter to what she calls “cluster genealogy.” This is the study of the community that surrounds the individual who is the focus of research. When nothing more about the individual can be ascertained, then it is time to investigate others who appear to be family members, neighbors, or friends. She writes: “When we cannot find direct statements of the events, names, dates, places, and relationships we need for our focus ancestor, we search for clues and evidence wherever we can find them to get the answers indirectly. The cluster is often the path toward these clues. Some clusters provide more help than others, and some are easier to identify than others. However, one thing is certain. A researcher has a much greater chance of success when studying the cluster than when clinging to one name as the sole subject of the research.”
By using the advice of the sleuths to tackle your brick walls, it is hoped that you can someday say “case closed.”
The Sleuth Book for Genealogists: Strategies for More Successful Family History Research is published by the Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. at 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953, and sells for $34.95 plus $5 for shipping for the first book and $2.50 each for additional books. It can be ordered at www.genealogical.com or by calling the toll-free order line at 1-800-2....
Other books by the same author include Unpuzzling Your Past, The Unpuzzling Your Past Workbook, The Genealogist’s Companion & Sourcebook, and A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your African-American Ancestors.
n I am a descendant of the Eppert family, and I am curious if anyone has information on the family cemetery, located in Clay County, Indiana. I am assuming that it was on the homestead property. There is at least one record that says in the 1910s it was called the Jacob(s) and Eppert Cemetery. If anyone has some information please contact Mike Whitman at e-mail email@example.com.
n Looking for location of Fork of the Creek Cemetery in Florida Township, Parke County, Indiana. Any help appreciated thanks firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please e-mail your queries about a Wabash Valley person or surname to email@example.com or mail to Genealogy, Tribune-Star Publishing Co., P.O. Box 149, Terre Haute, IN 47808.