You know you’re a little odd if you get excited looking at tax and probate records. OK, “excited” might be a slight exaggeration, but there’s a real sense of victory when you finally solve that niggling historical puzzle. I know it’s hard to believe, but not everything is on the internet machine. Yet.
Most of the time the research work I do is part of a larger project, such as the extensive research Tom Woods, Blake Hayes and I conducted for Osceola County Historical Society as part of an interpretive plan and historic structures report. But sometimes I’ve been asked to solve one of those niggling puzzles, such as when legendary automotive journalist Brock Yates asked me to find out who attended legendary race driver Bill Vukovich’s funeral. Once I was asked to research the entire history of transportation from the wheel to the space shuttle. Really.
I have experience with research using secondary sources as well as the fun stuff: primary sources such as photographs, artifacts, maps, newspapers and contemporary published records, oral histories (conducting them as well as using existing recordings), letters, tax and probate records, and yes—even the internet machine, which is the best research tool ever invented. And I’m not talking about Wikipedia.
No historical question is too obscure. Contact me, and if I feel I’m not the right person for your project, I’ll try to put you in touch with someone who is.