Historical fact does not always align with historical context. We may see something official and just assume that the fact tells us the story and, in some cases, rush to give that fact meaning without the context that surrounded the historical incident. This is problematic, as fact does not always give us meaning.
When we explore history, it should be with the eye of an eagle to make connections in order to understand the situations surrounding the behaviors and actions of those who left their imprint in the archives of time. Not every fact one finds in a census or a few historical documents is the whole story. There are almost always shades of gray within a historic or historical story line, legend or fact, and there are always new pieces of a historical puzzle to find. Often, hasty generalizations are made that, while fact based, only muddy the waters even further.
I believe it is my responsibility to gather as much information, with as much integrity as possible, to eventually present the best truth, and the most accurate representation of the facts as they relate to the context of the historical times. Documenting stories including folklore and legend can be contradictory, and many, while widely believed, do not hold up to historical record.
Within every story, there is some truth, no truth, or all truth. It is not my place to judge historical accounting. It is my job as a researcher to find evidence, or lack thereof, that either supports those accounts or refutes them. And to eventually present stories and information in a manner that is respectful of all parties.
I love cemeteries, I am a Taphophile,1 and as such, my focus is primarily on those cemeteries that are historical or historic, as these are the places where many tales of folklore and legend are born.
1Someone who loves to visit cemeteries.