I have been researching my family for quite a period of time. Some of the information has come easily to me, and other ancestors seem to be quite stealthy and hidden from me. I am sure you have probably experienced these same things while conducting your own research. Many records exist when searching for items of interest that occurred after 1900, but before that can come with varied challenges. I will try to document some of my challenges and experiences to see if it jars a memory of mine, or it could potentially help you to learn from my struggles and sometimes solutions.
When I first began documenting my family tree, I started with my mother and father. That seems a good place to start, you know who they are in most cases, also still living in my case. As luck would have it they both grew up in a small village in central Nebraska around the 1940s and 1950s. All of my research there was very focused, easy to find, and it was easy to be sure I had the right people. The town of Rockville, Nebraska was your bustling metropolis of less than 300. Seems they had much more livestock than human stock. Of course my research then began to experience the fun and the confusing.
First, I had always been told I was German, Dutch, and Danish. Well, ok then. With this immediate set of parents, they both had almost Danish names. I say almost because Nielson is not exactly the correct name to follow. Seems an aspiring male ancestor of mine wanted to marry a beautiful maiden. It also seems she wanted to marry him too! Everything sounds good so far, and then comes the "GLITCH".
I have no way to validate anything that follows, other than to, "tell it like I heard it" and subsequently validated in records. You see, the name "NIELSON" was originally spelled NIELSEN and is of Danish origin. The story goes that the beautiful maiden's father felt the name was a bit below his standard and that ".....SEN" was not a proper way to end a last name. There were some other; more colorful, words used to describe the spelling of my paternal line, that would not be appropriate for this venue. Leave it said though, if Chris Nielsen wanted to marry Anna Evelina Isaacson he would have to resolve this naming issue quickly. Apparently, all he had to do was change the "E" to an "O", and then it became an exceptional name! Hurrah!