One of the most astounding finds I ever came across happened in a moment of curiosity.Being from out-of-town by several hundred miles from the court house of a particular small town, I had completed pouring over every possible record, including the land records which were kept in the basement.I was on the first step that lead back to the first floor when I noticed there was an opening to another part of the basement.Entering that area I saw tall green metal fixtures with very small drawers and wondered what could possibly be filed in such small drawers.
Opening one of those small drawers I discovered actual receipts from pay-outs for expenses from early pre-1900 to late pre-1900 of heirs who were minors. The receipts were submitted for reimbursement from companies, doctors, guardians, etc. Many of the receipts had to be folded several times in order to fit them into the drawers.
Those receipts contained information that I had not found elsewhere.For instance, in one of the drawers the dental receipts showed the type of dental work done, along with gold fillings.The young person whose file I saw in that one drawer had attended a private school whose name was unfamiliar to me; also, the type of material and lace that was purchased for her dresses was listed on receipts.There was much, much, more personal info regarding this one underage heir.
I was very fortunate to have located so much personal info in those small drawers on two ancestors.It surely pays to be continually curious.