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
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
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.
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