In my time doing my family tree, I have had a number of documents that I have transcribed. Amongst them were copies of two letters written by my mum’s cousin to my cousin some years ago. I had taken care and tried to transcribe them just as they were.
Recently my mum was wondering about her cousins, who she had not had a lot of contact with, and whether they had any children.
I looked again at my transcription to see if there were any clues, and not only were there clues, my mum’s cousin had named her children and also those of her brother. I had typed a question mark next to the name of her brother’s wife. Wondering why I had done that, I revisited my copy of the original letter.
I had put a question mark because I couldn’t quite make out the name. Then I noticed that there were some numbers in brackets next to each of the children’s names that were not on the transcription at all. What were they? Only the ages of the children at the time the letter was written! When I did the transcription I had completely overlooked these numbers; I was looking for specific information, and was so focused on looking for anything about earlier generations that I skipped straight past those numbers.
That’s why it is a good idea to go back once in a while and revisit the information and documents we have gathered. Seen from a fresh perspective, we may pick up on details that did not seem significant at the time.