As a genealogist, I recognize the importance of going back to databases I’ve previously reviewed. If the database is digital, online, there’s always the possibility that there will be additions made to it, or that transcriptions have been updated and corrected. It’s always possible that a name or place was transcribed incorrectly and thus indexed wrong, and thus not findable, and thus and thus….use your imagination to figure out all the things that can go wrong. Digital databases are not the only ones that can change. Sometimes we notice that the indexed cards in an archive seem to be missing parts of the alphabet or that groups of names are simply not in the index. We look through books of records and find the ones from 1858-1861, but 1862-1863 are just not there.
If we return to those same archives 6 months or a year later, perhaps the missing books or cards will have returned to their proper place. Perhaps they were misfiled or were packed away somewhere or being held at a different archive and were returned to their proper place. Research is full of surprises and hidden places.
Without paging through all of the papers gathered together in one of these “books” you wouldn’t be able to tell if a page is out of order or even missing.
It’s not only revisiting repositories onsite or digitally that often provide new answers to old questions. In 2009 I visited Ukraine for the first time, and started a blog, https://unknowntravels.wordpress.com/ to document the trip and its planning. This week, I received an email from a cousin I had never met, who, in an idle moment of web-surfing, decided to google the name of one of her grandparents, and found me! What an absolute delight.
The takeaway? If you keep at it long enough, even the seemingly unsolvable might be resolved.