Today I was in the Tshwane archives, looking up Devantiers.
I ordered file WLD 1184/74, the divorce of Carol Lynne Devantier and Peter Dudley Devantier, and the Box was marked Illiquid Cases 1974 1183/1194, so the second file in the box should have been the one I was looking for.
But instead it turned out to be the divorce of Roland Eric de la Harpe and Wendy Lynne de la Harpe.
Its number was 1284/74, and it had obviously been misfiled in the wrong box.
Well, that happens. People do sometimes put thing is the wrong boxes, and of course if anyone had looked for that file, they would never have found it.
The serendipity is that Roland Eric de la Harpe and Wendy Lynn Boyle happen to be related to us, so we might well have been the ones looking for that file.
So I made notes from it — details of the marriage and divorce dates etc., (some of the information we had was wrong).
Then I wondered what to do with the file. I shouldn’t put it back in the wrong box. If I took it to someone at the counter it would probably require long explanations. Eventually I thought the simplest thing to do would be simply to order the file. When the box came, I just put it back in its right place and handed it back again.