In 1704, one of my ancestors had a dispute with his landlord. In the subsequent court case, both sides submitted copies of deeds into evidence. The oldest deed was from 1302, more than four centuries old at the time, allowing me to trace the history of that farm back more than seven hundred years. The original is now lost, the copy is all that remains.
When searching for records, it pays off to expand your search, not just geographically but also in terms of the period you are searching. The information you need might be recorded years, or even centuries, later.
- Convent of Groot Burlo versus Jan Oissinck, 1704; Court of Bredevoort, Civil Cases, call number 200; digital images, FHL film 1801055 item 5, Familysearch (https://familysearch.org/search/film/007845211 : accessed 28 August 2016).