In my opinion, the best genealogical discoveries are often the ones you find when you weren't even looking for them. I have spent years looking for the precise date of death for Levina [sometimes spelled Lovina, Levinia, Lovinia, and Lavina] Troutman Moose, the widow of Levi Lawson Moose. I could not find record of her headstone anywhere, and though North Carolina had death records in the early 1900's, I could not find one for her. I contacted several researchers from the Cabarrus County area back in the RAOGK days, and all of them came up empty in their searches for Levina. I had completely given up hope of finding it until today, when I found it completely by accident.
While researching the Barnhardt family of Cabarrus County, I was looking at the North Carolina Estate Files collection on FamilySearch.org. I was looking for the estate records of Barbary Barnhardt Moose when another name popped out at me: Lovina Moose (1906). I was floored. Suddenly, I had her year of death, and I hadn't even been looking for it! After looking through the estate files, I found out her son, Albert Henderson Moose, had actually sued the administrator of his mother's estate, A. Crowell, all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court over a note on his mother's estate. One can find documentation on Moose v. Crowell fairly easily online; the records in various published court proceeding resources did not include Lovina's name, or else I would have found what I was looking for much earlier.
As I continued to dig, I found Crowell's Administrator Records in FamilySearch's North Carolina Probate Records collection which finally provided me with a precise date of death: 19 May 1906. I felt very accomplished because of this, and then happened upon another genealogical gem. I began looking through the probate records for her husband Levi Lawson Moose, and ended up finding the full names for all 5 of their sons. The record showed that their son Henry's middle name was actually Harmon and not Harrison as it has been listed in countless Moose family trees. I also found their son John W.'s middle name which I had never found and have not seen in any other trees; his middle name was Wylie. It confirmed the full names of the remaining sons as well, namely Lawson Jeremiah, Julius Monroe, and Albert Henderson.
I hope other Moose and Troutman researchers will come across this post and be able to add all this new-found information to their records. I guess it goes to show you should never give up ALL hope of finding that elusive piece of information.