Death in the Directory

Working with city directories can be tedious, especially if someone lived in an area for some time. Occasionally surprising discoveries await those who take the time to view an ancestor’s entry for every year they lived in the location covered by the directory. This 1894 directory for the City of Davenport, Iowa, indicated that Mrs. Mary Cawiezell was the widow of Anthony Cawiezell and that shed died on 12 February of 1893.

This information should be supplanted by other records if possible, but in some locations a record of this type may be the only one available. The date could be incorrect (this is not a typical death record) and a citation to the directory as the source should be attached to the date in your genealogical database. Directories can contain unexpected annotations to the occasional entry that could result in a genealogical breakthrough.

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