Years ago, I was working on a family of Swiss immigrants to Davenport, Iowa. Most of the family were farmers and the vast majority stayed in the immediate area. Except for one daughter who in the 1890s moved to New York City to become an actress when in her early twenties. When she could not be located in Iowa records with her siblings, I assumed she’d either died young and, for one reason or another, left no local records. She was not mentioned in her mother’s estate settlement in 1893 which lead me to conclude she was dead by that time and left no descendants of her own. That conclusion was correct as I discovered later she did pre-decease her mother and did leave no surviving descendants upon her death.

I just had not expected a farm girl from Iowa to move to New York to seek her fortune as an actress!

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