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The Daily Genealogist Spotlight: Burlington Public Library, Iowa

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Valerie Beaudrault

Valerie Beaudrault
Assistant Editor

Burlington Public Library, Iowa

The city of Burlington is the county seat of Des Moines County, which is located in southeastern Iowa. The Burlington Public Library has made a number of genealogical resources available on its website, including the following:

Click the first link in this section for an alphabetical list of cemeteries in Des Moines County. The second link is to cemetery databases on the Iowa GenWeb website. There are ninety-one cemeteries in this online collection. Scroll to the bottom of the page to view a list of alternate names of some cemeteries.

Click the cemetery name to view collected information, which may include a description of the cemetery and its history, a list of individuals buried there, photographs, and census images. The burials databases may include surname, first name, birth, death, and notes. The notes field includes spouse and parent names, number of years the individual was married, age of the deceased, place of birth, military service, and description of gravestone. A camera icon in the “notes” field links to a photograph of the gravestone.

There are three newspaper databases on the website. The second [Burlington] Hawk Eye index, covering the 1830s to 1897, is likely the most useful for family history researchers. This database indexes birth, marriage, and death notices from local newspapers. You can search the database by name. If you would like to limit your search to a particular event type or a specific date of publication, click “more search options.” In addition, you can browse the alphabetical index by clicking the first letter of the surname. The data fields in the index include full name, event (birth, marriage, or death), newspaper title, date of publication, and page number. Copies of newspaper articles may be ordered from the library.

The Hawk Eye database covering 1985 to the present indexes articles and photographs appearing in the newspaper, but does not contain birth, marriage, or death notices. (I was not able to connect to this index.) The third newspaper link connects researchers to the Hawk Eye Online Archives. Full-text articles may be purchased for a fee.

The library provides a link to “Daily Life Along the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad,” a searchable collection of more than 700 photographs, including more than sixty of Burlington during the 1940s, on the Newberry Library website. Click the image to view an enlarged photograph or detailed information.

In addition, you will find on this website a list of the Civil War units raised in Des Moines County.

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