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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Arizona: Maricopa County

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Re: Cemetery/Obit Look-Up William Henry GARRISON
Posted by: Glen F. Pritchett Date: March 15, 2002 at 17:02:20
In Reply to: Re: Cemetery/Obit Look-Up William Henry GARRISON by Angel of 844

Hi Angel - Maricopa county is quite large and encompasses many cities and outlying areas. Generally, the Phoenix city directories will include Phoenix, Glendale, Litchfield, Sun City, Peoria and maybe Buckeye. Cities, towns or suburbs such as Mesa, Tempe, Chandler, Gilbert and Scottsdale are separately listed in other directories. As a matter of fact, my last city directory that included all of those referenced herein was 1931. By 1935 all that was in the Phoenix directory was the immediate Phoenix area outlined above. Its also important to remember there are more outlying areas of Maricopa such as Carefree (northeast of Phoenix and north of Scottdale), Wickenburg (northwest of Phoenix) and other areas such as Apache Junction (due east of Mesa). It's a big county!!

While it is possible William Henry Garrison might be in the 1956 Phoenix city directory (and you should try to confirm that for your own peace of mind), the fact that he wasn't in 1955, '57, '59 and 1960 strongly suggests he may have lived and/or died in a different city.

In the Valley of the Sun, those that live there when talking to those that don't often just say they are from "Phoenix" or from the "Phoenix area". But for those that live there, when talking to others who live there, almost always distinguish the city, town or suburb they live in. So it doesn't surprise me there is some disagreement among your family as to whether he died in Phoenix or Tempe.

City directories are a "snap shot of a point in time" just like a phone book. The next day its already outdated. And we have to remember that a surveyor working for the directory publisher is attempting to collect data, just like a Federal Census enumerator, but that doesn't mean some people want to participate or to "be found".

Having done this type of work for the last 35 years, my best guess is that he'll be found in the Mesa or Tempe directories and that's my recommendation for your next step. If you find him in one directory, then you can look backward and forward from that "found" year and for each year you find him in a directory you'll learn more and more about your research subject based on the information reported. If you go to and the Maricopa board and then type in "Richard Cressingham" you'll see an excellent example of how a family was "tracked" over almost 4 decades using city directories. Then add a few public documents, maybe some newspaper articles, a few obituaries to complement the city directory information and you have a enough biographic material to maybe start a bibliography of your research subject.

Good luck.

Glen F. Pritchett USGENWEB volunteer

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