The most important thing to remember is that in the 19th century, and early 20th, knowledge and diagnosis was very primitive - very often the "cause" of death was just a symptom which could have been associated with a number of basic causes with better knowledge. The quotation is very apt - irrelevant because so often inaccurate due to lack of knowledge. For instance there are records of death from "dropsy" which simply means oedema - why? "Cough" - why? and "inanition" - failure to thrive - why?