All those Names in the City Directory

Determine who shares your ancestor’s residence in a city directory by browsing all the entries for the last name of interest. All household members will not be listed, but often grown children still living at home, but working outside the home, will be listed.

directories-neighbors

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3 thoughts on “All those Names in the City Directory

  1. Rich

    Also do a search on the address to see who else shows up. In laws, “widows” (sometimes widows weren’t widows, but divorced, and still living at the same address as the ex). Or, the name of a hotel or apartment.

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  2. Georgeann Engel

    This is a great tip. It is how I determined where my grandfather’s family was in the 1890’s. They moved around a lot (Arkansas in 1880 and Maryland in 1890) and, as far as I have been able to determine, never owned property. It was by following other clues that led me to check the New Jersey city directories where I found them living in Jersey City, with the names of my grandfather, his two brothers, and his father all listed at the same address. Some city directories also have sections where the residents are listed by street, which gives you an idea of who the neighbors were.

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  3. Marci

    Some online web sites that have city directories will let you search. After locating my ancestor or person of interest, I have used the address to search for anyone else living there. Sometimes a different surname will be living there too. The new person of interest may or may not be related. It is always good to check. Also note that the address could be a home, apartment house, rooming house, or boarding house. If you find many people at that address, it is chance they are not related.

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