Read the Abbreviations List in City Directories

City directories may contain list of abbreviations in the prefatory material. Do not just look for your relative’s name and quit.Those lists may include name of local employers that were easier to abbreviate than print over and over.

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2 thoughts on “Read the Abbreviations List in City Directories

  1. Georgeann Engel

    Also, look for a street directory. I have found several city directories for Toronto, Canada where the street directory portion was a “reverse directory” of sorts – listing everyone on a particular street. A great way to see who the neighbors were.

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  2. Jo Lucas

    Excellent point, Michael. I’ve learned whether or not my relatives rented, were in a boardinghouse and their profession from these directories but without checking out the abbreviations I would have in some cases I’d have come to an incorrect conclusion.

    Reply

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