Welcome to the March 2022 issue of First Friday Genealogy, devoted to finding and using city directories, bluebooks, and professional registers. Many of these resources are online and free, which makes them even more appealing. (Don't give up, international readers! We'll talk about directories from Europe and Australasia soon.)
What Can City Directories
Do for Your Research?
City directories list the names, addresses, and occupations of residents of a specific time and geographic place. These directories were published, usually at yearly intervals, as bound volumes. City directories also listed businesses, institutions, non-profits, and organizations, and were subsidized by business advertising.
Genealogists love city and area directories because they:
Substitute for missing records, such as the lost 1890 U.S. census
Locate metropolitan ancestors, who did not own land or property
Predate telephone directories, often by many, many decades
Exist for locations in North America, Europe, and Australasia
Show residents of all income levels and occupations
Indicate family members at the same address or nearby
List single women and widows with jobs/professions
Provide additional information, including occupations
Display advertisements for ancestor-owned businesses or places of employment
On April 7-8, FamilyTree Webinars hosts the 3rd Annual 24-Hour Genealogy Webinar Marathon. I'll be presenting Using Macs & iPads for Genealogy at 10 Eastern (hello night owls!) and 7 Pacific (hello people who might be commuting again!)