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First Friday Genealogy
With Sassy Jane

The Free Monthly Genealogy Newsletter
March 2022
US City Directories In-Depth

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
  • Found increasingly online
Sassy Jane Blog Posts Helping You Search the 1950 Census
Worth Repeating:

As announced in
last month's newsletter, the National Archives is releasing the digitized 1950 census with their own permanently free name index on 4/1Ancestry and FamilySearch are collaborating on their own 1950 index, available some time after 4/1.


Many Different Directories Available Online


There are many kinds of directories digitized and available online: Click the images above to be taken to specific examples. Then formulate your own search strategies specific to your family research.  

Finding Directories Online

For US directories, search the walled garden collections at AncestryFold3, and FamilySearch to see if they have the locations you need. If their collections do not cover your geographic areas, extend your search in these two ways:

Use this search string:
geographical location + "city [or other type of] directory" + year 

2. At these sites:
Kudos to the partnership between the Pikes Peak Library District and the Pikes Peak Genealogical Society, providing a model for scanning, hosting, and making Colorado Springs city directories available for free. They even provide this tutorial about using their digitized collections. 

Join Me at the 24-Hour Genealogy Webinar Marathon on April 7 at 10 Eastern, 7 Pacific

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!)

Thanks to MyHeritage and Legacy Family Tree Webinars for sponsoring, so the entire 24-hour event is free. Register at:
Explore Sassy Jane Genealogy eBooks for Your Research
I'm working on a new ebook on Naturalization and Citizenship Records, a companion to my upcoming presentation at NGS on Finding Females in Naturalization and Citizenship Records.

So stay tuned to my blog for more information about the upcoming eBook and more info about the 1950 census release. 

See you April 1 - Census Day – for the next issue of First Friday Genealogy.
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