Free Online California City Directories

City and business directories are available online from all over the U.S. and are what I consider another important set of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.

This activity of presenting links is a collaborative effort between The Ancestor Hunt and Miriam Robbins, who for years has made available the Online Historical Directories website, which presents links to directories of all types that are available online, including free collections as well as those available only via subscription. I wish to thank Miriam for her help in launching this category of records at The Ancestor Hunt.

So, what kinds of directories are available to the researcher?  Naturally city and business directories, but also telephone directories, and alumni, farm, lodge, rural, and social directories.

What can you find in these records? How about:

  • Full names, including middle names
  • Spouse name
  • Occupation
  • Widows, working women, and adult children at home.
  • Maps
  • Businesses (and index to advertisers).
  • Addresses and maps of churches, schools, funeral homes, cemeteries, post offices, courts, hospitals, benevolent associations, newspapers.
  • Whether a woman is a widow (including name of husband).
  • List of marriages and deaths of previous year.
  • Death date.
  • etc.

Here are a few good primers on the benefits of searching historical city and other directories:​

And here are various places where you can find other city directories online: 

Note: Some of the links listed take you to a FamilySearch Collection of digital images. Near the bottom of the page under Film/Digital Notes is the name of each sub-collection. If there is a camera icon at the right of the name (in the Format column) then the collections’ images are browsable. If there is a camera with a key icon, it is only available at a Family History Center or affiliated library. If there is a film reel icon, then it is only available in microfilm format, not digital. To take full advantage, please make sure that you are logged in to FamilySearch. The results may be different if you are signed in, rather than not.

(Updated March 2022)

Links to these free collections are presented initially with statewide collections, followed in alphabetical order by city or county. Generally, the publishing company is included in the reference to the collection, along with the collection title, and the date(s) of the directory:

Statewide

Alameda County

Alhambra

Amador County

Astoria

Avalon

Azusa

Banning

Barstow

Bellflower

Berkeley

Beverly Hills

Big Pine

Bloomington

Blythe

Boron

Burbank

Butte County

Calaveras County

Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne County

Campbell

Canoga Park

Carpinteria

Chico

Chico and Oroville

Clarksburg

Clements

Coachella

Colton

Colusa

Compton

Contra Costa County

Corona

Courtland

Covina

Crescent City

Culver City

Daly City

Daly City and Colma

Del Norte County

Dixon

Downey

Ducor

Escondido

Escondido and Valley Center

Escondido, San Marcos, and Valley Center

Fair Oaks

Fresno

Fresno County

Gilroy

Glendale

Glenn and Tehama Countties

Goleta

Granada Hills

Guadalupe

Hayward

Hemet

Hollywood

Hot Springs

Humboldt County

Huntington Beach

Imperial County

Inglewood

Inyo County

Inyo County

Kern County

Kings and Tulare County

Laguna Beach

Lake and Mendocino Counties

Lake Arrowhead

Lake Tahoe

Lancaster

Lassen County

Lindsay

Lodi

Lomita

Lompoc

Long Beach

Los Altos

Los Angeles

Los Gatos

Manteca

Marin County

Merced

Midway District

Modesto

Modoc County

Monrovia

Montebello

Monterey

Morgan Hill

Napa County

Newhall

North Hollywood

Northridge and Chatsworth

Novato

Oakland

Oakland, Alameda and Berkeley

Ontario

Orange County

Oxnard

Palm Springs

Palmdale

Palo Alto

Pasadena

Placer County

Placerville

Pomona

Porterville

Raymond

Redlands

Redondo Beach

Redwood City

Reedley

Richmond

Riverside

Riverside County

Roseville

Sacramento

San Benito County

San Bernardino

San Bruno

San Clemente

San Diego

San Fernando

San Fernando Valley

San Francisco

San Francisco and Oakland

San Joaquin County

San Jose

San Luis Obispo

San Mateo County

San Pedro

San Pedro and Wilmington

Sanger

Santa Barbara

Santa Clara County

Santa Cruz County

Santa Maria

Santa Monica

Santa Monica and Venice

Santa Paula

Santa Ynez

Shasta County

Sierra Madre

Snelling

Sonoma County

South Bay

South San Francisco

Stanislaus County

Stockton

Sunland – Tujunga

Torrance

Tuolumne

Vacaville

Van Nuys

Watts

Watts – Compton

West Los Angeles

Westwood

Westwood Hills

Westwood, Brentwood, and Bel Air

Whittier

Yolo County

Yuba, Sutter, Colusa, Butte & Tehama County


Good Luck and Happy Hunting!

For other Free California Links, click on the category of interest:

Newspapers
Yearbooks
Births
Marriages
Deaths
BMD Records
Alumni Records
Cemetery Records
Church Records
Coroner Records
Criminal Records
Directories
Divorce Records
Immigration Records
Military Records
Mortuary Records
Naturalizations
Obituaries
Photos
Probate and Wills
School Records
Tax Records
Voter Records

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.