City and business directories are available online from all over the U.S. and Canada and are what I consider another important set of information that can assist you in advancing your family history and genealogy research.
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
- Widows, working women, and adult children at home.
- 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.
I have been using city directories as a mainstay of my ancestor research ever since I started my family history search. Here are a list of various websites where I found useful information in my own research. They all have city and other directories available for you to search and browse online. Some are free, and some require a subscription:
The Ancestor Hunt Now Has City Directory Links!