Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ancestry and Footnote - News About City Directories

Ancestry has added more city directories to its already great collection. From their news release today:

U.S. City Directories Update, 1950 - 1969
City directories can be an amazing resource for tracing ancestors between census years—or, in this case, tracing more contemporary ancestors who lived past the 1930 census—the last census to be made available online.

We’ve added more than 800 city directories from the 1950s and 60s, from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine and California.
Also, as part of its celebration of New York's 400th anniversary, they have released several database collections, including:

City directories for Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Niagara Falls, Rochester, Watertown and White Plains: Most of these directories are from the 20th century, but some of the New York City directories go back as far as 1833.

Footnote released the following info earlier this week. While not adding more directories lately, they do want people to know about their collection:

You'll find the one of the best collections of City Directories on the web

Featuring over 2 million pages, the City Directories Collection on has records dating back to 1785. Before phone books came into the picture, many cities and towns published directories of their residents. These valuable records often contain:

  • The names of the husband and wife
  • Occupation and name of employer
  • Addresses
  • and more.

View a list of our City Directories today.

Today Harold Henderson mentioned on his blog some quirks of Footnote's city directories that are pretty important to notice.

If you don't have subscriptions to either website, many public libraries have Ancestry available for free onsite. Also, most Family History Centers have Footnote (and WorldVitalRecords, which also has many city directories) available for free at their locations as well!

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