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Genealogy Resources


City/County Directories

City directories are virtually annual censuses (listings) of a city’s population. Older city/county directories are valuable for locating ancestors within a particular city or county. This type of directory can serve as an index to the census of a larger area. The city/county directory, in giving an ancestor's address, will also enable a researcher to locate the nearest church as well as note an occupation or family business.

Old city directories exist for virtually every community in America, often going back to the establishment of a community. Many of the privately published city directories date back over a hundred years, and some of these collections are complete for every year in which a directory was published. Surprisingly, those that exist are quite easy to find. They are usually located in the public library serving a particular city.

  • City Directories of the United States of America. This web site attempts to identify all printed, microfilmed, and online directories, and their repositories, for the United States.  This site will answer these questions: does a directory exist for a locality?  If it does, where can it be found? The site is a work in progress.
  • City Directories at DistantCousin. A free online archive of city directory records and scanned images.
  • Heritage Creations Genealogy Store. Listing of City Directories that they are offering.
  • My Genealogy Store. Lists over 1,300 one-of-a-kind City Directories dated from 1930-1980.
  • Remington, Gordon Lewis. “Research in Directories” chapter 11 in The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, rev. ed., Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking, eds., Salt Lake City: Ancestry.
  • Spear, Dorothea N. Bibliography of American Directories through 1860. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1978, 1961. Union list of directories by city.
  • Witcher, Curt. “Using Directories for Genealogical Research” in Ancestry, 14:5 Sept/Oct. 1996, p. 30-33.

Telephone Directories

Telephone directories are a source of present day addresses of descendants, newspaper offices, funeral homes, churches, cemeteries, libraries and other places of genealogical interest.

  • Telephone Directories. Portal to worldwide telephone directory Web sites; includes all types of directories such as reverse, telephone numbers, e-mail, etc.
  • Telephone Directories on the Web
  • The Ultimates. Here you can search resources from all over the net like phone books, email directories, and trip planners. But this isn't just another list of links. The form for each resource is integrated into the site, and Javascript copies the information from one blank to another so you can use everything out there with a minimum of time and effort.
  • White pages phone directories.

Directories of Organizations

A directory for identifying various organizations is useful to the genealogist as a source for contacting a particular society for assistance. In identifying an organization, the directory will give its official name, as well as an address for the group. Societies and organizations have records, such as membership files that might help the genealogist.

  • Directory of Historical Organizations in the United States and Canada. Nashville, Tennessee: American Association for State and Local History, 1990. Identifies many of the historical societies in states in a geographical arrangement.
  • Encyclopedia of Associations. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Co., continual updates. Subject, geographical, and executive indexes.

  • Leaders in American Science. Nashville, Tennessee: Who's Who in American Education, 1953-1968.
  • Meyer, Mary K., editor. Meyer's Directory of Genealogical Societies in the United States and Canada with an Appended List of Independent Genealogical Periodicals. 11th edition. Pasadena, Maryland: The Author, 1996. Lists many of the genealogical societies by locality.

Other Directories

  • Historical Directories. Historical Directories is a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919. It contains high quality reproductions of comparatively rare books, essential tools for research into local and genealogical history.  Search by year or keyword. Originated and maintained by the University of Leicester.
  • World Factbook  CIA maps and publications.