City directories are a very valuable tool for family history researchers. Here can be located an ancestor’s exact name spelling, where they lived, if a female was a widow, their occupation, or a business they worked for or owned. Now this is for searching for an adult, minor children would not be listed in a directory.
The Rochester city directories have been made digital and are online. They are for years 1827 to 1940, not only view-able on your computer screen, can be downloaded and printed as PDF documents. In some cases no directory existed for a specific year. For example, the first directory published was 1827; the next, 1834, and the 3rd, 1838.
Besides the listing of names in alphabetical order, there are lists of clubs, organizations, churches, and streets.
Not all adult individuals in the city of Rochester at a specific date would be listed in the directory. If a person did not have a permanent home address or moved about quite a bit, they might not be listed. If a person lived outside the city limits they would not be in the city directory.
For the Rochester city directory select a year, then the alphabetical box for the surname you are looking for. All are in PDF format so they should come up easily. There might also be for that year a listing of streets and businesses which are organized by the type of business: grocers, architects, barbers, boat builders, etc.
These directories are just the listing, none of the paid advertisements that normally would be found in a city directory are with this digital collection.
For the years through the 1930s and up to 1940 there are directories for the suburbs of Rochester also online. Suburbs of Brighton, East Rochester, Fairport, Gates, Greece, Irondequoit, Pittsford and Webster are available with this site.
Photo: The 1900 business section of the Rochester City Directory.< Return To Blog