The use of city directories is very important resources when compiling information on ancestors. Besides names, home addresses, business addresses and names, other family members in the household may be listed, such as a wife. Many business ads are in a directory – one could be for an ancestor.
One of the best locations for secure a variety of available city directories covering different years is seeing what is up for auction on eBay. One recent sampling shows for example, 69 old city directories for Philadelphia, PA at auction for $8.75. Also listed was a business directory for the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx in 1898 for $30. Or the NYC directory for 1897-98 for $21.50. Prices can vary greatly, some cheaper and other more expensive.
If you don’t see a place related to your ancestors, check in again, every week or so a new batch is up for auction. Also put in for notification via email if a city director of a specific location comes up for auction, that way you will know right away. Go to the upper right corner where is ‘Advanced Search’ and you can put in your request. eBay online
There is also online New York City Directories with very early ones. The first batch is 1852 to 1857. Soon 1849-1923 will be added and then 1786-1848. This collection, fully viewable online with digital collections of the New York Public Library.
Photos: NYC ADs and pages for 1852; and Jackson, Michigan in 1959.
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