United States City and Business Directories - FamilySearch Historical Records

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United States

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United States City and Business Directories, ca. 1749 - ca. 1990
CID3754697
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United states america-flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
US Locator Blank.svg.png
Location of the United States of America
Record Description
Record Type City and Business Directories
Collection years 1749-1990
FamilySearch Resources


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection contains an index of city and business directories from numerous locations in the United States. It covers the period between ca. 1749 and ca. 1990. The instructions for indexing this collection were to index the names of all persons found on residential lists and names of employers and employees. Business names were not to be indexed unless they contained personal names. For example, "Barner Kehlenbeck Wines and Liquors" would be indexed as two separate surnames, Barner and Kehlenbeck. Business names such as The Ad Book and AAA Plumbing were not to be indexed, but records like those may be found in the index. Some of the cities included are:

  • Brooklyn, New York
  • Buffalo, New York
  • Burlington, Iowa
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  • Charleston City, South Carolina
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Minneapolis,Minnesota
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • New York City, New York

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

  • Person's name
  • Occupation
  • Address

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The residence of your ancestor
  • The birth date of your ancestor
  • The names of other family members and family relationships

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • Analyze the entry to see if it provides additional clues to find other records of the person or their family

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you research your family in the United States.

Other FamilySearch Collections[edit | edit source]

These collections may have additional materials to help you with your research.

FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Historical Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Digital Library[edit | edit source]

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.