Directories are alphabetical lists of names and addresses. They often list all the adult residents or tradesmen of a city or area. In the twentieth century, telephone directories are a helpful source in locating individuals. Directories can also be used as a census substitute.
The most useful directories for genealogical research are city directories of local residents and businesses. These are generally published annually and may include information about an individual such as name, address, occupation, spouse’s name, and other helpful facts. (An individual’s address can be helpful when searching in a large city with several parishes.) Directories sometimes have city maps and may include addresses of churches, cemeteries, civil registration offices, and other locations of genealogical value.