City directories are a fabulous resource for finding your ancestors despite the loss of the 1890 census. #genealogy #ancestors #1890census
Genealogy Research,  How To

How To Research Around the 1890 Census Record Loss – Part 3: City Directories

The loss of the 1890 U.S. Census is a stumbling block for many genealogy researchers.  “Losing” our ancestor in 1890 is the cause of many brick walls, but we do have research options to overcome these brick walls.

Devon Lee  from the Family History Fanatics and I have teamed up once again to bring you an 8-part video series focusing on how to research around the 1890 census loss. We want to  take the overwhelm out of researching your ancestors during the 1890 US Census Loss time period.  And yes, we will have fun along the way!!

In this third video  of our 1890 census series, I am talking about using city directories to research around that 1890 census record “black hole”.

City directories are a fabulous resource for finding your ancestors despite the loss of the 1890 census. #genealogy #ancestors #1890census

Let’s start with some of our favorite reasons and tips for using City Directories in your genealogy research:

  1. Remember city directories are Not phone books!
  2. Tracking an ancestor year by year can help you determine when he/she migrated out of an area or if their economic situation improved based on a change of neighborhoods.
  3. We can literally place an ancestor on the map in a specific time period.
  4. Pay attention to the other listings of the same name. Do you see people living in the same household?

Using City Directories is an important genealogy research strategy for finding brick wall ancestors. Many free online directories can be found! #genealogy #citydirectories #ancestors

      5. If a listing shows a wife as a widow, that’s a clue to help narrow down the death date of her husband!

     6.Folks who lived in the rural areas surrounding a large city may be listed in the neighboring city directory (but not always).

     7.Look for county directories for your rural ancestors

Where To Find Historical City Directories

Now that I have convinced you of the value of researching city directories, let’s find them! As with other records, what is available will vary  by state and time period. Check out these sources for those family directories.

City directories are a fabulous resource for finding your ancestors despite the loss of the 1890 census. #genealogy #ancestors #1890census

When all else fails, use WorldCat to find out which repositories have city directories for your area. Not sure how to use WorldCat?  I’ve created this tutorial for using WorldCat.

So check out the City Directories and get over your 1890 Census record loss hurdle.

Researching 1890 with  City Directories

Did you miss the first videos on the 8-part series?

Find the 4th episode in this series – Researching the Records of Life Events – HERE.

***Please note that this post contains affiliate links which means I may earn a commission if you decide to purchase a product/service. This does not cost you extra. Be assured I only recommend products/services that I use and think you would like too. Read my disclosure policy and privacy policy.

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City directories are a fabulous resource for finding your ancestors despite the loss of the 1890 census. #genealogy #ancestors #1890census

 

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