Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday's Tip - Find 1940 Addresses in City Directories

This week's Tuesday's Tip is:  Use City Directories to Find Family Residence Addresses in 1940 to Narrow Your 1940 U.S. Census Search.

Are you ready to search the 1940 United States Census images when they are released next Monday, 2 April 2012, at 9 a.m. EDT?  If you've been reading Genea-Musings, you know that the census images will be available, but there will not be indexes until late in 2012.

In order to narrow your search without an index, you will need to know the Enumeration District (ED) for the place your family resided.  In urban areas, this means that you need to know the address of their residence.

How can you find out the address of the residence of your family?  The best resource (I listed many in How Can I Find Out Where My Folks Lived in 1940?, but the best opportunity is to use City Directories in the 1940 time period to find the address.  I posted Finding Addresses of People in the 1940 U.S. Census Using City Directories about using the online  city directories at Ancestry.com.

Most city libraries, and many local and regional genealogical libraries, have City Directories on their shelves, including from the 1940 time period.  If your local or regional library has a City Directories collection, you should go there sometime this week to use their resources.

Ancestry.com has a large collection of City Directories for many cities in their historical record collection.  These are in two major collections:

1)  U.S. City Directories (Beta) - many cities in 15 states (California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia).

2)  U,.S. City Directories - many cities in most states and DC.

Ancestry.com intentionally targeted collecting City Directories in the 1940 and 1950 time periods and has a great collection of them.  I recommend that you search these directories by choosing a state, city/town, and then a year (1940 if available), then search by Surname only in the specific directory.  Why?  Because every first name/last name combination was not indexed in these collections.  You can also browse the specific collection, using the image number field or the back/forward arrows to find your surname target.

The URL for this post is: http://www.geneamusings.com/2012/03/tuesdays-tip-find-1940-addresses-in.html

Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

AnnieB said...

I am glad to see that you mentioned the Beta City Directories on acom. The searchability and findability in the Beta version, while not perfect, is much more user-friendly than the old version. I've found many people since the Beta versions were released.
For those who gave up on the old version, because it was mostly useless, try again with the Beta.