09 January 2012

Tuesday's Tip - City Directory Trick

Tuesday's Tip - City Directory Trick

One of my favorite resources are City Directories.  Through City Directories, you will find out important information such as physical address, occupation, who was living with them, etc.  My favorite website for searching City Directories is Fold3.com.  Because most, if not all, of my ancestors came from/through Philadelphia and/or Newark, NJ, this makes Fold3.com a great website for City Directories.

Most websites that house City Directories have a search function.  The first step is to pick the State, City, and Year directory you want.  In the following snapshot, I picked Newark, New Jersey for 1889.  I will be looking to see who was living with my Gr Gr Gr Grandfather, Edward V. Eckert.

After searching for Eckert, it will find hits for that name found on any page in the Directory.  In the following snapshot, you'll see that I found my ancestor Edward V. Eckert, living at 20 W Kinney, as a jeweler.

After a quick scan of that page, and the Eckerts on it, I did not find anyone else living at 20 W Kinney.  I wanted to find out if anyone else was living at that address.  I decided to go back to the search screen for the 1889 Newark, NJ City Directory and searched for "20 W Kinney".  Take notice that I pout the address in quotes.  If you fail to do so, it will search for any page that has 20, W, OR Kinney on it, which will bring back hundreds of pages!

Seeing the first match shows a page starting with Ecke, George; I know it will take me to the original page that I found on my "Eckert" search.  The following search result shows Adams, Ferdinand is at the top of the page.  This will get me to dig deeper, to see if anyone on that page lived at 20 W Kinney.

It looks like we found a hit!  James K. Adams, a japanner, and the letter h indicates this was his home, not business address.  I now know that James L. Adams and Edward V. Eckert lived in the same dwelling, at the same address.  They may or may not have shared the same living space.

The above process was what led me to find out that James L. Adams was his father-in-law.  This was a piece of evidence that helped support my claim that came later in research.

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