Ancestors missing between census years? Try tracing your roots in online city directories. We’re sharing every trick in the phone book right here.
I first discovered the joys of city directories when I was a newspaper reporter. If you needed to find somebody who wasn’t in the phone book, or if you had an address but no name, the city directory was the place to look. Much like telephone books, city directories—once published annually or semi-annually for most towns and cities—listed an area’s residents by last name. Most directories also had sections of residents by street name and house number, plus community information such as city offices, fraternal organizations, schools, churches, businesses