Censuses: These enumerations provide a snapshot of a family, including the names, ages and occupations of household members, relationships among them and immigration information. The city and county are at the top of each page; the address is on the left. Look at every census during your relatives lifespan.
City directories: Most American cities (and some rural areas) published directories annually or biannually beginning in the mid-1800s. These alphabetical listings of residents include names, street addresses and occupations.
Some directories include addresses for businesses and public buildings, maps and advertisements. Ads may provide clues about family businesses and details about the neighborhood. To locate city directories for your familys area, visit USCityDirectories.com. Your local library probably has directories for your city. Some large libraries have other towns directories; if yours doesnt, you may be able to borrow them on microfilm through interlibrary loan.
Telephone directories: If you want to find a person or place in more-modern timessay, in the years after the telephone was inventedyou might have luck consulting the phone book. Or search US and international listings, including yellow pages, e-mail directories and fax listings, by name, address, phone number or ZIP code at Infobel.
See the July 2007 Family Tree Magazine for more trip-planning advice, including how to map ancestral addresses and create an itinerary even your grumpy brother-in-law can appreciate.