important records used in genealogical research. They are a treasure trove of
information; however, they come out only once every ten years leaving huge
gaps. With the 1890 census having lost
so many records in a fire, often there is a twenty-year gap in our family research. Do not overlook city directories as a potential source
to fill in those gaps.
directories published over the years.
They were created for salesmen and merchants to be able to contact
individuals. Of course, every publisher
had their own format for information they presented but it can be the source
for new information. Typically, city directories give the name and address of
the head of the household. Often they
give the wife’s name, usually in parenthesis, and sometimes the names of adult
children living at the same address. They also usually provide a clue to the
occupation of the individual. Sometimes
there is a reverse directory included which goes by street address and provides
the name of the individuals living there.
For many years, I thought a great-grandmother of mine moved from one
address to another on the same street. A
city directory revealed that they renumbered the street one year. The neighbors
stayed the same but the numbers changed for all of them. Directories will often show maps, street name
changes, addresses of key businesses, churches, schools, cemeteries, post
offices, hospitals, newspapers and the like. Some will give a history of the city as well
as the names of elected officials. Some, like the 1867 Atlanta City Directory,
even gives the names and roles of various churches and civic organizations such
as Masons and Odd Fellows.
given is if a person is a widow. That
can be key to narrowing down the year of someone’s death and provides a “died
before” date. In some occasions, the
city directory may even list marriages, and deaths, including date, during the
of city directories of Marietta/Smyrna. The collection includes 1958, 1959,
1960, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1975, 1977,
1985-86, and 1987. These directories are
available for members to use at the museum for research. If you cannot make it to the museum, the
Genealogy Committee Volunteers will be happy to do a lookup for you. Just let
them know the surname and the year y If you want more than three surnames or
volumes looked at, a small donation to the Museum would be great.
directory, even for a year listed above, please consider donating it to the
museum. We would be extremely pleased to
receive it as a donation.
look to see if they have a directory you are looking for. Go to
books.google.com and then enter in the search box: City Directory [city of
interest]. You may be surprised at what
is available on line. Another great Google page is Google’s US Online Historical Directories site.
It shows access points to many city, county, business and other directories
online and provides information regarding them being free or paid sites.
Directories is Don’s List (www.donlist.net).
He has an 1859 directory of Augusta, 27 directories for Atlanta (1867-1923) as
well as a Georgia Gazetteer from 1829 that provides a lot of history about
Georgia and information about the various counties and cities of Georgia at
that time. Smyrna was part of the Cherokee Nation until 1832. Once gold was
discovered, the land was quickly confiscated from the Indians and redistributed
to settlers via a land lottery.
is the Internet Archive (www.archive.org)
and has several Atlanta directories.
Brunswick, Georgia directory and information regarding several other Brunswick,
societies have city directories in their possession. It is always worth an
email or telephone call to find out if a library has a city directory. Often they will do a look-up for you without
charge or for a small fee. Often the
directories have been microfilmed so be sure to speak with a reference
librarian who knows the various collections available on microfilm. Sometime
those resources may be ordered via interlibrary loan.
microfilm and microfiche, which can be ordered from www.familysearch.org and then viewed at
your local Family History Center. They have several cities in Georgia,
including Atlanta, Columbus, and Savannah.
lookups in Directories for a fee. They have access to Atlanta, Augusta,
Columbus, Macon, and Savannah. Check their website for years available. They
currently charge $15 plus P&H for the service.
It has been quite a while since I last blogged here. I have many other projects and activities going on. First, I was in Minnesota visiting my mother. I put together many questions and recorded about 4 hours of material, about one hour per session four of the 11 days I was there. I have a project to transcribe the information there and include in my personal tree.
I also did DNA tests for both my mother and me and sent them in to 23 and Me. The great thing about doing both of us is that any relationship matches for me alone must come from my unknown father’s side and any that match on both of us must come from her side. I have also been spending quite a bit of time working on a Burlison line out of Oklahoma for a friend. I’ve had many interesting findings there as I’ve begun plucking lots of “low hanging fruit.”
|1950 photo of a street scene at 335 Lincoln Ave|
I received Anna White’s (Hannah McAllister’s) Certificate of Death from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. (See my previous blog for details on ordering PA Death Certificates.) The certificate included some interesting information and insights.
Her mother, Margaret (Lamb) McAllister was the informant. She provided Anna’s birthdate of August 15th, 1885 which confirmed the year. Different documents indicated 1885 and 1886. Mother’s seem to remember those kinds of things so I’ll keep to the 1885 date.
Interesting is that Margaret indicated that the place of death was at Margaret’s address of 335 Lincoln Ave. (Ward 12) in Pittsburgh. Anna’s ususal address was 509 Beechwood in Carnegie, PA. Google Maps indicates that 335 Lincoln is now either a vacant lot or a vacant barber shop. Back in 1950, the barber shop building was Fischer Groceries/Confections. I suspect that back in the day the grocery included a residence next to it. In 1917, Barnetta Dumm was the confectioner there at that shop. This may have been one of the many confection shops that Margaret worked at. The photo hints that across the street was Lincoln Elementary School, but the school wasn’t built until 1931. Google maps is inconclusive regarding 509 Beechwood. It appears to be a newer than a 1913 home to me.
Anna died July 11th, 1913, at the age of 27, of pelvic peritonitis due to a ruptured ovarian cyst.
According to the death certificate, she was buried at Chartiers Cemetery on July 14th 1913. I have created a Find-A-Grave memorial for her and have requested a photo of the marker.
|(Modern) Google photo of
423 Charles, Pittsburgh, PA
I received Florence Darling’s Certificate of Death from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. (See my previous blog for details on ordering PA Death Certificates.) The certificate included some interesting information and insights.
Her husband, Robert H. Darling was the informant. He provided Florence’s birthdate of Apr. 23, 1908. (New Information) He also provided their address of 423 Charles (30th ward) in Pittsburgh. It is interesting that Harry did not know his wife’s mother’s maiden name of place of birth.
|South Side Hospital (Demolished in 1982)|
Florence died October 5, 1934, at the age of 26, at South Side Hospital of bilateral pyosalpinx (a collection of pus in an oviduct. [Merriam-Webster]) and pelvic cellulitis of “undetermined cause.” Contributory cause of death was peritonitis. She had been in the doctor’s care for seven days before her passing. I’m sure it must have been seven days of agony. Sadly enough, penicillin, which was discovered in 1928, wasn’t in use until in the 1940. Penicillin probably could have saved her.