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.
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.
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 previous year.
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.
is available online. 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.
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.
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.