Re: 875 Lafayette, Bedford-Stuyveant, Bklyn, NY #general

Emily Garber

Yoni Ben-Ari asked how to locate information on those who resided at a
particular address in the 1920-40s. Bob Fitterman responded, correctly for
this case, that a good bet is using Steve Morse's Unified ED Finder. I have
another suggestion that, while not perfect for this case is also useful when
one has an address and wants to know who lived here.

Search by address in city directories. Some city directories have street
directories included (usually toward the end of the volumes). If no street
directory is included, it may still be possible to search by address. Some
city directory databases that search using optical character recognition
software allow searches on (in Ancestry's case) keyword or in Fold3's case,
any type of entry.

from the city directory search box in Ancestry,
enter the year(s) of interest and the city. Then, in the key word box enter
the address. Click "exact" for all information provided. On Fold3, browse to
the particular directory of interest in their database and then enter the
address (enclosed in quotation marks) in the search box.

If a database uses optical character recognition software for its city
directory search, searching by address should be possible. Unfortunately, not
all directory databases allow this type of search. The NY Public Library's
"Direct Me NYC 1940" city directory database seems to only allow searches by

One item to note when using the strategy I have outlined, many directories
abbreviate street names. If one does not locate a street by its full name, try
a shortened version. For example, Lafayette is often abbreviated in Brooklyn
directories as "Laf Av." In Yoni's case I would try "875 Laf."

The reason I said in my opening paragraph that this strategy is not a perfect
solution for Yoni Ben-Ari's case is because there are quite a few holes in the
range of years available for Brooklyn city directories. With the exception of
the 1940 telephone book on the NYPL website, there are no directories available
or online for years after 1933.

Emily Garber
Phoenix, AZ

Join to automatically receive all group messages.