JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen re: city directories, what they are, what they aren't #general

Carol Skydell <skydell@...>

Allan Jordan aejordan@... writes:

Because the 1910 Census is not indexed I tried the city
directories and >my family is not listed in the places the city
directories say they lived -- >go figure. Hence I am searching
Hoboken strret by street right now -- >feels like I am there
walking the streets!

One needs to understand several things about city directories in
order to put them into proper perspective.

First, it is my understanding that they were actually put
together to serve as mailing lists for large companies. Since
they were not something published by the municipality, they do
not carry weight as an "official" document. Genealogists use
them merely as a guide to help locate official documents such as
census records, WWI draft registration, and voter lists

Secondly, city directories were compiled several months before
the end of the year * prior* to the year of publication. Thus,
the 1910 city directory was compiled around October of 1909 and
those are the addresses you see in the 1910 city directory.

What this tells us is that we not only need to check the 1909
directory to attempt to get a handle on the 1910 census
address....we need to look at the 1911 directory as well...and
even with that....the directory may be printing an old address....

And for Allan in particular, did the state of NJ do a census in

Hope this helps
Carol Skydell
Chilmark MA

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