JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Reverse look up in Brooklyn, New York #general

Logan J. Kleinwaks

Carol Rombro Rider asked if there is an 1893 Brooklyn directory that
can be used to find who was living at a specific address then. She is
interested in a resident of 52 Osborne Street with possible surname
AUERBACH and unknown given name. Here is a general answer illustrated
by her question.

Many Brooklyn directories 1856-1908 are full-text searchable at "Full-text" means you can search by street
address, for example. Unfortunately, 1893 is not available, the
closest being 1889 and 1897. When I search at
for "52 osborn*" (with " to force a phrase search and * to match both
osborn and osborne), I find an Israel AUERBACH at 52 Osborn in the
1897 Brooklyn directory.

Note that links >from search results should jump directly to the
matching pages, but this can take a while because a large PDF must be
downloaded first.

Searching is not 100% accurate because Optical Character Recognition
(OCR) software was used to convert scans of the directories to
searchable text The accuracy of OCR depends on the quality of the
scans, and, in the case of these Brooklyn directories, the scans are
of relatively low quality (though still quite useful). For crucial
lookups, you can also try browsing these directories manually via the
links at, but this is
extremely laborious if you do not have a surname to go by.

Thanks to the Brooklyn Public Library for putting these directory
scans online. I have been told they plan to add more years.


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