It’s called the STREET AND AVENUE GUIDE
Here is an explanation of what the guide contains
It’s a list of all the streets and their addresses with the occupant of each.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT AND HELPFUL?
As an example: When I was trying to locate the death record for William H. Thorpe, I found his widow, Kittie, in the 1916 Detroit directory, living at 154 Alger Ave. Looking at the other Thorpe’s on the page, I found none of them at that same address.
Who was Kittie Thorpe boarding with?
NOTE: Many times you will see boarders on census records and in directories. Those boarders often turn out to be family members. It’s not how we think of boarders in our current time, but it was how they were frequently listed during our ancestor’s time.
I then went to the Street and Avenue Guide in the back of the directory and looked for 154 Alger Ave., to see whose name is listed for that address.
Guess who I found listed at 154 Alger Ave?
** J. D. STANTON – son-in-law of Kittie Thorpe **
Kittie’s daughter Grace M. Thorpe married John Davies Stanton on 24 Jul 1907 in Detroit, Wayne, Michigan.
This is good evidence that I have the correct Kittie in the 1916 city directory.
LEGACY 8 TIP – I CREATED MY OWN EVENT FOR CITY DIRECTORIES. I WANTED THEM TO BE SPECIFICALLY LISTED AS “CITY DIRECTORY LISTING” AND NOT JUST AS A RESIDENCE. THIS ALLOWS ME TO SEARCH FOR ANYONE WHO HAS A CITY DIRECTORY LISTING EVENT AND I’VE FOUND IT VERY USEFUL.
Here is an example from another one of my Thorp’s who has quite a few events. You can see all the city directory listing’s.
I checked the 1909 Binghamton, New York city directory to see if they too included a Street Guide. The answer is YES. I found this one at the back of the directory, just like the Detroit guide. I find them by browsing, as they don’t seem to be listed in the Table of Contents.
I don’t know if every directory in the United States has a street guide, but I would suggest checking for it in your particular directory.
I hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please tell me how city directories have helped you in your research.
OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
CITY DIRECTORIES - A treasure trove of genealogical information
AN EXACT DEATH DATE in a City Directory
THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY - Why Don't I Have a Death Date or Record for William H. Thorpe?
Copyright © 2015 Diane Gould Hall
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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.