#41 City Directories address ancestral gaps

There is no better resource than city directories to locate and confirm your ancestral loved ones.

A year after my father was born, the 1936 city directory of Omaha, Nebraska provided great insight into the following:

  1. The names of my grandparents, Sampson and Daisy Wead.
  2. The occupation of my grandparents. My grandfather was a laborer at a meat packing plant. My grandmother was a housewife.
  3. The address of my grandparents.


4. Valued information about the other “Weads” who were my grandfather’s family members.

City directories were large paperbound books that were printed annually by most cities and towns across the United States. Unlike the U.S. Census that was published every 10 years, the city directories offered a wealth of updated information that are helpful in following physical movements of our ancestors.

Try it. Find city directories for your loved ones from libraries and other internet searches. Determine if the city directories provide you with additional information about employment, street addresses and telephone numbers that may fill in the blanks on your genealogy trees.