City directories are one of the unsung heroes of genealogy research. They offer many treasures for the genealogist who takes the time to crack open a book or browse the microfilm rolls.
What are City Directories?
City directories are the precursors to phone books, and they fulfill a similar role for the citizen and the publisher. Long before the era of the telephone, publishers would create city directories for much the same reasons of communiciating resident information and profiting from advertising. The publisher would solicit advertising from local businesses as a revenue source. Then the publisher would collect the names and addresses of all the city residents and distribute the books – again, just like phone books – to all the residents. Read more