Friday, January 24, 2014

City Directories

When dancing with the ancestors, don't discount those city directories you'll come across. They're a valuable research tool and will give you a glimpse into the lives of your ancestors.

Things I've discovered looking through the directories . . .
  • My great grandparents John Leonard and Martha (Lane) Smith lived at 1814 Hamburg Street in Nashville according to the 1810 Census Record. By 1815, they were living at 1814 Delta Avenue according to the City Directory. Come to find out, Hamburg Street became part of Delta Avenue between 1910 and 1915
  • My Grand Aunt Olive Mae Smith (my grandmother's sister), prior to going to nursing school, worked at a laundry as a pressman, folder, and pressmfdr (I guess pressman/folder shortened)
  • My Great Grandparents Charles A. and Martha (Tate) Mitchell rented a place prior to buying their house on 1705 Grand Avenue in Nashville.
  • My Grand Uncle Charlie Hoffman (he married my grandmother's sister Willie Octavia) worked for Argo and Hoffman. 
  • Great Grandpa Charlie Mitchell was a watchman at Weinberger's in Nashville in 1924; however, in 1922 he was a bag maker. 
  • My Grand Aunt Clara (another of my grandmother's sisters) worked as a nurse for Dr. O. A. Oliver in Nashville in 1924. At other times she was an assistant and a dental technician
The City Directories will also tell you if your ancestor was a boarder, renter, or owner.

So, when dancing with the ancestors, make time to go through those City Directories, whether online or at your local State Archives.