03 December 2008

Searching Ancestry's Directories




Sometimes you still have to do it the old-fashioned way.


On the city directories at Ancestry.com, I performed the search as shown on the screen--Cawiezell as the last name, unexact, living in Davenport, Iowa. There were seven matches, some of which are shown in the image. None were for the last name of Cawiezell.





When browsing manually Stone's 1888-1889 Davenport, Iowa, directory, I located the following entry for several Cawiezells, all living with Maria at 1019 W. 8th Street. I am assuming that Josephine is not the kind of stripper that might first enter someone's mind.


It is always a good idea to search the directories manually if you think the family lived there and they are not in the search results. In fact, there should be Cawiezell entries in every directory from ca. 1855 for Davenport. So I'll have to keep looking.

My wife descends from the Cawiezells.

This directory is one of thousands recently posted and indexed on Ancestry.com.The city directories at Ancestry.com can be searched there. I will be posting more about my work in these directories as time allows.

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W & D in Rock Island 1888-1891


W & D didn't ring a bell with me, but I bet this is it: Weyerhaeuser and Denkman--who operated a lumber company at 107 4th Avenue in Rock Island. This is the directory entry that was suggested by a reader in an earlier blog post.


It seems reasonable that the Mortiers would have worked for a lumber company in 1888 or so. The 1895 directory indicates they were working for the Rock Island Lumber Company. People may change employers, but the type of work many times remains the same.

More about the history of the Weyerhaeuser Company can be found on its website. Denkmann was Weyerhaeuser's brother-in-law.

This directory is one of thousands recently posted and indexed on Ancestry.com.
The city directories at Ancestry.com can be searched there. I will be posting more about my work in these directories as time allows.

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02 December 2008

What is "W & D" in Rock Island in 1888?


The 1888-1891 directory for the City of Rock Island contains entries for August and Charles Mortier, both of whom are working for "W & D." Anyone have any idea what company this is?
This directory is one of thousands recently posted and indexed on Ancestry.com.

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19 November 2008

Try Libraries for Directories too



The city directories on Ancestry.com. are an excellent source. The ones on Footnote.com are as well. However, there are other sites and locations to try.





The Hannibal Public Library has scanned city directories on its site, ranging from 1859 to 1929. Just as a fluke, I happened upon the site recently. They also have a scan of Stone's Tri-County Directory for 1892-93. This includes Adams County, Illinois, across the Missisippi River. Sure enough there was my ancestor, Bernard Dirks.



Lessons here: Libraries might have free digital images of some records.
And look at libraries outside your direct area of interest.

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02 April 2008

Are You Looking in Surrounding Counties?

I stumbled upon it to be honest.

The Hannibal (Missouri) Public Library has digital images of many county and city directories on their website. While I have no family in that area, I made an interesting discovery. The 1892-1893 directory, actually Stone's Tri-County Directory for 1892-93, is one of the items included on their site. It includes Adams County, Illinois, right across the river and where I do have ancestors. The directories are searchable as well--a nice feature.
It always pays to check out surrounding counties for information that may be relevant to your search, even if your ancestors never lived in those counties and even if those counties cross rivers or state lines.

[the first screen shot shows part of the directory for Golden, Illinois, in Adams County].

Keep in mind that some names may be spelled incorrectly in the directory, which makes searching even more difficult. The partial image here (also from Golden) shows several names, including Ulfert Idens, which should actually be Ulfert Ideus.








The towns are organized alphabetically; I did not notice a table of contents. A little more searching located the entries for Coatsburgh, where I located my 3rd great-grandfather Bernard Dirks.



The Dirks entry got me to wondering about the numbers after the names. I knew they were not section numbers--the numbers only were 1, 2, and 3.



A little more searching led me to the list of abbreviations, something that one needs to look for in any directory of any kind.


The list of abbreviations told me that the 1 after my ancestor's name indicated he owned his farm. The list of abbreviations is included at the end of this post. This directory is really neat and those with Hannibal ancestors will find many more on this site. I was happy to find just one!



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