Friday, February 26, 2010

Family Tree Magazine's Top 40 Blogs may help navigate the seas

Earlier this week Family Tree Magazine announced its list of the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs. Everyone tends to follow a few favorite blogs -- there are way too many to read them all. But if you'd to expand your horizons or don't know which blogs to read, the top 40 categories may give you a place to start. Some have more eye-appeal and some make it easy to identify and navigate to items of interest. One such item caught my eye on the top-rated blog in the All-Around category, Creative Genes. I have been looking for city directories in New York City circa 1907-1910, so the City Directories link caught my eye. I found the blog offers a series of articles on city directories. While I've not read all articles in the series, and don't expect to find the answer to my specific question, the general information provided will, no doubt, be useful for anyone researching city directories. I remember in my early years of researching (pre-Internet), I was avoided city directories, thinking the field to vast an undertaking. The Internet has made the task less intimidating and more hopeful. I have since found some good information in city directories, and they are absolutely priceless for pinpointing a person in time and place . . . if one exists for your particular time and place. I'm not finding much encouragement for Manhattan city directories for my time period, but the search continues. So if you don't have a favorite set of genealogy blogs, you might use this year's top 40 list and take one or two a week to browse. 

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Replacing the 1890 Census — City Directories

Pretty much every U.S. family history researcher laments the loss of the 1890 U.S. Federal Census, which was destroyed by a fire at the Commerce Department in Washington D.C., in January 1921. Filling in the blanks left by the loss of that census can be challenging, indeed. Fortunately, other resources do exist for the time period, often at the local level. It just takes a bit of sleuthing to discover what records might be available for your particular area of interest. In her article, "Replacing the 1890 Census -- City Directories," Cindy Drage suggests a source, while not at the federal level, certainly widespread, that of city (and county) directories. If you know how to read them -- and the article provides tips and hints for doing just that -- city and county directories can provide a lot of good information.

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