City and Area Directories

Hide Advanced Show Advanced



Use default settings
Use default settings


Lived In

Use default settings

Any Event

Use default settings


e.g. teacher or "Tower of London"

Get Better Matches

  • Look for word matches in books, stories & newspapers, etc.
  • Use quotation marks around a set of keywords to search for that exact phrase

Collection Priority


Collection Information

Ancestry is home to an extensive collection of city and area directories. Directories typically contain entries for working family members and include name, occupation, and home and business addresses. You may find street directories, lists of advertisements (which may include your ancestor’s business), lists of government officials, charitable organizations, churches, cemeteries, hotels, maps, and much more.

City directories were printed for most cities and are especially useful for urban research. From these you can discover an ancestor's occupation and know exactly where in the city they lived.

There are several possible parts to a city directory: an alphabetical listing of names with their address and occupation, ward (political) boundary maps or descriptions, government offices, churches, civic and fraternal organizations, and local businesses, which can be a great resource for locating extended family members.

Sample Images