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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