In one of the earlier posts about the Genealogy Road Trip, I mentioned that I love City Directories. Here’s why.
Census information is great, but it only comes out every 10 years. There’s also an embargo on it — I think it’s 75 years. The 1930 data was just recently released. City directories were the equivalent of phone books before everyone had a phone. Here’s a page from the 1910 Butler book, showing great-great uncle James and his wife Amelia:
It shows the names and occupations of B. Allen (Benjamin) and his family. Alonzo (my grandfather), around 14 at the time, had already dropped out of school and was working as a laborer. Quitting school was something he’d end up regretting. Also in the same house at 152 Kittanning were sisters (great aunts) Celia and Katherine. My dad remembers them well and fondly, especially his aunt Celia.
I snapped off the photo, and then pretended that he wasn’t annoyed with our presence and asked him a few questions anyway. He’d bought the building a few years earlier, but knew that it had been built in the 1940s. And that’s about it. Further details will have to wait for a future road trip and some prowling through the deeds at the county courthouse.