24 June 2010

Ancestry.com: Canadian city directories, 1819-1906

Perhaps we can find our elusive Canadian immigrant ancestors with the help of the city directories (1819-1906) just added to Ancestry.ca.

If you have a World Deluxe subscription, you'll have Canada at your fingertips.

The collection includes 150,000 pages with 7 million names, covering 87 years.

City directories have always been valuable to my own research, offering some unexpected surprises as well as confirmation of details.

Have you used city directories for the US or for Canada? This is what you can find in their pages, according to the press release:
City directories contain an alphabetical listing of citizens, giving the names of the heads of households, their addresses and occupations. When an ancestor is found a researcher can see their name, home or business address and usually an occupation.

For added interest, a further search using the street name will find their neighbours, allowing users to build up a picture of what life was like in the area.

A city directory may also contain a business directory, street directory, governmental directory, and listings of town officers, schools, societies, churches, post offices and other miscellaneous records that help paint a clearer picture of one’s ancestors.
These are the provinces, followed by the estimated number of records, and estimated number of names.
8,4059; 4,202,950
3,3201; 1,660,050
Nova Scotia:
12,566; 628,300
New Brunswick:
11,051; 552,550
National and Multi-Province:
6,201; 310,050
2,514; 125,700
British Columbia:
2,016; 100,800
1,194; 59,700
Prince Edward Island:
927; 46,350
16; 800
Total estimate:
153,745; 7,687,250
For more, click here.

I'm still looking for my great-grandfather's uncle or brother supposedly in Canada and with whom he stayed for several months before settling in Newark, New Jersey. Looks like I'll have some work to do!

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