Directories are alphabetical lists of names and addresses. City directories can help you learn where an ancestor lived. The person's occupation is frequently given. Often the home address and the business address are both mentioned. When a husband has died, the widow is often listed as "widow of . . . ." Directories can sometimes help when you search census records to determine in which ward the family lived for a particular time in a big city. Directories sometimes have maps and addresses of churches, cemeteries, courthouses, and other important locations.
Polk, R.L. and Company. Northwestern Gazetteer, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Montana Gazetteer and Business Directory. St. Paul, Minnesota: Polk, 1914. (FHL film 1321220-21.) The first part of the directory covers Minnesota and lists residences of people, often with their occupation. It also serves as a gazetteer for the time. It lists population, churches and commercial buildings, newspapers, and where land was located and the price for which it was selling.
The following are examples of directories found at the Family History Library:
|1856–1859||FHL fiche 6044463–65|
|1863–1935||beginning with FHL film 13770507|
|1865–1935|| beginning with FHL film 1377061 |
The Family History Library and the Minnesota Historical Society Library have incomplete collections of directories from throughout Minnesota. Many were published as county directories, listing inhabitants of major towns in the county. Rural directories collected information on farmers, dairymen, and other rural residents.
Directories are listed in the Locality Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
MINNESOTA, [COUNTY] – DIRECTORIES
MINNESOTA, [COUNTY], [CITY] – DIRECTORIES