City Directories--Oversize Batches
When setting up city directory batches, especially large cities like New York City, care should be exercised in the potential size of the batches. My most recent batches have had 1300 and 1400 entries (I am reviewing), and they have taken three days to complete--I'm sure the indexer spent more than that, indexing them. I would suggest reviewing the size of the existing batches, and breaking them down into smaller pieces.
I think City Directories are very interesting and reveal interesting information about our ancestors that we may never have known like their occupations and their addresses. But, more importantly, city directories give us valuable information in between the decennial census records. It makes it easier to find vital records of people when you where they were living.
There are alot of people who love indexing these and work very hard to meet that 10 day deadline! They are especially nice to index for those who aren't well-versed in cursive.
I'm not sure how they could be broken down into smaller sections other than to photograph each page. I applaud you Edmund for reviewing these too - it is very tedious, but much appreciated work!1
City directories are quite valuable for genealogical research. Below are links to wiki articles and an article on the New York Public Library's site, plus an excerpt from that.
City directories help a family historian locate people in a place and time. They are also useful for:
- Searching censuses by address: if you are having difficulty finding a name listed, you might try to search the census by an address found in a city directory?
- Searching years between censuses: perhaps your ancestor lived in a city between censuses?
- Acting as a census substitute: the 1890 census was mostly lost in a fire in the 1920s: a city directory may be the only record of your ancestor at that time.
- Identifying a date of death: if you're finding it hard to locate a date of death, then browse through city directories: if your male ancestor's spouse is suddenly listed as a widow, then you'll have a fair idea of the date of death.
- Who else lived at an address: you can use a street directory to discover who else lived with your ancestor.
- Life changes – e.g. career changes over years: one year your ancestor is a plumber, the next he owns a hardware store.
- Verify other documents, e.g. the address on a WW1 Draft Card. Often in genealogy information in one document gains credibility when confirmed by information in another.
- Pointers to other documents / areas of research, e.g. the location of probate records, or property deeds. If you know where your ancestor was living, you might use that information to search of other records.
- Identifying the location of churches, schools, and fraternal organizations that your ancestor may have attended.