Monday, October 29, 2012

Detroit City Directories at

In the last few months, I've discovered the "U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 (Beta)" database at I have found several of my family members in the Michigan directories, particularly the Detroit city directories. My only problem has been that I can never seem to remember which directories for which years contain what information. Not all of the directories are available in full; several years are only partially available. I don't rely on the search feature at because I don't fully trust OCR technology to perfectly pick up every single name in the directory for every single year. Therefore, I usually end up browsing each year for my ancestors' information, and then I find that I've wasted my time because a particular year may only have surnames A-P available in the alphabetical directory.

How to solve this problem? Well, I've decided to compile what information is available for the years after 1923. All Detroit city directories from 1861 to 1923 are available in full at The 1925 directory is the earliest directory available after 1923 at Instead of putting it in a spreadsheet only on my computer, I decided to share it with my readers. However, keep in mind that is still adding to this database, so some information may change.

1925: Surnames A-Z
1927: Surnames A-Z
1928: Surnames A-Moseley, Harry
1930: Surnames Niestuchowski, Jos-Z
1931: Surnames A-Z
1932: Surnames A-Peterson, Chas R
1934: Surnames A-Nevin, Thos D
1935: Surnames A-Moore, Wade M
1936: No Surnames
1937: Surnames A-Haag, Michl J
1938: No Surnames
1939: A-Habbell, Anthony
1940: No Surnames
1941: Surnames A-Haar, Anna
1953: No Surnames
1954-1955: This is actually a suburb directory for East Detroit, Roseville, etc.
1957: Surnames Pursch, Alex-Z
1958: No Surnames

1 comment:

  1. I love using city directories to fill in the times in between the census years. I was amazed whne I found directories as far back as the 1850s for Albany, NY. My ancestor moved very single year between 1854 and 1861.

    Regards, Jim
    Hidden Genealogy Nuggets