02 April 2008

Are You Looking in Surrounding Counties?

I stumbled upon it to be honest.

The Hannibal (Missouri) Public Library has digital images of many county and city directories on their website. While I have no family in that area, I made an interesting discovery. The 1892-1893 directory, actually Stone's Tri-County Directory for 1892-93, is one of the items included on their site. It includes Adams County, Illinois, right across the river and where I do have ancestors. The directories are searchable as well--a nice feature.
It always pays to check out surrounding counties for information that may be relevant to your search, even if your ancestors never lived in those counties and even if those counties cross rivers or state lines.

[the first screen shot shows part of the directory for Golden, Illinois, in Adams County].

Keep in mind that some names may be spelled incorrectly in the directory, which makes searching even more difficult. The partial image here (also from Golden) shows several names, including Ulfert Idens, which should actually be Ulfert Ideus.

The towns are organized alphabetically; I did not notice a table of contents. A little more searching located the entries for Coatsburgh, where I located my 3rd great-grandfather Bernard Dirks.

The Dirks entry got me to wondering about the numbers after the names. I knew they were not section numbers--the numbers only were 1, 2, and 3.

A little more searching led me to the list of abbreviations, something that one needs to look for in any directory of any kind.

The list of abbreviations told me that the 1 after my ancestor's name indicated he owned his farm. The list of abbreviations is included at the end of this post. This directory is really neat and those with Hannibal ancestors will find many more on this site. I was happy to find just one!