"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed Taylor Daily Press - 16 Dec 1999

City Directories

Since the early days of our country, community alphabetical listings of the names and address of residents have been published. These lists are commonly known as "City Directories" and they are similar to today's telephone directories, but without telephone numbers.

City Directories can include additional information about an individual, such as occupation, race, marital status and the names of other adult household members. Like telephone books, City Directories include businesses, community organizations, churches, government offices, schools, libraries, and other public buildings.

Publishing companies began printing City Directories by selling advertising space to local businesses and vendors. This was important in larger communities where it was difficult to locate businesses without this forerunner of the "yellow pages." The other benefit was listing the names and address of the residents, thereby enabling individuals to locate other residents in their community.

Researchers can locate the name of their ancestor and by working backwards and forward, in an estimated time-period. You will be able to follow the person's residents and occupations in between the Federal Census years. The City Directory will usually include a map of the town and you will also be able to plot the actual addresses. This is important research tool, especially if an individual was a tenant and not landowner and you are unable to find any land deeds.

Locating the residence address of your ancestors will become important when the 1930 Federal Census is release in about 2003. There is no name index or Soundex for the 1930 Federal Census and you will only be able to locate individuals by their residence address. As a result, you need to begin to collect the exact residential addresses for your ancestors for the years 1929 through 1931. Without an address, you will not be able to locate anyone on the 1930 Federal Census until someone publishes an index.

Many public libraries, historical/genealogy societies and state archives may own City Directories or may have copies of them available on microfiche/microfilm. You might also be able to borrow microfiche/microfilm copies of City Directors through the Church of Latter-Day Saints Family History Center in your community.

To find information on City Directories for Texas communities, go to http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/lobby/citydirs.htm for other states, checkout "Cyndi's List of City Directories" at http://www.CyndisList.com/citydir.htm.


My grandmother, Minerva Amanda DUKE (widow of Jacob Henry CONE), married Sherrod William SANDERS (a widower), in July 1851 at Perry Co., AL. In 1855, Minerva and Sherrod, with their children, moved to Milam Co., TX. They purchased land and settled in a community, which was later name Minerva, TX, after Minerva Duke Cone Sanders. I am seeking information on Minerva's mother and father. It is believed the family moved from South Carolina to Perry Co., AL in about 1820 to 1830. Any information about her parents would be appreciated, contact: Charles Hubert, Rt. 1, Box 131, Milano, TX 76556 or e-mail: mhubert@swbell.net.

On the Bookshelf

Milam County, Texas 1867 Voter's Registration by Lynna Kay Shuffield, P. O. Box 16604, Houston Texas 77222, 8.5"x11", index, bibliography. ($12.00, including postage)

On March 2, 1867, Congress passed the Reconstruction Acts, which required the U.S. military to supervise elections to new Constitutional Conventions for each state that succeeded from the Union. African-American men were allowed to vote and serve as delegates; Confederate oath violators were not. Thus, a special voter's registration was taken in the Southern states.

Men had to register in the county, where they lived, and take an oath not to bear arms against the United States. Included for the men from Milam County is the date of registration, the person's name, race, naturalization information, and reasons for rejecting some registrants. The book is arranged in the order of registration with an alphabetical index at the end.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/2670/ COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 12 Dec and was last revised on 10 Jan 2000

Copyright 1999, 2000 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604