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Minnesota City Directories
What Are City Directories?
City directories were published for many cities in the United States in the 1800's and 1900's. These directories provided a variety of information about the people in a particular city and were generally published by private companies for sale. KinSource has transcribed records from selected Minnesota City Directories into a searchable database. Search for names in the KinSource Archives!
Why Are City Directories Helpful?
City Directories are useful for several reasons. They are helpful in locating people in a certain area over a specific time period. Once a person is located in a specific area, other useful records may be found. City directories can also provide information about the occupations that people held over time, and the people or companies who employed them. This particular database also provides the capability of searching by address which can provide information about other individuals that lived with a particular family. A search by addresses can also help find information useful in developing house histories or histories about specific neighborhoods.
What Information Is Available In This Database?
What Are The 1885 Minnesota Census Links?
KinSource has linked over 23,000 names from the St. Paul 1885-6 City Directory to corresponding entries in the 1885 Minnesota Census. City directory entries were more likely to be spelled correctly, so these links can provide another method for locating census entries of people whose names were badly misspelled in the census. Since there are no street addresses listed in the 1885 Minnesota Census, KinSource has used the fact that the census takers generally listed households in the census in the order that they were visited. This allowed matching of census records with city directory entries that have been sorted by address.
These links were made using the best discretion possible considering that many names are badly misspelled in the census, making the matching process difficult at times. Names are also misspelled to a lesser degree in the city directories, and there can be multiple entries (under different spellings) for the same person in the city directory, thus making the process more difficult. Some entries could not be matched with enough certainty due to misspelling and difficulty in pinpointing the exact address, so they were not linked.
This linking process is not yet complete. All census entries in Wards 5, 6 and 7 in St. Paul have been linked, if possible. Many, but not all, census entries in the Ramsey county townships and Wards 1, 2, 3 and 4 in St. Paul have been linked. The remaining entries will be linked as time permits.
KinSource also encountered some names in the city directory that linked to multiple entries in the 1885 Census. It was found that many St. Paul residents were enumerated more than once in the 1885 Minnesota Census, so the name of the person in the city directory has been linked to all corresponding census entries.
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