Sunday, March 11, 2018

Women's History Month 2018: Other Directories

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

Yesterday, we looked at city directories but there are other types of directories that can be used for family history research. When thinking about a female ancestor consider other possibilities including:

  • Social Registers
  • Church Directories
  • Alumni Directories
  • Club Directories (also consider any membership group she belonged to)
  • Professional Directories
  • Business Directories
  • Who’s Who of American Women (or other Who's Who publications)
  • Community Cookbooks

Basically, any group she was a member of could have published a directory. Inclusion in other types of directories may have been by invitation such as Who's Who and community cookbooks. (Yes, a community cookbook is a directory, it lists women's names and provides a location).

As you research, identify groups she may have belonged to, activities she took part in, her education, and her church affiliation. This will become easier as you flesh out your female ancestor's timeline. Once you figure out those connections, start to seek out records from those groups. Most likely you will find them as part of an archival collection.

ArchiveGrid is one archival catalog you can use. Remember to search by keyword such as the name of the group she belonged to or her location.

A Google search might also help you find these records. Digitized book websites may have  older copies. Searching on eBay may also help you locate copies of interest.

Who's Who of American Women can be found indexed via the BGMI (Biography & Genealogy Master Index) on


GenealogyBank Blog - Genealogy Tip: Using Directories to Find Your Female Ancestors

Wikipedia - Marquis Who's Who

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