When searching online publications like books, newspapers, and city directories, try entering the house number and street name where your ancestor lived. If you limit your search to surname, you may miss:
- results where a name was misspelled,
- other relatives with different surnames who also lived at a particular home, or
- items that may have just mentioned the location and not the owner.
For example, searching for a house number and street may lead you to an advertisement or news item where an address appears without your ancestor's name.
In addition, this type of search can help you determine when an ancestor bought or sold a property. When I searched the Historic Pittsburgh website for "2910 Carson" (the home and grocery store of my great-great uncle Henry Jay), I was able to pinpoint when he occupied this building by looking at the city directory search results. In the 1892 city directory, a grocer by the name of Henry C. Snyder was at this address. The 1893 city directory shows the first year my 2nd great-uncle's name was listed at this address. He continued to own this property until his death in 1923. (On another post, you can see a photo of the property as it looks today.)
Post a comment if you have searched for an address and uncovered some useful information about your ancestors.