People across the United States celebrated Thanksgiving last week, taking the opportunity to reflect on all they are thankful for as well as the meaning of American heritage. To help our users learn more about their ancestors in the United States, we’re offering free access to our very special U.S. City Directories collection this week, December 2–7, 2021!
This collection contains records from 26,000 public U.S. city directories published between 1860 and 1960. City directories are publications that were distributed by many cities in the United States to help residents find local individuals and businesses, and they typically list names (and names of spouses), addresses, occupations, and workplaces. These records constitute a rich source of information for anyone seeking to learn more about their family in the United States in the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries. They can serve as an important alternative to census records where those records are not available — for example, most of the records from the 1890 census, which were destroyed in a fire in 1921.
Because these directories were produced by many different local authorities and not by a centralized authority, they come in many different formats and structures. This made turning them into an easily searchable database a challenge for the MyHeritage team, but we rose to it using machine-learning algorithms that identified the various elements in the directories and consolidated records of multiple people into one record. More than a billion individual records were consolidated into around 560 million aggregated records, each featuring the same individual who lived at the same set of addresses over the span of multiple years.
This makes the collection not only extremely valuable for anyone with roots in the United States, but also super convenient to search. You can read more about what makes this collection unique in our blog post announcement from the collection’s initial release. The records also include hi-res scanned images of the original directory pages.
Usually, these records are available only to those with a MyHeritage Complete or Data plan. But from today through next Tuesday, they will be completely free for anyone to search and view. Celebrate your American heritage and find your family members in the United States in these collections!
The post Limited Time Offer: Free Access to U.S. City Directories appeared first on MyHeritage Blog.
Source: My Heritage