The following announcement was written by Ancestry.ca:
Ancestry.ca launches pre-telephone Canadian City and Area Directories, 1819-1899
(Toronto, ON – October 28th, 2008) In a world-first, Ancestry.ca today launched online the fully indexed Canada City and Area Directories, 1819-1899, which feature the names and addresses of more than 5.2 million people who lived in Canada during the greater part of the 19th Century.
In total, 19,764 pages of directory pages were scanned and are now available to search online.
A pre-cursor to phone books, these historic directories feature an alphabetical listing of the majority of heads of households in major cities across Canada along with their address and occupation. It also lists businesses, town officers, schools, societies, churches and other public institutions.
Aside from finding one’s own ancestors within this collection, enthusiasts will be able to find records of Prime Ministers, politicians, celebrities and other prominent figures from the time, including Sir John A. MacDonald. There is a record of him in a Victoria directory from 1889 driving the last spike in the Canadian Pacific Railroad on Vancouver Island in 1886.
Family history enthusiasts can now discover online where their ancestors once lived, who lived in the household with them and what their occupation was.
Social history enthusiasts who have already researched the former occupants of their homes can continue exploring the new and fast growing ‘hidden house history’ trend, by learning even more about the previous inhabitants of their homes, when they lived there and what they did.
Karen Peterson, Marketing Director, Ancestry.ca, comments: “These records are an important addition to Ancestry’s historical collection as they present comprehensive information about the lives of Canadians during the pre and post Confederation days of the 19th Century.
“They provide an invaluable opportunity for family history enthusiasts to discover where their ancestors lived and what they did for a living.”
Directories are a helpful tool for family history researchers because they can fill in the gaps between federal or provincial censuses, providing people with much clearer timelines and details about their ancestors and their lives.
The collection, which until now was only partially available on microfiche, is now complete and fully indexed online for the first time, making searching simpler and faster.
The Canada City and Area Directories, 1819-1899 will be available to Canada and World Deluxe members and through a 14-day free trial.