City directories can be very useful tools for genealogical research. They are alphabetically arranged making them easy to use, they are usually compiled each year, and they take care to capture all households of the city.
Because these directories were created more for business use, the creators took care to be exact with name spellings, middle initials, addresses, etc because they needed to be able to distinguish between their customers.
Check out some of these Durham based city and business directories below:
This historical directory is organized alphabetically by county and gives information on the county, names of the towns and post offices, county and town officers and magistrates, churches, ministers, hotels, lawyers, manufacturers, tradesmen, mines, mills, newspapers, merchants, schools, physicians, farmers, teachers, and so on. It also contains a list of railroads and an index to advertisements found throughout the book.
This is a great source for locating your ancestors and learning about what they did for occupations and for getting a good picture of the kinds of things that were happening around town during that time period.
These books are fully searchable and several have already been digitized by UNC and uploaded to the internet archives website.
This source contains a general directory of the Citizens of Raleigh in addition to a complete Business Directory of the Cities of Raleigh, Charlotte, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro’, Newbern and Wilmington.
City directory of citizens indexed by last name.
Also includes a classified directory by trade, including tailors, teachers, farmers, printers, painters, milliners, grocers, druggists, dressmakers, butchers, clerks, etc, and a list of farmers by town. This book is fully searchable.
A general directory of the citizens of Durham city with the White and Colored population seperated in different parts of the book. Also includes a business directory and a farmers list.
Contains the name, occupation, street and number of Durham citizens, separated into Whites and Coloreds.
Includes business listing and advertisement index.
Including citizens of East Durham, West Durham, North Durham, Trinty College, Brookstown, and Hayti, as well as business directory.
Includes photographs of buildings and prominant citizens of Durham as well as a historical sketch from 1881 when the county was first formed to the present day of 1897.
Published by Samuel L. Adams. Contains the name, occupation, street and number of all the citizens of greater Durham over the age of sixteen. Also includes a business and miscellaneous directory alphabetically arranged.
Citizen directory is divided by Whites and Coloreds of Durham, East Durham, West Durham, and Durham Suburbs.
Durham City Directory published by Hill Directory Company containing a general and business directory, guide to the streets of Durham, and other useful miscellaneous information. These books are fully searchable.
Published by the Seeman Printery, this book lists the citizens of the towns of Durham separated by Whites and Coloreds. Includes a guide to Durham streets. Mostly citizen only directory with small list of major business like schools, churches, banks, post offices and hospitals.
History of the town of Durham, N. C., embracing biographical sketches and engravings of leading business men, and a carefully compiled business directory of Durham, to which is annexed a compilation of useful information in relation to the cultivation, curing and manufacture of tobacco in North Carolina and Virginia, by Hiram V. Paul (1884)
This book’s main focus is on the tobacco industry of Durham.
It does cover biographical sketches of several of Durham’s prominant citizens such as Julian S. Carr, William T. Blackwell, Washington Duke, John R. Green, Caleb B. Green, Bartholomew Fuller, Thomas D. Jones, J. S. Lockhart, William Mangum, Eugene Morehead, D. C. Parrish, E. J. Parrish, James Southgate, Webb & Kramer, and J. B. Whitaker. Sketches include photographs of the gentlemen as well as their autographs.
The last part of the book lists the names of major tradesmen by trade. There is a table of contents, but no index. This book is fully searchable.