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Personal Name Index to the 1856 City Directories of California, v. 10

Contributed by Dan Mosier

Personal Name Index to the 1856 City Directories of California, v. 10.
Nathan C. Parker, Detroit, MI: Gale Research Co., 1980.

City and county directories can provide genealogical information about a person's residence and occupation. Directories can also be used to estimate population statistics between census years. This was the author's purpose for compiling an index for the 1856 city directories in California. It is midway between the 1852 State Census and the 1860 Federal Census. But not all cities and counties in the state had available directories for 1856, so the census is incomplete. Unlike government census records, however, directories and this index to directories lists the personal names in alphabetical order making it easy to search for names. This index contains 24,087 names representing the cities of San Francisco, Sacramento, Stockton, Marysville,Nevada City, Grass Valley, and Rough and Ready and the counties of Tuolumne, Calaveras, San Joaquin, and Stanislaus. Following the personal name is listed the previous residence, which could be a city, state, or foreign country, when available; names from the San Francisco directory did not provide this information. Next is listed the code for the source directory from which the information came and the page number. Here is an example of an entry:

"Foster, C. Ohio SA52"

"Foster, C." is the personal name, "Ohio" is the previous residence, "SA" is the Sacramento Directory, and "52" is the page number in that directory. This allows the researcher to easily find the name in the original directory.
Following the main index are listed separate indexes for Blacks and Chinese.
The author did not attempt to correct the spelling of names so the researcher should search for all misspellings and variations of a name for a more complete search.

Some California libraries that have the above item:

  • Berkeley, University of California Berkeley Bancroft Library, F860 .P149
  • Davis, University of California Davis Shields Library, F860.P37
  • Irvine, University of California Irvine Main Library, F860 .P37
  • La Jolla, University of California San Diego Library, F860 .P37
  • Los Angeles, University of California Los Angeles Spec Coll Library, F 860 P37
  • Riverside, University of California Riverside Rivera Library, F860 .P37
  • Sacramento, California State Library, F 860 P37 California Circ and Non Circ
  • San Diego, San Diego State University Library, F860.P37 1980 ref
  • San Francisco, Sutro Library, F 860 P37
  • San Jose, San Jose State University Library, F860.P37 1980 Clark ref
  • Santa Clara, Santa Clara Library, Gr 929.3794 P242