When people think of genealogical resources vintage telephone books and street directories aren’t ones that necessarily spring to mind first. But I’m going to give you 10 reasons WHY you should be using them, (along with other records of course), for your research.

  1. Using old telephone books you can find out if your family had a phone
  2. And if so, what their number and address was
  3. Then you can look up the location on an old street directory to see if the road still exists and is still named the same
  4. To add to your social history knowledge, using both telephone books and street directories you can see what other facilities like schools, hospitals, churches, and businesses etc were around at the time
  5. Browsing through old street directories you’re bound to find suburbs that you’ve never heard of, that have since changed name
  6. Telephone books will give you the names and addresses of all who had a telephone in towns or suburbs. So it’s a great way to find FANs (Friends and Neighbours), others who may well have known and associated with your ancestors
  7. Both the phone books and street directories contain a heap of old business adverts, that are just stunning. Maybe you’ll find one for your ancestor’s business
  8. When looking at the street directories it’s fascinating to see what suburbs did and didn’t exist back then, as well as what roads did and didn’t as well.
  9. Using numerous years of telephone books, it is possible to track a person (or family), as it places them in a particular place at a particular time (including if they moved)
  10. Most of the directories that Archive Digital Books Australasia has scanned are in the 1930s to 1950s, so why not look for your parents or your grandparents phone number, and their house on the street maps? It’s exciting when you find them.

So as you can see using both old street directories and vintage telephone books can help place your ancestor on the map so to speak, and another dimension to your research. So what are you waiting for, CLICK HERE to check them out now.