Genealogy Search Tips

8 Tips for Finding Residence Information

Discover an Ancestor's Place of Residence, Occupation, Date of Birth, Father's Name, Mother's Maiden Name and More

There are many different sources for residence information. Some families moved quite often and so residence informationin might have changed every couple years - at least during some time periods.

Google's Indexed List of Books, Magazines, Almanacs and More

Google's indexed list of books, magazines, almanacs, directories, legal publications and more contain community histories, biographies, obituaries and other information that can be very useful to genealogists.

Go to Google's website and on the left side click Books (you might need to first click "More" to find Books). Then enter your ancestors' name, city, town or county where he or she died. Add or eliminate search terms based on your initial results.

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Census Reports and City and Other Directories

In some cases you might know where an ancestor lived but would like a specific address at some point in time. There are a number of good sources for that information.

Census reports and Directories, like city, school, employment and other organizations, are good places to find addresses. Phone books, year books, marriage applications, draft cards and other military enlistment applications are also good sources.

High School and College Yearbooks

High school and college yearbooks are a good source of addresses at the time of an ancestor's graduation. Usually the yearbooks list only the addresses of those in the graduating class. Since this will usually be the address for the family yearbooks are also a good source for the address of the parents and some siblings of the graduate.

See our discussion of Yearbooks for some additional tips on finding ancestor information.

Marriage License Applications

Marriage License Applications are a good source of useful information including the residences of the bride and groom.

You can also find the names of the parents of both the bride and groom and this includes the maiden names of both mothers.

In many cases you can find the residence addresses for all 4 parents of the bride and groom. Family Search is a good online source for marriage records.

World War II Draft Registration Cards

If you are looking for the residence of a male who was living in the United States in 1942 you might try looking for a copy of his World War II Draft Registration Card.

All males born between April 28, 1877 and February 16, 1897 were required to register for the draft and place of residence questions were on the form. You should be able to find his residence street name and number, city, county and state. See our discussion of Military Records for additional information.

Military Records

Military records for the different branches of service are good places to find residence information. In the United States an individual's enlistment records should contain at minimum the county and state where the individual was residing at the time of enlistment.

The amount of detail in the residence information depends on the form used by the branch of service at the time of enlistment. See our discussion of Military Records for additional information.

Social Security Death Index

You can usually find residence information for a deceased US citizen in the Social Security Death Index. You will find the county and state of the deceased's "Last Place of Residence".

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) provides information about deceased people who had registered with Social Security - many people born before 1900 had registered. See our discussion of the Social Security Death Index.

World War I Draft Registration Cards

If you are looking for the residence of a male who was living in the United States between June, 1917 and September, 1918 you might try looking for a copy of his World War I Draft Registration Card.

All males born between 1872 and 1900 were required to register for the draft and place of residence questions were on the form. You should be able to find his residence street name and number, city, county and state. See our discussion of Military Records for additional information.

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