21 May 2010

Great Resource: Los Angeles City Directories

My biggest problem in tackling the "To Do" piles is that even just one brief item to check out in a newsletter can keep me busy all afternoon! This week, it was one tiny, little article in the May 2010 Questing Heirs Genealogy Society's Newsletter [1] reporting that the Los Angeles Public Library had added the 1923 edition of the LA City Directory to their digital collection.

I have made the trip to the Los Angeles Public Library in downtown LA a few times; their genealogy collection is quite good. I have used the cumbersome microfilm copies of the directories to track approximate arrivals in and movement around Los Angeles for my Hegwer, Porter, and Keating lines. But I had no idea that any of the directories are online! Wow! And anyone can access them from home: no library card required! (Of course, if you do have a card, there are lots of other databases you can also access.) Note that this is the library of the City of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County library system is a completely different entity [2].

Access the directories at http://www.lapl.org/resources/en/.  [Personally, I cannot find a way to easily get to this link from their home page!]   Select the link to the 'Los Angeles City and Street Directories.'  Once you get there, the search engine for the site is super easy. Of course, just to test it, I put in my names and found some new-to-me info!

This image is from p. 1082 of the 1942 Los Angeles City Directory.  Leonard Benjamin HEGWER was one of Great-Uncle Henry Hegwer's children with his second wife, Flora Wallace. A meterman with the city power company, Leonard appears in the 1929, 1936, 1938, 1939, and 1942 Los Angeles directories, each time at a different address! Interestingly, the listings also vary by who else is recorded with him:

1929 -- alone
1936 -- Louise I.
1938 -- Louise T.
1939 -- alone
1942 -- Dollie

The 2 listings where Leonard is listed without another name don't bother me; I know there are many instances where the directories do not show spouses. My records show that a marriage license was issued in Los Angeles for him and Louise Isabelle Ferguson in 1924, but I don't know if 'Dollie' is Louise.

Genealogy lessons for today
  • The newsletters from local genealogy societies can have all sorts of wonderful goodies in them.
  • Freely accessible digital collections at libraries are rapidly growing.
  • Working on the ToDo pile can create more to do!
  • Leonard is very collateral for me, so I probably won't spend any more time on his marriage(s?), but it does remind me that new info can turn up when you least expect it.

Line of Descent
Carl Benjamin Hegwer = Maria Rosina Ilgner
Henry Hegwer = Flora Wallace (his second marriage)
Leonard Benjamin Hegwer = Louise Ferguson and/or ????

Disclaimer & Notes
I do not receive any special consideration from any of the entities mentioned in this blog post.  I have a library card for both libraries mentioned and I am a Questing Heirs member.  For the directory image, first I saved and printed the page I wanted.  Then I took a digital photo of a portion of the page and cropped it.

[1] Questing Heirs Genealogical Society meets in Long Beach, California. Both their monthly newsletter and monthly meetings are always very interesting.  Past issues of the newsletters are available to anyone at the website.

[2] A library card from the Los Angeles County Library is free to temporary or permanent county residents.  I can access Heritage Quest from home and use my local branch for inter-library loans for lots of genealogy sources! 

1 comment:

  1. I love the LA directories, especially accessing them from another state. Thanks for sharing your tips. :)