Pittsburgh: 125 city directories online!

Searching for relatives who lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania? Here’s a collection of 125 directories dated 1815-1945.

The directory collection is “Historic Pittsburgh City Directories,” in the University of Pittsburgh’s Digital Research Library. Thanks to ResearchBuzz for this head’s-up.

Search parameters: simple keyword (even an occupation) or advanced search; author or title. Results show which city directories contain the keyword and a count of how many hits in that specific directory. Click on “results detail,” learn more about the specific directory and see the lines that matched your search.

You can also explore the community for that directory. Click on “Table of Contents,” and see that directory’s contents, including maps and advertisements. Click on those items and link to other pages.

Save images of pages of interest with a mouse right-click. While ResearchBuzz noted the option to view the page as an image or PDF, it didn’t seem to work properly.

While ResearchBuzz did sample searches for SMITH and “clockmaker,” Tracing the Tribe used a surname (COHEN/COHN) and keywords that might be more useful to our readers.

Here’s one of the useful titles for Tracing the Tribe’s readers:

The Pittsburgh Jewish community book; comprising the names and addresses of members and the history of Jewish organizations, also a history of the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. Publication Info: Pittsburgh, Pa., Jewish criterion, [c1917]-

A general search for COHEN produced 98 hits in the following resources (adding COHN produced more):

Wiggins’ directory of Greensburg and Westmoreland County for 1890-91 containing, in alphabetical order, the names, occupations and residences of the inhabitants of Greensburg, also of a list of the taxpayers in the township, giving the assessed value of real estate and personal property.

Harris’ Pittsburgh business directory for the year 1837 : including the names of all the merchants, manufacturers, mechanics, professional, men of business of Pittsburgh and its vicinity.

1920 The Pittsburgh social secretaire.

1917 The Pittsburgh Jewish community book; comprising the names and addresses of members and the history of Jewish organizations, also a history of the Jewish community of Pittsburgh.

1898 Directory of all business and professional men and official guide of Beaver County, Penn’a. : together with a complete map.

1913-17 Directory of the philanthropic, charitable, and civic agencies of the city of Pittsburgh. Vol. 1

Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities, 1864-1865.

The Pittsburgh and Allegheny blue book, 1895, Vol. 9.

Pittsburgh Allegheny business directory, 1875-6 : containing a complete classified and alphabetically arranged list of the business houses of the cities and adjacent boroughs

1878 A confidential business report of Pittsburgh and Allegheny.
Author: Business Men’s Protective Association.

Directory of Homestead Borough, West Homestead Borough, Munhall Borough 1902

Directory of Pittsburgh and Allegheny cities … 1861-2 through 1895 (not a complete series)

1850 The Pennsylvania business state directory: containing the names of professional men, mercantile firms, and manufacturing establishments, together with all the courts, post offices, public institutions, banks, corporations, companies, hotels, associations, & c. & c., throughtout the state, also the principal firms of the city of Cincinnatti, Ohio, and Baltimore, Maryland ;

1854-5 Ulman’s Pennsylvania business directory and eastern, western, and southern circular : for the year 1854-5,

c1880 Watson & Co.’s classified business directory of Pittsburgh, Allegheny, and prominent towns within a radius of forty miles.

Hits for COHEN ranged from one (and also a COHN) in the 1861-62 Pittsburgh and Allegheny City Director, page 55:

There were 17 hits for COHEN (and a few COHN) on several pages in the 1869-70 book. On page 101, see:

Scrolling through more recent books, numbers rise with the growth of the Jewish community in the city and surrounding areas.

On the Historic Pittsburgh site, there are top tabs for Full Text, Maps, Images, Finding Aids, Census, Chronology and the HSWP Catalog. Under Images, find more than 13,000 historic photographs in 44 collections, including the recently added 27-image Hebrew Institute Collection (1915-1970).

Read more here.

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