City directories – A Valuable Resource

City directories are one of the most useful resources for genealogists. By City Directories, I do not mean telephone books. They are like having 2 books within 1 publication. These directories have an alphabetical listing by surname of people living in the community. The second half is an alphabetical listing of streets in the community. Some of the newer directories also have telephone number listings filed in numerical order.

The Windsor Public Library has many city directories for Windsor. Our older Windsor directories also include the towns of Walkerville and Sandwich. Our collection of city directories goes back to 1891. The earlier directories are so fragile that the earlier directories can only be viewed on microfilm. By using these directories, a researcher can track a family as they moved from house to house within the city. Once an address has been established for a relative, it pays to look in the street directory section. Other relatives may have lived in the house next door, or across the street. 

These city directories also had a section devoted to businesses.  It is interesting to look at the businesses to see what types of businesses were active in the last century. There have been many changes in the types of industries and businesses which are present now as compared to the past.

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13 Responses to "City directories – A Valuable Resource"

  1. Gregory Gleason says:

    When was Drouillard road name changed to Chrysler Center?

    • Windsor Public Library says:

      Sorry but we do not have anything specific as to the name change, but I checked the Fire Insurance Plan for 1952 and it still showed the street as Drouillard Road and in brackets Chrysler Centre. If you want an exact date of name change you will have to contact the Windsor Utilities Commission, as they are responsible for naming of streets and name changes.
      Mike Fish, Archivist.

  2. sushil says:

    which is most recent year directory you have.
    do you have 2016, 2017…

    • Grant Finlae says:

      Wow, sure looks like they respond well. Simple question, they go back to 1891 but how recent?

      • Windsor Public Library says:

        Depending on the question, we respond sometimes to the person directly through email. The answer then would not appear here.
        All questions are answered in a timely manner.

        Concerning your question, the library has City Directories from 1981-2013 except 1995. There are no City Directories available after that. Our Local History Librarian said that they stop publishing them after 2013.

  3. Gillian MacMillan says:

    I am looking for the age of the home I grew up in. 1633 Highland Ave. What resources are necessary to do this?

  4. Richard McIntyre says:

    East of Walker Rd. and south of Tecumseh Rd. was Sandwich East until 1966 when annexed by Windsor not part of Windsor.

  5. Jeff Rose-Martland says:

    Are the directories after 1968 located online? The and SWODA only go that far and I’m interested in the 70s.

  6. Jerry Dupuis says:

    Has the directory a listing of owners for condo units in the city [Windsor] On., ?

  7. Kathleen Cason says:

    Are any of the Windsor City Directories available online? I live quite far away so that would be helpful for my genealogical research. Thanks

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