Tag Archives: city directories

1886-1893 Louisville Cabinet Card Photograph

I have a photograph to share with you today that I hope you will see as beautiful.  Some may see this woman as old, worn out and wrinkled.  But I love photos of old people.  You can see lines on their faces and hands that show they have lived life – sometimes it is harsh, sometimes kinder, but I always try to guess what their life was like.

To date this photo, we need to find out more about the man who took it.  J. M. Gregory, of Louisville, Kentucky (another reason I favor this photo!), first appears in the Louisville city directories in 1870-1872, at a studio at 78 West Main Street.  In 1873 and 74, he appears at 114 Market Street.  After a pause of several years he is in the city directory for 1880-81 at 104 Fourth Street, then 1882-83 at 613 W. Market.  In 1886, he again shows up at 810 W. Market – which is the address on this photo – and remains there through 1893.  Afterwards there is no information about him in the Louisville city directories.  Therefore, this photo was taken between 1886-1893.

This woman has the white hair that comes with great age.  Isn’t it amazing that she has lived such a long life, particularly during this time period?  From the perils of childbirth to the many illnesses that today could be cured, even in the 1880’s to 90’s something that seems trivial today could be deadly.  She looks rather sad, but that was not unusual in the day.  Her hands are those of someone who has worked all their life – washing clothes, weeding the garden, cooking meals, sewing – all those usual chores that come with being a wife and mother.  Her clothes are not fancy, but look sturdy and useful.  No jewelry, not even a wedding ring.  At this point in her life she was someone’s wife, mother, grandmother, even possibly great-grandmother.  Perhaps she had this photo made at the wishes of her family – to have a remembrance to cherish.

How Can City Directories Help Genealogy Research?

William Franklin Linton standing in front of his grocery store about 1899.

 

City directories are a marvelous source of genealogy information.  Not only do they list who lives in a particular city, and their residential address, but it lists their place of work and that address as well!  I have used city directories in several instances, not only to prove where people lived, but to prove they weren’t living in a particular city.

The following examples are from Louisville, Kentucky.  This was research complied for my dear friend Richard Linton about ten years ago.

The Linton’s listed below are the grandsons of Moses Linton and Nancy Pead.  Moses was the son of Captain John Linton and Ann Mason, and came to Kentucky a few years before his father made the move from Loudoun County, Virginia, to Washington County, in 1818.  Moses moved to neighboring Nelson County, but later in life moved back to Washington County, although his children remained in Nelson and raised their families.  In the book I’m reading on Frankfort, Kentucky, they spoke about how the Depression of 1893 hit the state hard.  Perhaps these men who had worked as farmers for years, with their fathers, felt a new location and a different job would help them support their families.

The cast of characters:  William Yerby Linton, Moses Fillmore Linton and Benjamin Clark Linton – all sons of Moses Linton and Nancy Pead.  Those who moved to Louisville, Kentucky:

  • James Monreo Linton – son of William Yerby Linton
  • William Franklin Linton, John Kennedy Linton, Joseph F. Linton – sons of Moses Fillmore Linton.
  • James Fenton Linton – son of Benjamin Clark Linton

Now let’s see how jobs and home addresses change throughout this six year period.

1894 City Directory – Louisville, Kentucky

  • Linton Brothers (William F. and James Fenton Linton), grocers, 2401 Slevin
  • James Fenton Linton (Linton Brothers) residence 226 7th
  • James Kennedy Linton, packer Louisville Tin and Stove Company, residence 511 22nd
  • James Monroe Linton, engineer Louisville Tin and Stove Company, residence 226 7th
  • William F. Linton (Linton Brothers) residence 2401 Slevin

1895 City Directory – Louisville, Kentucky

  • Linton Brothers (William F. Linton) grocers, 1324 W. Broadway
  • John Kennedy Linton, packer Louisville Tin and Stove Company, residence 2401 Slevin
  • Joseph Fenton Linton (J. F. and J. M. Linton), grocers, 2401 Slevin
  • Joseph Fenton and James Monroe Linton (J.F. & J. M. Linton) grocers, 2401 Slevin
  • James Monroe Linton (J. F. and J. M. Linton) business 2401 Slevin
  • William F. Linton (Linton Brothers) residence 1324 W. Broadway

1898 City Directory – Louisville, Kentucky

  • Linton Brothers (William F. Linton) grocers, 1324 W. Broadway
  • James Monroe Linton, packer, Louisville Tin and Stove, residence 1816 Todd
  • John Kennedy Linton, porter, Robinson-Pettet Company, residence 511 22nd
  • Joseph Fenton Linton, driver, Bridge-McDowell Company, residence 2828 Cleveland Avenue
  • William F. Linton (Linton Brothers) residence 1324 W. Broadway

1899 City Directory – Louisville, Kentucky

  • James M. Linton, packer, Louisville Tin and Stove Company, residence 2136 Duncan
  • John Kennedy Linton, porter, Robinson-Pettet Company, residence 511 22nd
  • Joseph Fenton Linton, grocer, 1628 W. Madison
  • William F. Linton, grocer, 1324 W. Broadway

1900 City Directory – Louisville, Kentucky

  • James M. Linton, packer, Louisville Tin and Stove Company, residence 2136 Duncan
  • John Kennedy Linton, packer, Carter Dry Goods Company, residence 511 22nd
  • Joseph Fenton Linton, clerk, W. F. Linton, residence 1851 Lytle
  • William F. Linton, grocer, residence 1322 W. Broadway