Professional and organizational directories were often published specifically those engaged in a specific profession or those involved in a professional, ethnic, political, fraternal, or military organization. Professional directories can shed light on your ancestor’s professional life, education, and training. Organizational directories can lead you to a paper trail he or she might have left in the organization’s records, perhaps in the form of membership applications, account books, or meeting minutes.
In addition to learning more about your ancestor’s occupation, professional directories can include birth and death information, qualifications, residence, date of registration or license, and occasionally photographs.
These records are helpful in placing your ancestor in a specific location in a particular year. Use that information to expand your search and seek out other local records that may have been created while your ancestor lived there.