The earliest city directory for Alamance County, North Carolina was published in 1910 by Piedmont Directory Company of Burlington and Asheville, North Carolina. Starting in 1920 these city and business directories continued approximately every two years until the modern day telephone book would replace them. This page provides a listing of online directories for Almance County, North Carolina; while most are available for free, there are some years that I can only locate at Ancestry (1937, 1939, 1941, 1954 and 1957) At the bottom of this page are several church directories independently published, that are viewable online.

Genealogical Research in City Directories

City directories are primarily useful for locating people in a particular place and time. They can tell you generally where an ancestor lived and give an exact location for census years. They are also useful for linkage with sources other than censuses.

There are usually several parts to a city directory. The section of most interest to the genealogist, of course, is the alphabetical listing of names, for it is there that you may find your ancestor. The other parts of a directory are equally important, however, as they will help you utilize the information contained in the alphabetical listings more efficiently. Street directories and ward boundary descriptions can be used for census research. There may also be sections listing government offices, churches, civic and fraternal organizations, and businesses. These sections may be separated or combined.

Whenever you use a directory, however, it is important to refer to the page showing abbreviations used in the alphabetical section of the directory, usually following the name in each entry. Some abbreviations are quite common, such as h for home or r indicating residence. There may even be a subtle distinction between r for residents who are related to the homeowner and b for boarders who are not related. 1)Gordon L. Remington, FASG, FUGA in The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, third edition, pp. 330-331.

How to Search Ancestry’s Directories

All Ancestry directories are listed with three dollar signs ($$$) directly after their title. This helps users who wish to avoid paying for genealogical data, to avoid using these links. Our listings take you straight to the directories at which point you will need to advance alphabetically to the page for your ancestor. If you would prefer to search all Ancestry directories for Alamance County North Carolina, then you should do so from the following link:

This collection was created using a new OCR indexing method that improves searching and results. These records were not transcribed. Don’t forget to place Alamance County, North Carolina in the location field, or you may get many false matches from other locations.

Potential information you may find in a city directory

  • An alphabetical listing of inhabitants (arranged by name, address, and occupation).
  • A street address listing (arranged by address, name, and occupation).
  • Widows, working women, and adult children at home.
  • Ward maps.
  • Street locator, including cross streets.
  • Street name changes.
  • Removals (sometimes destinations!).
  • Businesses (and index to advertisers).
  • Addresses and maps of churches, schools, funeral homes, cemeteries, post offices, courts, hospitals, benevolent associations, newspapers.
  • Many early directories listed only business people.
  • Some directories list wife in parenthesis.
  • Whether a woman is a widow (including name of husband).
  • List of marriages and deaths of previous year.
  • Death date.
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What is a directory?

A directory is a book containing one or more alphabetical lists of the inhabitants of any locality, with their addresses and occupations; also a similar compilation dealing with the members of a particular profession, trade, or association, as a Clerical or Medical Directory, etc.2)The Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961), 393.

Alamance County North Carolina City and Business Directories

Alamance County North Carolna Church Directories

References   [ + ]

1.Gordon L. Remington, FASG, FUGA in The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, third edition, pp. 330-331.
2.The Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961), 393.