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BuffaloResearch.com City Directories in Buffalo and Erie County, NY


  • City directories are also known as Polk directories, because the Detroit-based R.L. Polk & Company is the nation's primary publisher of city directories.
  • The American Antiquarian Society has a good article about the history and development of city directories.
  • In most cases, the towns and villages in Erie County were not included in city directories until after World War II (1945). Even today, not every place in Erie County is included in a directory. Unfortunately, with a very few exceptions, there are no 19th century city directories for the towns and villages of Erie County.
  • About a dozen county-wide directories have ever been published. I do not know how comprehensive they were. Skip down to Erie County to see the years available.
  • Expect gaps in coverage. Directories are usually but not always published on an annual basis, especially when it comes to the towns and villages outside of Buffalo.
  • Women's names rarely appear in directories before the 1920s unless they were widows or heads of households. Childrens' names do not appear at all.

book  Where To Find City Directories


  1. Grosvenor Room, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library.
    Has most years in hard copy and microfilm of years 1832 to 1993.   Genealogist George Richmond assures us, "These films are reputed to be in bad shape, although my experience differs."
  2. Anna B. Reinstein Memorial Library, Cheektowaga, NY
    This branch of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library has Buffalo city directories on microfilm from 1860 to the present
  3. Western New York Genealogical Society
    Collection is housed in the Grosvenor Room, Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. There are quite a few paper volumes on hand. Some of them are deteriorating, but may be used with care. The WNYGS does not have any staff and cannot offer look-ups.
  4. LDS Family History Center, Williamsville, NY
    The directories here are on microfiche, and in excellent condition. Must be used in person; no staff available for long-distance or telephone research services. Years available: 1828-1935. These same years can also be requested at any LDS Family History Center.
  5. Research Library, Buffalo History Museum.
    There are many paper volumes on hand. Again, use with care. The library also has microfilms that are in excellent condition.
  6. Lockwood Library, University at Buffalo
    has Buffalo city directories from 1848 to the present, plus a collection of pre-1860 city directories from other American cities on microfiche, which may include Buffalo.
  7. Buffalo State College, History Department
    has begun to acquire Buffalo city directories on microfilm. At present, they have: 1832-1893, 1895-1922, 1924, 1930, 1936-1942, 1946, 1948, 1950-1960 (1960 partial), 1961-1968
  8. Andrew J. Bouwhuis Library, Canisius College
    has some early and recent Buffalo city directories. I do not know if their collection is complete.
  9. New York State Library, Albany, NY
    has Buffalo directories from 1828-1935 on microform.
  10. Library of Congress, Washington, DC
    has Buffalo directories from 1861-1960 on microfilm
  11. University of Massachusetts at Amherst
    has 1828, 1832, 1835-1844, 1847-1860
  12. Duke University, Durham, NC
    has most years from 1828 to 1906
  13. Enoch Pratt Public Library, Baltimore, MD
    has 1828, 1832, 1835-1842, 1844, 1847-1860
  14. Newberry Library, Chicago, IL
    has 1828, 1837, 1847-1848, 1863-1864, 1867, 1869, 1871, 1874, 1881, 1892, 1897, 1900, 1903, 1905, 1907, 1913, 1916, 1918, 1922-1924, 1927-1928
  15. Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
    has 1828-1960
  16. Brigham Young University and the Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT
    have most years from 1828 to 1972. For a fee, you can also order a look-up online.
  17. GenResearch.com, Salt Lake City, UT
    A commercial research service that offers lookups in Buffalo city directories, 1827-1932
  18. NJGen
    A commercial research service that offers lookups in Buffalo city directories, 1861-1881
  19. Clayton Library, Houston, TX
    owns 1861-1881, 1890, 1901-1909, 1910-1911, 1924, 1931

*Thanks to George Richmond for contributing items 3-6 to this list.
  Unable to Visit Buffalo for In-Person Research?


  1. Request photocopied pages by contacting an owning library directly and ask to be billed for copy costs
  2. Ask your local librarian to request photocopies by interlibrary loan
  3. Borrow them on microfilm from LDS Family History Centers
  4. Hire a private researcher to make copies for you

Buffalo Roots Home City Directories in Buffalo and Erie County, NY

Place Year first covered & online versions Name (title)
of directory
Notes

Buffalo

1828 to present.
Several are online in full text

.

Varies. They were compiled by several different publishers over time. Some mid-20th century Buffalo directories include Kenmore or Lackawanna. Older ones list only Buffalo city residents.

None published in 1829-1831, 1845, 1846, 1943-1945, 1947, 1949, 1954, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1994, 1995.

Akron

1996

Buffalo Suburban

 

Alden

1996

Buffalo Suburban

 

Amherst

1957

Buffalo Northeast Suburban

 

Angola

1996

Buffalo Suburban

 

Athol Springs

1996

Buffalo Suburban

See also Hamburg

Aurora

1983

Buffalo Southtowns

See also East Aurora

Blasdell

1963

Buffalo Southeast Suburban

See also Hamburg

Boston

1996

Buffalo Suburban

 

Bowmansville

See Lancaster

   

Brant

1996

Buffalo Suburban

 

Cheektowaga

1957

Buffalo Northeast Suburban

 

Clarence

1991

Buffalo Suburban

 

Colden

No known coverage

 

Possibly in Erie County directory?

Collins

No known coverage

 

Possibly in Erie County directory?

Concord

No known coverage

 

Possibly in Erie County directory?

Derby

1996

Buffalo Suburban

 

Depew

1963

Buffalo Southeast Suburban

See also Lancaster

East Amherst

   

See Amherst

East Aurora

1950

East Aurora

No more published until 1962

East Hamburgh

See Orchard Park

   

Eggertsville

1957

Buffalo Northeast Suburban

See also Amherst

Elma

1996

Buffalo Suburban

 

Erie County

1916-17

Farm Journal Illustrated Rural Directory of Erie County
Gradually being indexed online

Rural Directory of Erie County

No more published.

Erie County

1924, 1927, 1929, 1931, 1936, 1938, 1941

Erie County

No more published. May not be comprehensive.

Evans

No known coverage except for Angola & Derby

 

Possibly in Erie County directory?

Farnham

1996

Buffalo Suburban

See also Brant

Getzville

1996

Buffalo Suburban

See also Amherst

Gowanda

1964

Gowanda-Cattaraugus

No other years published

Grand Island

1989

Tonawandas

 

Hamburg

1949

Hamburg

No more published until 1956

Holland

No known coverage

 

Possibly in Erie County directory?

Kenmore

1924

Kenmore

Continued by Buffalo City, 1931

Lackawanna

1960

Lackawanna

 

Lancaster

1963

Buffalo Southeast Suburban

 

Marilla

1996

Buffalo Suburban

 

Newstead

No known coverage except for Akron

 

Possibly in Erie County directory?

North Collins

No known coverage

 

Possibly in Erie County directory?

Orchard Park

1966

Buffalo Southeast Suburban

 

Sardinia

No known coverage

 

Possibly in Erie County directory?

Sloan

1957

Buffalo Northeast Suburban

See also Cheektowaga

Snyder

1957

Buffalo Northeast Suburban

See also Amherst

Springville

No known coverage

 

Possibly in Erie County directory?

Tonawanda (city)

1948

Tonawandas

 

Tonawanda (town)

1948

Tonawandas

 

Wales

No known coverage except for Wales Center

   

Wales Center

1996

Buffalo Suburban

 

West Seneca

1963

Buffalo Southeast Suburban

 

Williamsville

1957

Buffalo Northeast Suburban

 

Woodlawn

1963

Buffalo Southeast Suburban

 

Updated 30 September 2013

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