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Directories are really great.  It seems like genealogists either know about them and love them as a source or they don't know about them at all.  They are a lot like today's phone books.  They can be used with census records or as a substitute for them.

Directories We Have Online

Many places had directories done starting very early.  Clinton's go back to the 1860's.  It's a great way to get an idea of when your ancestors may have moved.  Are they in the 1870 census but not the 1880?  See if you can find them in directories.  Directories also give you information about where your ancestors lived and worked.  Are there land records to follow up on?  Did they have their own business?  Did they need a license of any kind or do records exist from the business where they worked?  

You might want to check out Street Name Changes once you've found who you're looking for.

One nice thing about some directories is that if a woman was a widow, many times it lists who her spouse was, i.e: "Allen E., Mrs., wid George" or it will list the husband's name and then the wife's.

The directories are done much in the same way as phone books are done today, one for each town or city.  Clinton County also has several Farmer's directories.

Many of these pages are done as text files.  I chose to do the 1887 directory because that is the one closest to the missing 1890 census that I have access to.  We are also doing the 1901 directory and one from 1956.  I would also like to do one from the 1860's.  I, basically, only have access to the Clinton/Lyons city directories.  If you have access to other towns or farmer's directories and would like to discuss how we can get that info online, please email me .

We would like to thank Ellen, Anna, Sue, Justina, Jackie and Kim for helping us get this info online.

(The Clinton Library also has directories)

Looking For:

We can use more directories - especially from the other towns in Clinton Co. - along with Farm Directories. If you have anything you would like to donate - contact us!! I'm sure I can find a way to get the info online.

Farm Plat Books and Directories

Directories at the museum's library

Every year these wonderful plat books are printed up. The museum has several. What a wonderful way to track where your ancestors lived. Many of them have indexes and some list not only land owners but renters names too. The Clinton County Historical Society Museum library has Farm Directories for the following years:


  • 1935, 1936, 1937, 1939


  • 1940, 1941, 1948, 1949


  • 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956


  • 1960, 1965, 1967, 1968


  • 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976


  • 1983, 1989


  • 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998


  • Almost all from 2001-2016