Erie County Rural Directory: About the Directory

WNY Genealogy

The Farm Journal Illustrated Rural Directory of Erie County, NY 1917

• About the Directory • Erie County • Akron • East Aurora • Springville • Hamburg • Williamsville • 



About the Directory:

• Reading Entries • Numbers • Spouses • Notes • Abbreviations • If you find someone... • 

The Farm Journal Illustrated
1917          NEW YORK          1922

Publishers of the Farm Journal
Washington Square, Philadelphia

The title page indicates that the book was published in 1917. A "complete road map of the county" is supposed to be included, but I don't have this. I believe the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library may have this, however.

The main part of the book is the directory of Erie County, but there are also small sections at the back of the book for different towns in the county. These are: Akron, East Aurora, Springville, Hamburg, and Williamsville. For a list of other areas covered in the Erie County section, see the abbreviations below (this doesn't list every town in the directory, just be the townships. WNYRIN's Erie Jurisdictional Map shows these, if you're trying to determine where they are).

I'm not sure why these are included separately, as people from these areas have been included in the main section, but if you're looking for someone in any of these areas, be sure to check both. Currently I'm working on the "Erie County" section, but I'll add these others later.

Reading Entries: Entries appear in the directory in this form:

Chester, Jos. (Lida) 1 ch farmer O 156a 5h 53c R1 Wales Center Wal 59 B tel.

As everything is run together, there might occasionally be a case where it's difficult to determine what an entry means. For example, whether a word or abbreviation is describing part of the occupation or place of residence. However, when typing all entries into the tables, though I have to choose which column to put the information into, I have never changed the order of the words, so you can interpret it as you wish. I think any ambiguous cases are very rare, though.

Abbreviations Used Throughout the Directory:

a acres   H&L house and lot
B tel Bell telephone   O owns
bds boards   R1 Rural Route No. 1
2c 2 cattle   ret retired
4 ch 4 children   T tenant

4 horses

  Ea Ham 10 East Hamburg Township, Road No. 10

g occasionally appears after other livestock, and this could be goats but it is not listed in the abbreviations.
s also appears, and may stand for sheep, but again, that's a guess.

Additional Abbreviations Used in the Erie County Section:

Ald Alden   Eva Evans


  Gd Is Grand Island
Aur Aurora   Ham Hamburg
Bos Boston   Hol Holland


  Lan Lancaster
Chee Cheektowaga   Mar Marilla
Cla Clarence   New Newstead
Cold Colden   No Col North Collins
Coll Collins   Sar Sardinia
Conc Concord   Ton Tonawanda
Ea Ham East Hamburg   Wal Wales
Ede Eden   Wt Sen West Seneca
Elm Elma      

Numbers: When I first started typing these, I entered fractions with a + sign between them, rather than either run them together or leave a space between. I can't say why; it seemed like a good idea at the time, and to be consistant, I just kept it up. So an entry which appears in the book as: 11/2a (the fraction is clear in the book), is typed as 1+1/2a. I just wanted to make it clear that the leading number is in fact part of the number of acres and can't be interpreted in a different way.

Spouses: From the beginning, I assumed that the name in parentheses () following the main name was the spouse. This generally seems to be the case, but there are a few odd cases where the names really appear to me to be both male or both female. I've still entered the second name in the spouse column, but I don't know what it indicates. Could be a mistake, or an unusual name. Or perhaps just a way to list two people living at the same address? I have no idea. I'd assume that it's almost always the spouse, but keep it in mind.
Examples are: Jos. (Angelo), Pearl (Irene), Marina (Cordelia).

Notes: Any notes I've added will always appear in square brackets [ ]. In most cases, this is limited to [sic] in cases where someone's likely to think I misspelled a name. I didn't put this for every odd spelling, just those were quite unusual (in my opinion) and likely to be assumed to be wrong. If you think something is mistyped or out of order, feel free to send me an email and I'll check it. If I get questioned on something, I'll likely add something in the notes column.

Anything in the notes column which isn't in [ ]'s is from the directory. One example (rare) is a note at the end of the entry to "see adv". I may type in the text of the ad at some point.

If you find someone...

Feel free to drop me a line! :) If you find a connection, and you'd like a note added to the entry, I can put a link to your website or email address in the notes column.


Webpage created by Rene' Nilsson. Last updated March 23, 2004


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