City Directories?

Discussion in 'Missing Archives' started by HRCODEPINK, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. HRCODEPINK

    HRCODEPINK Verified Insider

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    When you guys are working these cold cases, if you ever need information on where people lived long ago where do you go? I am working on an old case where there is actually a person in prison but he is not the correct person. The Innocence Project is currently working to try to get him around the 21-day rule in Virginia, but they are not in the area and the crime happened here, where I live. I have been working on the case for 11 years now and I have run across a lead on accident, but I don't have the persons last name. I only have the first name, description and the street that he lived on. It is not a long street. The person is now dead (died in prison, imagine that) and now I need to know what the last name was so that I can find out why he was put in prison and if it was anything similar to the crime that this other person is in prison for, if that makes any sense.

    Do any of you have any ideas where I would find a city directory or something like that from 1979 from Norfolk, VA?
     
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  3. doublestop

    doublestop Member

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    Your best bet would be the main branch of the Norfolk city library. Most libraries have historical city directories. Then you could just look through the listing for that street house by house looking for that first name.

    Also, Ancestry has some city directories online.
     
  4. HRCODEPINK

    HRCODEPINK Verified Insider

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    Thank you so much! And I apologize for being so unbelievably rude. My computer died on me and I have had the most unbelievable time trying to get an order from Best Buy. If their price had't been $100 cheaper than everyone else and I just couldn't afford that much more I would have gone elsewhere. Never in my life have I ever had so much trouble getting someone to take my money! But anyway, I do thank you tremendously for your reply. I have my answer now and much more! :dance:
     
  5. littlehorn

    littlehorn Inactive

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    One easy way to do this, depending how old the information is, is to go online to the County GIS/Tax information websites, or the Recorder of Deeds.

    If the person was renting, they may not have had a phone listing in the phonebooks, depending how long they were there. If they owned the house, their name is mentioned in the deed transfers and/or tax information, as are the dates they owned the house, etc. and in some cases information like SSN's.

    If the house was rented, you can find out the name of the owner and contact them to ask about previous tenants. Most GIS/recorder of deeds sites will let you search by street or by house number if you don't know the last name of the owner.

    I find a lot of people this way.
     

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