Tracking My Ancestor

I couldn’t sleep the other night so like most genealogist would do I logged onto and did some research. I decided to look through Birmingham, AL city directories to see if I could locate my Great Great Grandmother Minnie Whiteside and her son Charlie Beck who’ve I lost track of after the 1910 U.S. Federal Census. After looking at several directories I found a Minnie Whiteside and a Charles Beck living in the same place in both 1912 and in 1913. I immediately did a happy dance while laying in my bed (don’t ask me how but I did). I am planning on taking another research trip to Youngstown, OH  to see what new discoveries I can find on Minnie (she moved there from Birmingham around 1917 with my grandma and great grandma) and her daughter, my Great Grandmother Georgianna. I’ll be sure to post any pictures I take. 




1913 Birmingham City Directory


Minnie Whiteside: 1913 Birmingham City Directory


Charles Beck: 1913 Birmingham City Directory 

Source Information U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.




Categories: Projects | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Tracking My Ancestor

  1. I am trying to locate pictures of my great grandfather who was a soldier. Does anyone know how to locate pictures of African American soldiers? Did the DMV take pictures back then?

    Any help is much appreciated.

    • taysway

      Hi Jacquelyn, have you checked with relatives to make sure they didn’t have any photos of your great grandfather? Was he apart of the church?Was he in any fraternal organization? Local institutes/organization might have photos and one of your great grandfather. I recently saw an old photo of grandmother I had never seen before and it was located in the church she attended. If you are looking for military pictures then I suggest you watch Black ProGen Live tonight and join in on the chat and ask questions regarding finding military pictures. Tonight’s episode is “Rebellion and Resistance: People of Color and the U.S. Military” I’ll provide the link on my blog. I also suggest going a couple FB communities such as Our Black Ancestry and AfriGeneas African American Genealogy Community. Great groups and there may be someone in there to assist you in your quest. Each State started taking drivers licenses pictures at different times. I hope this helps.

  2. I’ve never used directories as a part of my research. Can you tell me what information they contain that is useful and where would I find them? Thanks so much…

    • taysway

      Hi Trisha,

      City directories are a good source, you can find the exact years your ancestor inhabited a place, their address, their occupation. Some directories will list the spouses, you maybe able to locate other family members who lived in the area or in the same house. You will be able to find directories via,, google United States Online Historical Directories, and I also think

  3. I love what you are doing with your blog. Thanks again

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