Suburban Directory FAQs


What information can I expect to find in a suburban directory?
How do I view the suburban directories?
Why are some years of the directory not available?
Why are some towns not included?
How do I find information in a suburban directory?
Can I print directory pages?
Why is a name not listed in the directory when I am sure he lived in the Rochester suburbs?


What information can I expect to find in a suburban directory?

All directories include:

  • Listing of names: adult male inhabitants, women running a business (such as a tavern or boarding house)
  • Where the person lived and what he did for a living
  • A street directory of each town
  • Historical or almanac-style information
  • Listings of businesses
  • “Classified” advertising


How do I view the suburban directories?

You need to have Adobe Acrobat loaded on your computer. If you do not have it, you can download it for free by clicking on the link below and following the instructions:


Why are some years of the directory not available?

We have only digitized the years 1930-1940 at this time.


Why are some towns not included?

From 1930 to 1934 the only towns included were Brighton, Gates, Greece and Irondequoit. In 1935 Pittsford was added; in 1936 East Rochester was added; in 1937 Fairport was added and beginning in 1938 Webster was added.  The rest of the towns in Monroe County were not added until later.


How do I find information in the suburban directories?

In the name section of the directory, listings are alphabetical. Any other lists—clubs, organizations, street—would also be alphabetical. Each directory is broken up into several sections. You can either select a small section—for example, Names A-C, or open up the entire directory and choose the section you wish by clicking on the bookmarks listed in the left-hand column of the screen. Note: Unlike the early City Directory Collection, the suburban directories can also be searched using the Edit>Find feature of Adobe Acrobat.


Can I print directory pages?

Yes, you can print directory pages for your own use.


Why is a name not listed in the directory when I am sure he lived in the Rochester suburbs?

There are a number of reasons why a name might not appear, including but not limited to:

  • The individual was a child; minor children are not listed in the directories.
  • The person compiling the directory missed him!
  • He had no fixed address or employment.
  • He was living outside of the area at that time

The Rochester Suburban Directory collection is housed in the Local History and Genealogy Department of the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County. The collection consists of the original bound volumes beginning with the year 1930.

To view the suburban directories, your web browser will need the free Adobe Reader® plug-in. If you don’t already have this installed, you can download your free copy from Adobe®.