Primary source materials include such resources as vital records [births, marriages, and death], abstracts of wills, court records, town records, city directories, church [parish] registers, land deeds, military lists, and family folklore. Many of these collections include detailed indexes that often contain family surnames.
City directories offer the family historian an opportunity to locate an ancestor at a specific time, in a specific place. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy provides an interesting discussion of the usefulness of city directories in genealogical research.
Other city directories available in the Jones Media Center:
(Text and resources taken from the print edition of: Jaccaud, Robert D, comp. Passages to Family History: A Guide to Genealogical Research in the Dartmouth College Library. Rev. ed. Hanover: Dartmouth College Library, 1994).