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City Directory Abbreviations

City directories are a valuable source of information for genealogists. They typically list the name, occupation and address of all residents in a town, city or region. To conserve space for each listing, city directories often used abbreviations. Below is a reference list of the most common abbreviations found in city directories.

A couple of things to note:

• If no identifier is given after an address, it is assumed to be a street.

• For a list of first name abbreviations, see the article First Name Abbreviations.

• For a list of occupation abbreviations, see the article List of Occupation Abbreviations.


ab above
agcy agency
agt agent
al alley
agrl agricultural
apt apartment
assn, Assn Association
auto automobile
av, Av avenue
b, bdg, bds boards (room and board)
bdg hse boarding house
bet between
bldg building
blk block
blvd, boul boulevard
br branch
bros brothers
c, cor corner
ch, Ch church
civ civil, civic
ck creek
co county
col, col'd colored
coll college
com commission
cor corner
cres crescent
ct court
dept department
dist district
div division
do ditto (or the same as above)
dom domestic
e, E east
elec electric
e.s. east side
est estate
ex, exch exchange
f freeholder
fcty factory
fl floor
ft foot
frt freight
gds goods
gen, genl general
govt government
gr fl ground floor
h house, householder (owns the house)
hd hand
hdqtrs headquarters
hdw hardware
hngr hangar
hosp hospital
imp import
implts implements
imptr importer
inc incorporated
ins insurance
jct junction
l lives
la lane
lbr lumber
ltd, Ltd Limited
mdse merchandise
mer merchant
mfg manufacturing
mfr manufacturer
mkt market
mn man
mut mutual
n, N north
n, nr near
n.e. northeast
n.s. north side
n.w. northwest
natl national
off office
op, opp opposite
pass passenger
pk park
pl place
pkwy parkway
pl place
p.o. post office
pt point
propr proprietor (owner)
prov province
r roomer or resides (renter)
r, rr rear
R.C. Roman Catholic
rd road
regd registered
real est real estate
res residence, resides
ret retail
rm room
rms rooms (renter)
RR rural route
Ry railway
s, S south
sch school
s.e. southeast or side entrance
ship shipping
side side entrance
soc society
spec special
sq square
s.s. south side
sta, stn station
s.w. southwest
t tenant
tel telephone
teleg telegraph
ter terrace
tp township
trans transportation
trans transfer
trav travelling
w, W west
w.s. west side
whol wholesale
wid widow
wks works
wmn woman