Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

How to Research a Family Business: Home

Describes resources for researching the history of a business. Guide by Susan Kriete.

Who should use this Guide?

This guide is intended primarily to help genealogy researchers discover information about a defunct family-owned business or ancestor's occupation, but may be useful to any researchers looking for historic business information.
NYPL Digital Collections Image ID T000313

Overview

Researching a historic business can be challenging. Since It is cheaper and easier for companies to destroy outdated records than to maintain them, most businesses come and go without leaving much of a paper trail.

Even when a company's own records have not survived, however, there are other sources that may document its existence. This guide will describe how to uncover the history of a business using the following resources:

A Model Provision Counter, interior view of a store

NYPL Digital Collections Image ID 57509265

Reference Librarians

Guide Author

Susan Kriete's picture
Susan Kriete
Contact:
Irma and Paul Milstein Division of
U.S. History, Local History and Genealogy
Room 121
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY