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 Since It is cheaper and easier for companies to destroy outdated records than to maintain them, most businesses come and go without leaving much of a paper trail.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