Albany City Directory: 1866 to 1877

I visited the Albany County Hall of Records in Albany Feb. 2008. One of their treasures is a collection of the old Albany City Directories. These were the Yellow Pages of the days before telephones and served the same people and business finding functions. I looked first at the year 1870 and Bingo, there he was: William Ecker, File Cutter, living in a house in North Albany. He was listed in four consecutive years--absent before 1870 and after 1874 with an address of North Pearl St near Albany. A look at old maps should clarify the location. The directory appears to be published in June of each year. This might help with the timing of William's arrival. It is possible however, that he may have lived in Albany a while before being included. I have no feel for that possibliity.

So far, these and a death record for Frederick Christian are the only traces of William and Hannah in Albany. There were only a handful of other Eckers in the directory, and none before William. I visited the State Library in Albany but was overwhelmed with their collection. I did not know where to begin. I looked through the indexes to several of the New York Censuses, but found no William and few Eckers. Some folks there suggested that the rapidly industrialized commerce in the Hudson River Valley attracted people and that may be the case. I found that some of William's brother Frederick's children were apparently born in Troy, NY. A possible family connection, Ecker or other cannot yet be dismissed. The directory also listed the churches and cemeteries in the area. These might be helpful later.

On a second page, I extracted directory advertisements for two file making companies. Of interest, only the first was listed the year before William appears. In the first year william is listed, there are two file making and repairing businesses.

If anyone wants the full collection of directory records, let me know.

Peter Hasselbacher
Feb 26, 2008