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City Directory Records: California Tormeys

city directories, the historical equivalent to today's "yellow pages" or telephone directories, can be an excellent resource for genealogists. While they are not perfect (city directories were often full or errors or misspellings or missed information on certain people altogether), they can provide a family historian with valuable clues that might lead to bigger finds elsewhere.

Unfortunately, such directories were usually only published for large, urban areas, but for anyone with city dwelling ancestors they provide helpful information at more frequent intervals than censuses, which only took place once every ten years.

City directories evolved over time to include more information about individuals and businesses listed. Generally, however, they noted a head of household, spouse's name, address, occupation and any adult children still living at home. In larger cities, directories were typically published every year.

Click the thumbnail image to the left for a full size example of how a city directory typically looked. (This is a page from the 1921 Oakland, California directory, extracts of which appear below.)

Unfortunately, many city directories have not survived the passage of time, as they were usually printed on cheap paper (being that they were only intended for short term use). Of others that have survived over the years, many are preserved in libraries or private collections and have not yet been transcripted for internet use. (You would certainly be encouraged to check with local libraries and historical societies in the areas where your ancestors lived, as you may find that they have a large collection that would be available to you.)

Many thanks are owed to Fellow Researcher Jan Tynan Dempsey, who provided most of the extracts that appear below. (Jan has posted directory lookups for numerous cities on the Ancestry/RootsWeb Tormey Message Board.)

These records certainly indicate that there were more than just a couple Tormeys living in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1800s and early 1900s. (One must assume that even more Tormeys lived in the more rural communities for which such directories were rarely published.)

If you have access to additional city directory records that should appear on this page, please contact Michael Tormey.



1861 San Francisco, California City Directory:

Garrett Tormey: tinner with the firm of Tay Brooks & Backus; lived at Lovejoy's Hotel on Battery St.


1862 San Francisco, California City Directory:

John Tormey: laborer; lived at 48 Stewart


1880 San Francisco, California City Directory:

Annie Tormey: widow; lived at 613 Eddy St.
Annie Tormey: domestic; lived at 823 Larkin St.
John C. Tormey: carver, Occidental Hotel; lived at 442 Minna St.
Mary Tormey: domestic; lived at 331 McAllister St.


1892 San Francisco, California City Directory:

James Tormey: teamster; lived at 65 Shipley St.
James P. Tormey: physician; lived at 321 Jones St.
John C. Tormey: wood carver; lived at 416 Minna St.
Patrick Tormey: shoemaker; lived at 215 Scott St.
Patrick Tormey: president, Union Stock Yard Co. of San Francisco, located at 34 Nevada Block; residence listed as Contra Costa County
Pat E. Tormey: lived at 703 Valencia St.
Peter J. Tormey: commission merchant at 22 Sutter St.; lived at 2607 Folsom St.


1905 San Francisco, California City Directory:

E. C. Tormey: blacksmith; lived at 905 Geary Blvd.
Frank Tormey: boots and shoes; lived at 1812 Fillmore St.
J. H . Tormey: clerk; lived at 429a Natoma St.
Peter Tormey: Kroh & Tormey; lived at 510 Mason St.
Richard Tormey: mattress maker; lived at 178 Noe St.


1908 San Francisco, California City Directory:

Miss Christine Tormey: lived at 509 Webster St.
James J. Tormey: manager, Jos. H. Rucker & Co.; lived at 1542 (or 1642) California St.
Mary Tormey: widow; lived at 447 Duesadero
Patrick E. Tormey: driver, Duffey Bros. Co.; lived at 635 Stevenson St.


1917 San Francisco, California City Directory:

James J. (and Victoria G.) Tormey: salesman, Jos. H. Rucker & Co.; lived at 565 20th Ave.
Julian C. Tormey: Fulter & Goepp; residence listed as Oakland
Margaret Tormey: widow of John C. Tormey; lived at 1155 Hayes St.
Mary D. Tormey: widow of James B. Tormey; lived at 1065 Union St.
Thomas (and Mary) Tormey: Tormey & Murtagh Liquors, located at 2000 McAllister St. (proprietors T. Tormey and C. Murtagh); lived at 850 Central Ave.


1921 San Francisco, California City Directory:

Benjamin E. Tormey: painter, Tormey & Co. (painters and decorators); lived at 1042 Larkin St.
Edward N. Tormey: salesman, H. S. Crocker Co., Inc. (publishers); lived at 1746 Leavenworth St.
James J. Tormey: salesman, Jos. H. Rucker & Co.; lived at 325 Lake St.
Louise A. Tormey: widow of Louis Tormey; lived at 1745 Washington St. (Note: this notation of Louise Tormey being a widow of Louis is in conflict with what is published in the 1922 directory -- appears below -- which lists Louis and not Louise)
Mary E. Tormey: teacher; lived at 1112 Ellis St. (Perhaps the daughter of Richmond and Mary Tormey, who lived at the same address?)
Richmond J. (and Mary E.) Tormey: dentist; lived at 1112 Ellis St.
Maud G. Tormey: Shreveport; lived at 2046 Harrison St.
Thomas (and Mary) Tormey: Benedetti & Tormey (coal yard); lived at 1902 McAllister St.


1921 Oakland, California City Directory:

Annie B . Tormey: widow of Thomas L. Tormey; lived at 6100 San Pablo Ave.
Arthur J. Tormey: lived at 6100 San Pablo Ave.
Edward B. Tormey: lived at 6100 San Pablo Ave.
Leo F. Tormey: attorney; lived at 1825 Pleasant Valley Ave.
Mary C. Tormey: widow of Peter J. Tormey; lived at 6439 Regent St.


1922 San Francisco, California City Directory:

Benjamin E. (and Juliet) Tormey: painter, Tormey & Co. (painters and decorators); lived at 1042 Larkin St.
Bernard (and Juliette) Tormey: painter; lived at 466 18th Ave.
Edward Tormey: salesman; lived at 1746 Leavenworth St.
Louis A. Tormey: salesman; lived at 1745 Washington St.
Margaret Tormey: widow; lived at 1283 Page St.
Mary E. Tormey: public school teacher; lived at 170 Borica Dr.
Richmond J. (and Mary) Tormey: dentist; lived at 1112 Ellis St.
P. Tormey: salesman; lived at 851 Van Ness Ave.
Thomas (and Mary) Tormey: Benedetti & Tormey; lived at 1941 McAllister St.

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The California Tormeys


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