Our collection of City Directories begins with 1858-1859, and continues to the present. While some gaps do exist, our holdings appear to be a complete run of all city directories that were published. These books provide an alphabetical list of the people living within the city limits and sometimes additional information such as names of spouses and the occupations of the residents. Beginning in 1895/1896, the directories included a section in the back which lists the streets in the city of Aurora, all the house or business numbers on the street at the time, and the resident or business on the premises. This feature continues to the present.
The Emma and Robert Wegman Local History Room has U. S. census records for Kane County from 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, and 1910 on microfilm. The 1840-1860 censuses are indexed by the head of household’s name. There are also Illinois State census records from 1855 and 1865.
*Be advised: Census records can be difficult to use. Handwriting styles have changed through the years, and the entries can be difficult to read. Additionally, census information was often given verbally to a recorder who wrote what was heard. This means that names, places, and other information can be misspelled. Needless to say, these factors increase the chances for factual errors.
The Emma and Robert Wegman Local History Room has microfilm for the Aurora Beacon News starting in 1848, as well as scattered runs of other Aurora newspapers through the years. Contained therein are obituaries, which are brief articles about local deaths. These articles can provide information about the people who have lived in your home in the past or give an indication of some of the events that may have taken place there.
*Be advised: Should you not find citations to a person of interest, there are ways to uncover death dates, but sometimes it can be a bit of a chore. Also, it was not always guaranteed that a death would be written up in the newspaper.
Genealogy/Local History Digital Resources
The APLD Genealogy & Local History webpage contains a digital databases section with several searchable indexes. In particular, the “Aurora Genealogy Index” may have information about some of the past residents of your home.
Additionally, the “Beacon Obituary Index" includes more than 113,000 entries on local deaths from the original newspapers, or other citations to articles that provide details of passing. While not complete, this source may provide dates to find the death notices of a particular person.
The Santori Library’s historical collection may have additional information about some of the more prominent former residents of your home. We have several city and county histories which include varying degrees of biographical information.