During the 1940s a great number of homes were built in Altadena. Squeezing four houses in between two mansions meant street addresses frequently changed. When doing research in the reverse address section, noticing names of the adjoining neighbors can often help identify the new number of theresidence you are researching.
Also, addresses are organized giving the nearest cross streets so you can tell the location of any address more easily. Listings are under male head-of-household. Unfortunately, this makes it hard to trace women because they disappear into their husband’s listing. If there is a wife, her name is in parenthesis. If she is a widow, she is listed as “Mrs. John Smith.” A single unmarried woman will be listed by her own name. You can use the directories if you’re doing historical research as well. For instance, during the depression the directory listed many residences as vacant. In addition, a number of single family homes show two or more families living at the same address. This information suggests, for instance, which neighborhoods suffered the most from the economic downturn.
If you want to know who occupied your home prior to you or where your long lost ancestors lived in Pasadena or Altadena, come into the archives or phone/e-mail us and we’ll help you find out: