Paul Genereux and how many restaurants? – Boston

28 Aug

It seems family history research is never finished! After my last blog post about my 2nd great-uncle Paul Genereux, I thought I had pretty much covered all I could do online. When I found that Paul Genereux had saloons in the mid 1870-1880’s, in Boston’s North End, I had three addresses:

  • His first oyster saloon on 148 Fulton street, from 1868 to 1875 (source: Boston City Directories)
  • His saloon on 76 Broad street, in 1874-1875 (source: Boston Tax Records and Boston Newspapers)
  • His saloon/boarding house on 19 Eastern avenue, from 1877 to 1883 (Source: Boston City Directories and 1880 US Census)

And yet, today, after renewing my subscription to Ancestry.com, I *casually* re-ran a search for Paul and, surprise, I found that he had another restaurant on 19 South Ferry Avenue in 1876! Here are the two images I found using online databases.

Entry for Paul Genereux in Boston City Directory, 1876.

Entry for Paul Genereux in “Boston City Directory”, 1876. P. 367
Source: Fold3.com

Entry for Paul Genereux in Boston Business Directory, 1876.

Entry for Paul Genereux in “Massachusetts Cities Directory”, 1876. Under “Dining Rooms”. P. 411
Source: Ancestry.com

Did this man ever stop? Now my question is to locate South Ferry Avenue in Boston: in a basic map search, it seems the street doesn’t exist anymore. I have a hunch that this address may be the “old” name of Eastern avenue in the North End, but I’m pretty much in the dark for now.

So a question to my readers and fellow family historians; what kind of resource should I look up online to learn about Boston city streets name change?

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2 Responses to “Paul Genereux and how many restaurants? – Boston”

  1. The Online Genealogist September 15, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Hi Marylène!

    You are correct. For some unknown reason, Eastern Ave. became South Ferry Ave., but only for a few years; then it went back to Eastern Ave. See p. 137 (Eastern Ave.) in this 1875 Boston Almanac…

    http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Boston_Almanac_and_Business_Director.html?id=_YUBAAAAYAAJ

    And it’s on this 1875 Boston map plate as well…

    http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=17741

    …exactly where Eastern Ave. is now.

    I’d usually say check out the Street Directory in that 1876 Boston Directory (near front), but South Ferry Ave. wasn’t even listed in there – huh.

    Obvious as to why it was named as such – it led to the “south ferry” to East Boston, where the “People’s Ferry” further north also went (aka the “North Ferry”).

    http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=12829

    Oh, and here’s an 1874 map with it tagged as Eastern Ave.

    http://www.wardmaps.com/viewasset.php?aid=233

    Soooo, it was South Ferry Ave. ca. 1875-1876. I’m sure mid-1870s Boston city meeting records would have some info on the “why”. Very odd.

    John B.

    • Marylene September 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

      Thank you John, it seems my instincts were correct!

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