Saturday, 23 October 2010

Trade Directories with searchable database

Trade Directories can be another really useful source of information for tracing our ancestors and their occupations and trades.

The first London directory appeared as early as 1677, Birmingham was 1763, Glasgow 1783. Many individuals across the UK started to compile and put into print Trade Directories including some of the better known ones – Slater, Pigot and Kelly. These often came out more than once a year during their popular period. One problem however being by the time they were compiled and printed they were often already out of date.

For example in a 1859 directory your ancestor listed at an address probably meant he was there in 1857/8. Often some of the information can be a bit suspect so tread with caution on what you may find.

To view a number of these directories free of charge and also the ability to print and download the original pages you can visit the University of Leicester who ran a project digitising these.

They have English and Welsh directories for the years 1750 to 1919.

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