Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

1/8/2012

UK, Midlands and Various UK Trade Directories, 1770-1941

Trade directories in England trace their history back to the late 17th century, when volumes such as the Little London Directory of 1677 listed names of merchants and tradesmen “for the Benefit of all Dealers that shall have occasion with any of them; Directing them at the first sight of their name, to the place of their abode.”

Trade directories were originally produced to help promote and facilitate trade and commerce. A directory would include a general description of the town or area as well as details on local transportation, churches, schools, government offices and officials, shops, and businesses. Sometimes information on specific people, such as businessmen, traders, shopkeepers, was included as well.

Later directories began to include sections on private residents. At first this mainly consisted of the wealthier and more prominent individuals. Eventually the directories became more comprehensive and more residents, especially householders, were included regardless of social status.

Most of the volumes in this database are trade directories from the Midlands area—Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire — but you will find some directories from neighboring counties and a few national directories as well. You’ll also find city and other specialized directories in this collection. for more click here

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