Saturday, 8 June 2013

Historical Directories

A few weeks ago I discovered this website...HistoricalDirectories.

The site lists local trade directories for England and Wales from 1750 to 1919. Trade directories are the equivalent to the Yellow Pages today, all businesses or businessmen are listed in them, from the local greengrocer to mariners.

Directories were published more often than censuses and include much more information about a community, the people and the trades. The directories can vary greatly from area to area.

On the site there are a few ways to find documents:

  • Browse by Decade
  • Browse by Location
  • Search with Keywords

I am going to take you through finding David Parkinson in the directories for Hull, East Yorkshire. My ancestor Edward Davidson was apprenticed to this gentleman in 1883 (for more information see Chapter 8 of my Davidson Page). 

I used the Keywords search. Searching "GARBUTT" and restricted the results to Yorkshire.

Search by Keywords

The search came up with a list of directories in which this name appeared in: 

Search Results

As I know David Parkinson Garbutt was based in Hull in the 1880s I am going to take a look at White's Directory of Hull, 1882.

When you click the link it opens up the directory.

Front page of the directory

To find the pages in which your keyword is on you need to click the "Next hit" button, until you find the reference you require.

The entry I am looking for...
David P. Garbutt was a shipowner and his business was based on Arnold Street in Hull.

The website is very helpful to show you how to make the most of searching for information on the site. I have not found it the easiest site to use but after reading the instructions it became much clearer.

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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