Monday, 6 October 2014

Trade Directories

When I started doing genealogy online I didn't expect to find so much of interest.  As far as I knew my ancestors were farmers. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I have ancestors with a variety of interesting occupations. There are carpenters, goldsmiths, wrights, steamfitters, hat makers, pub owners, tailors ... the list goes on.

Before there was internet and 411 apps we used to look up a business in the yellow pages. If you lived in a big city the yellow pages had a separate book, and a fat heavy one at that. But the idea of the yellow pages goes way back.  I found a book by J M Cowper in which he compiled "a list of Intrants" - a list of persons permitted to trade in the city of Canterbury from 1392-1592. Another I found was a London merchant directory from 1677.

Every merchant may not necessarily be listed.  Besides city, state or country merchant and business directories, often a trade would have it's own directories or lists. 

Even if your ancestor was not a merchant in town, the directories will tell you the kinds of businesses there were, giving the probable main employment for the population, plus the train and shipping schedules, perhaps what their neighbours did, etc.
At Internet Archives search using keywords: [trade] + directory, + list, + merchants, etc   

Relevant Links:

Directory of the hat, cap and fur trades, United States and Canada - 1880

An alphabetical list of merchants, traders and housekeepers residing in Montreal 1820

Intrants: A list of persons admitted to live and trade within the city of Canterbury, on payment of an annual fine, from 1392-1592

The Little London directory of 1677 ; list of merchants and bankers

The Roll of Freemen of the city of Canterbury from AD 1392-1800

The lumberman's directory and reference book of the United States and Canada - 1891

Irish Flax Growers - 1796

The Irish linen trade hand-book and directory - 1876

Guinness Brewery at St James's Gate in Dublin from 1759 to present (Employee records)

Kelly's Directory of the Leather Trades - UK 1880

Collegium - International Society of Leather Trade Chemists

American carriage and wagon and accessory trades directory : including manufacturers and dealers in automobiles - 1903

Edinburgh and South of Scotland Trades' Directory - 1900

Fogerty's directory of the jewelry and kindred trades in the United States - 1877

Pacific Coast Trade Directory - United States and Canada - 1880

Delmar's new, revised and complete classified trades directory and mercantile manual of Mexico, Central America and the West India Islands - 1889

American Book Trade directory - 1912

Phillips' paper trade directory of the World - 1923

Illustrated directory of Kansas oil Men - 1918

The Grocers' hand-book and directory - 1883

Directory of Food & Fur Breeders of America - 1919

The Canada Trade Directory - 1851

The White Directory of manufacturers of furniture and kindred goods of the United States, British Provinces, and Mexico 1901 

List of notaries whose notarial records are deposited in the archives of Montreal 1847

The law list; being a list of the judges and officers of the courts of justice: UK 1841

A list of the wardens, assistants and livery, of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths 1907

National Confectioners' Association; Souvenir of the Hub - 1894

Slater's Royal National Commercial Directory of Scotland (various)

The Canadian legal directory ; a guide to the Bench and Bar of the Dominion 1878

Men-at-the-bar; A biographical list, Members of Various Inns of Court; UK 1885

Lovell's Canadian Commercial Compendium (Law) 1909

Commercial Directory of Manila 1901

Commercial Directory of Latin America - 1892

Fowler's Paisley commercial directory 1839

Amalgamated Society of Carpenters & Joiners; 1860-1910

Amalgamated Society of Carpenters & Joiners Report w/members 1907

Plumbers, gas and steam fitters journal of United States and Canada - Jan 1919

The old merchants of New York City (several volumes)

Biographies of successful Philadelphia merchants 1864

The Edinburgh and Leith Directory to July 1800; private gentlemen, merchants, traders

Jones Merchant and Trader Directory of Glasgow 1789

New York City Record - Government Employees name, position and salary - 1886

Polk's Michigan State Gazetteer and Business Directory - 1863 +

A list of early American Silversmiths and their marks - 1917

Canada Post Offices, with the names of the Postmasters - 1871-1872

USA Post Offices, with names of Postmasters

List of originators of fruits and vegetables in the US: with addresses and names of specialties - 1891

The Bankers' Directory and list of bank attorneys: USA (1879,1891,1916)

Leading Insurance men of the British Empire 1892

The Lawyer List (International) - several years 1900's

The Haciendas of Mexico : a list of plantations and principal farms in the Republic of Mexico together with the names and post office addressees of their owners  1886

A list of the names of the members of the United Company of Merchants of England, trading to the East-Indies, who appear qualified to vote at their general courts - 1815

The Quebec directory for 1822 : containing an alphabetical list of themerchants, traders and house keepers, &c. within the city

Paper Mill  Directory of the World 1883

Paper Mill  Directory of England, Scotland and Ireland 1871

Chemical Directory - list of Chemists and Druggists in England and Wales 1852

Heaton's Commercial Handbook of Canada

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