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Directories are alphabetical lists of names and addresses. They list information for the year they are published. In Scotland, directories first appeared in the mid-eighteenth century and continue to the present day.

Directories usually show the name of a person, his or her address, and occupation. They seldom show the entire population, usually including only prominent members of the community, such as gentry, clergy, merchants, and craftsmen. People such as coal miners and crofters do not appear in directories.

Directories may cover all of Scotland, a region of Scotland, or a specific city such as Glasgow. There are also directories for specific segments of Scottish society such as burgesses, gentry, or Scottish advocates (lawyers).

A partial bibliography of directories is found in an appendix to:

Hamilton-Edwards, Gerald. In Search of Scottish Ancestry. 2nd ed. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1984. (Family History Library book Ref. 941 D27ham 1984.)

Telephone directories can help you identify all of the people in a place who have the same surname. This information can be very useful for identifying modern descendants of a family. The Family History Library has phone directories for Scotland on microfiche. The directories, however, cannot be circulated to family history centers.

  • The Family History Library has a small collection of Scottish directories. The catalog lists directories in the Place Search under:





  • Courtesy of the National Library of Scotland, Post Office Directories are avilable online. The directory available for North-East Scotland is:

1825-1903: These are available in either PDF or viewable online. (Some years are missing)

1877: These are available in either PDF format or viewable online. This includes:

Forfar, Fife, Kinross, Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine 

1883-84, 1886-87: West Coast Directory for Scotland

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  • This page was last modified on 15 October 2015, at 04:49.
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