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See also: England Directories

Trade directories listing tradespeople and wealthier residents were first published in the later 18th century. After 1850 they became larger, more frequent and more useful publications. They can be broadly classed into two types: the county or regional directory and the town or street directory.

They were compiled by canvassers and can contain much error. Sometimes information is simply reprinted from a previous edition without checking the currency of the data.

Contents

Regional and County Directories

The regional directories cover a number of counties such as Kelly's Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey and Sussex. (London, 1855). The county directories cover only one county such as Melville and Co.'s Directory & Gazetteer of Sussex, containing Brighton, Hastings ... (1858, London: Melville & Co.).

The regional and county directories typically have an introductory essay on the geography, history, climate, major industries etc of the county followed by an entry for each town and village with the prominent residents and landholders noted and a list of traders and businessmen probably accounting for about 5% of the population. There are usually also lists of traders grouped by their trade with numerous advertisements.

Town or Street Directories

Town or street directories contain more details and their lists probably account for around 10% of the population. This is achieved by a section which lists the heads of household, street by street. Typically subtenants are not listed so many working class families are overlooked. Smaller cottages on the outskirts of towns are also rarely listed so that a gamekeeper might be listed in connection with his estate but most agricultural labourers will not be listed.

University of Leicester Project

The National Lottery has funded the University of Leicester Historical Directories Project: a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919.

Title Coverage Type Date Publisher
Pigot's Sussex Directory, 1832-34 Sussex Regional 1834 Pigot
Pigot's Directory of Sussex, 1839 Sussex Regional 1839 Pigot
Post Office Directory of Sussex, 1851 Sussex County 1851 Post Office
The Original Brighton & Hove Directory, 1854 Sussex Town 1854 Taylor
Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Kent ... , 1855. (Part 1: Counties & Localities) Essex Hertfordshire Kent Middlesex Surrey Sussex Regional 1855 Post Office
Post Office Directory of Essex, Herts, Kent ... , 1855. (Part 2: Court & Trade Directories) Essex Hertfordshire Kent Middlesex Surrey Sussex Regional 1855 Post Office
Melville's Directory & Gazetteer of Sussex, 1858 Sussex County 1858 Melville
Melville & Co.'s Directory and Gazetteer of Sussex, 1858 Sussex County 1858 Melville
Post Office Sussex Directory, 1859 Sussex County 1859 Post Office
French & Son's Handbook and Directory for Worthing, 1859 Sussex County 1859 French
Post Office Directory of Sussex, 1866 Sussex County 1866 Post Office
Post Office Directory of Sussex, 1878 Sussex County 1878 Post Office
Deacon's Court Guide, Gazetteer & County Blue Book of Sussex, 1881 Sussex County 1881 Deacon
Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1890 Sussex County 1890 Kelly
Kelly's Directory of Kent, Surrey & Sussex, 1891. (Part 4: Sussex & Advertisements) Sussex Regional 1891 Kelly
Bexhill-on-Sea Almanac & Directory, 1892 Sussex Town 1892 Bexhill Chronicle
Long's Worthing Directory, 1892 Sussex Town 1892 Long
Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1899 Sussex County 1899 Kelly
Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1905. (Part 1: County & Localities) Sussex County 1905 Kelly
Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1905. (Part 2: Residents, Trades, & Advertisements) Sussex County 1905 Kelly
Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1911 Sussex County 1911 Kelly
Worthing & District Local Directory, 1914-15 Sussex Town 1915 Garnett
Kelly's Directory of Sussex, 1915 Sussex County 1915 Kelly

Bibliographies

  • J. H. Farrant,, Sussex directories 1784-1940, Sussex Genealogical Centre Occasional Papers No.6 (3rd ed., Brighton, 1980). This lists about 850 distinct directories relating to Sussex, with the libraries where copies are held.
  • G. Shaw, and A. Tipper, British directories: a bibliography and guide to directories published in England and Wales (1850-1950) and Scotland (1773-1950) (1988).



 

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  • This page was last modified on 24 July 2013, at 17:25.
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