Directories are alphabetical lists of names with corresponding addresses. Knowing an individual's address can be very helpful in searching the census records of a large city (see the "Census" section of this outline). The information in directories is for the year they are published. Directories for Dublin first appeared in the early eighteenth century and continue today. Provincial (town) directories began somewhat later and have continued only sporadically. Besides names and addresses, directories sometimes include:
- City maps.
- Indexes or listings of inhabitants by streets.
- Addresses of schools, churches, cemeteries, and other institutions.
- Streets and the civil parishes they are in.
Inclusion or omission in directories of successive years may indicate when a person moved to or left a city, retired, or died. Not everyone was listed in directories, but those who had a trade or were of a higher social status were generally listed.
The following types of directories may be found for areas of Ireland:
- Postal or commercial directories, which provide alphabetical lists of people engaged in some type of trade or profession.
- Trade directories, which provide alphabetical lists of trades and professions with the names and sometimes residential addresses of persons engaged in those trades or professions.
- Court directories, which list government officials and private (upper-class) residents.
- Law directories, which name judges, lawyers, notaries, and staff of various courts.
- Telephone directories, which give names, addresses, and telephone numbers of individuals and businesses.
- Specialty or professional directories, which were occasionally published for various occupations.
- Organizational directories, which list addresses of societies, libraries, newspapers, and other organizations.
- Church directories, which give information about and addresses for church jurisdictions, buildings, and leaders (see the "Church Directories" section of this outline).
For a list of Irish directories and a summary of the information contained in each, consult:
Ffolliott, Rosemary, and Donal F. Begley. "Guide to Irish Directories." In Irish Genealogy: A Record Finder
The Family History Library has many Irish directories. These are listed in the Place Search of the catalog under the following headings:
IRELAND - DIRECTORIES
IRELAND, [COUNTY] - DIRECTORIES
IRELAND, [COUNTY], [CITY] - DIRECTORIES