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Trade Directories

Trade Directories set out to record the “principal inhabitants” of a community, particularly those in a trade or profession.

Directories were put together by individuals and publishers for commercial purposes during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. They are a very useful source for researchers looking for people in trades and professions, however, they were commercial publications and not everyone chose to be included and this may be the reason why a person does not appear in a directory.

Waterford City and County Library Service have made the following Trade Directories available online as a searchable database:

  • Piggott, 1824
  • Shearman, 1839
  • Slater, 1846, 1956 and 1881
  • Harvey, 1877
  • Egan, 1894
  • Thoms, 1909-1910

How to Search the Trade Directories Database

There are 3 possible search options:

  • Directories Address: this is a keyword location search and you can search by townland or by street name. Please note a search by street name e.g. New Street will provide results for New Streets in Dungarvan, Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford so check the location information in the search result provided.
  • Directories Name: this is a keyword search by personal name. Please note it is important to search by a number of spelling options for some names e.g. Walsh, Welch, Welsh.
  • Directories Occupation: this is a keyword search by occupation. Please note some occupations have more than one title e.g. when searching for a ‘doctor’ it is more likely that this occupation will be listed as a ‘physician’ in the 18th and 19th centuries and could also be listed as surgeon, and so on. A tailor can similarly be listed as a draper.

Waterford City and County Library Service also has further Trade Directories available to researchers at the Central Library, Waterford and Dungarvan Library Branches.