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English & Welsh Resources for Family Historians: Directories

The State Library of South Australia has a large number of resources that may assist you in tracing your English or Welsh ancestry. This guide also contains websites of interest, contact details for relevant organisations and tips & tricks.

Introduction

Postal and trade directories are a wonderful source of information.  However, not everyone was in trade and women and girls very rarely get a mention.  Those who were servants or boarders also will not appear.  To capture more people in your searches try using census records from 1841 onwards.

Directories online

A collection of digitised trade directories, part of the University of Leicester's Special Collections Online, covering England and Wales from the 1760s to the 1910s has been individually listed below.

Please note that free text searching for names, towns, villages and occupations may prove difficult and time consuming. The site may also run slowly on occasion due to the volume of data being searched.

Directories are still being digitized so check here for recent additions.

The directories can be browsed by location and either viewed online one page at a time or downloaded and accessed via a PDF viewer such as Adobe Reader.

Imprints Booksellers [B 72892]

More information about this image.

Directories available at the Library

Databases Available at the Library

While you are in the Library don't forget to check out our databases that may contain commercial and trade directories:

  • Ancestry.com (library edition) - for onsite use only
  • Find My Past - for onsite use only
  • World Vital Records - available for home use (conditions apply)