Directories for large towns can date from around the middle of the 18th Century and County Directories from early 19th Century. Early Directories usually merely contain a list of the local traders, however, these were expanded to include topographical details and private residents and later a commercial section relating to the whole county.
Trade and Court Directories are an important source for locating an address to use when searching the census enumerator's returns, however, when using a directory allowances must be made for the lapse of time between the collation of the information and the publishing date. County Directories can give valuable topographical details of the towns and help to build up a picture of what life was like for the inhabitants.
Click here for a PDF format page giving more information on the Trade Directories.