Friday 18 December 2020

Belfast and Ulster Directories join FindMyPast

FindMyPast has added a collection of Ireland, Belfast & Ulster Directories to it database. As far as I can tell, the directories have been sourced from the North of Ireland Family History Society.

The publications were produced by the Belfast Newsletter, and cover 1890 to 1947, a period that spans the decades either side of Partition and creation of Northern Ireland.

Before 1922, the publications were entitled The Belfast and Province of Ulster Directory and cover all nine counties of the historic province of Ulster.

From the 1890 Belfast and Province of Ulster Directory

In 1923 the publication dropped coverage of the three counties – Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan – which remained in the Irish Free State (later the Republic of Ireland) and retitled itself as The Belfast and Ulster Directory and provided details about only counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, LondonDerry, Fermanagh and Tyrone.

Together, these directories hold some 1,666,724 indexed records, and can be searched by place, name and occupation. Each volume is divided into 

  • Civil establishment (government, courts, institutions)
  • Street directory (for Belfast only) 
  • Residents list (for larger towns)
  • Trades and professional directory.

Generally, you will discover the name, address and occupation of each person recorded. Each volume also provides a description, as well as important statistical, economic and social information, for each place with a special emphasis on Belfast city. 

While directories are not comprehensive and generally exclude women (unless they were in a profession), and many of the labouring poor, they cover a wide proportion of the population.