Directories set out to record the ‘principal inhabitants’ of a community, particularly those in trade or the professions. Directories were put together by individuals and publishers for commercial purposes at intervals during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Here is the 1931 Trade Directory, exclusive to From-Ireland.net:
In Ireland, many of the towns had a square, and around the square were houses (homes) with one or two shops or business’s. The streets of the town all went from that square. Most towns had a ‘Main street’ – some called it a High street, and it was usually on that main street that the majority of shops and businesses were located. Shops had one or two large windows depending on the size of the shop. Many Public houses had a grocery section. You walked in the door and the grocery section was at the front of the shop with the pub at the back – usually a wooden division separating both. The Grocer or Publican may have had a field or more behind the building, cows were milked and the milk was sold to those who would bring in their ‘Jimmy’ cans. Most business men/people had more than one occupation. The Publican as described above was also the Grocer and if he sold milk then he could also be described as a Dairy man. As you go through this list of names you will see that many.