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From Tea to the Titanic...Victorian Scottish Trade Directories provide a fascinating insight into Scottish heritage...

Familyrelatives is proud to announce the addition of over a quarter of a million Victorian Scottish Trade Directory records online. continues to add to its collection of Trade directories by releasing Trade and individual records dedicated to Scotland.

Slater's Royal National Commercial Directory is an impressive record of all aspects of life in Scotlandin 1889. Apart from Topographical and Postal Information it contains lists of professionals, landowners, Gentry, farmers, factors, Londonand Provincial Bankers and a fascinating array of advertisements at the time accompanies the text.

The Slater's Directories form a unique collection of 35 Scottish Counties with invaluable occupational and commercial information for 1889 at the peakof Victoria's reign. The directories with over a quarter of a million entries contain all the major professions, trades and occupations including taverns and public houses as well as the nobility, gentry and clergy. Even the addresses are identified.

The Slater's Royal National Commercial Directory of Scotland in its day was more than equal to today's Telephone directory and Yellow pages combined. Interestingly - following the invention of the telephone the abbreviations state that "TN with the figures following denote the number in the List of the National Telephone Company Limited", established only a few years earlier in 1881.

Towns and parishes are detailed for each area and the introduction contains key information including the number of inhabitants (taken from the 1871 census) with a geographical and topographical description and the local history. A description of the main trades, produce, manufacturers and industries of the area or town are also covered.

Trade was often at the centre of every community - not only were there many shops but the produce, available minerals, manufacturing, transport and shipping all contributed to the growing Victorian economy. Many of the buildings that remain today reflect the social history and economic growth of Scotland. Educational establishments as well as teachers and local government officials, public buildings and offices are listed and formed part of these communities.

Sir Thomas Lipton of Lipton Tea  

The Directory lists well known names like; Sir Thomas Lipton of Lipton Tea who was described as a "ham and provision merchant", with addresses of his stores across Scotland and England with his residential address as Johnston Villa, Cambuslang, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. It also lists Alexander Graham Bell's best friend and neighbour John Herdman, a corn merchant and miller where Bell at the age of 12 invented a small de-husking machine that was put into operation at the mill.

Sir William Arrol & Co - built the ForthBridge & TowerBridge

Sir William Arrol & Co. which was a leading Scottish civil engineering business based in Glasgow, built many bridges in its 113 year history in Great Britainbut best known for the ForthBridgeand TowerBridgein Londonand others abroad. Arrol was contracted to build one of the largest gantries for the construction of three new super liners, one of which was the Titanic. The company is listed as one of the many iron works and commercial businesses in the directory.

Scottish Records - The first of many to be added  

"We are pleased to announce the release of these Scottish records online which complement the existing Trade and Occupational Directories collection. This is the first of the Scottish records to be placed online and is part of a programme to add more Scottish records in the future", commented a spokesman for the family history website.

The collection is searchable by surname and forename or the business name for each of the 35 counties. The Trade directories provide an invaluable resource for family history researchers wanting to know more about the area where their ancestors lived and the various trades and businesses where they worked.

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