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Viewing & searching tips

Using street directories

To carry out a search, input the search criteria in the appropriate field(s) and click on the Search button.
Street Directories can be searched for a keyword or phrase with the option of restricting the search to a particular directory or date range.  Not all of these options will be available at all times or in all combinations - for example if you select a directory you will not be able to select a date range - and any options that are unavailable will be unselectable.



Enter the word or phrase you wish to search for, for example a name, street name, profession etc..  You can choose to search for pages containing all the words you enter, any of the words you enter or the exact phrase that you enter. Searches include a degree of non-exactness to take account of different spellings, misprints and so on, however, to maximise your results you should try searching for different variants of words and consider where words may have been abbreviated (e.g. Wm. and William, Mfr. and Manufacturer etc.).  Common forename abbreviations include:
  • James  - Jas
  • William  - Wm
  • Charles  - Chas
  • Robert  - Robt
  • Joseph -  Jos
  • George  - Geo
  • Thomas  - Thos


You can narrow your search by selecting a specific directory from the drop-down list on the search page.  Alternatively, you can carry out a keyword search and refine your results by directory on the results page.

Date Range

Select the start year of the date range you wish to search within. If you do not specify this field, the search will extend back to the earliest directory.  Select the end year of the date range you wish to search within. If you do not specify this field, the search will extend up to the most recent directory.
NB You can search by Directory or Date Range, but not both.

Refining your search results


You can and refine your results by directory/directories on the results page.


Search results can also be refined by section within the search results page. Note that each directory contains a different set of sections and some directories may contain no specific sections at all.  Directory sections are:
  • Belfast descriptions and boards (an historical account of Belfast and details of local institutions and societies)
  • Belfast alphabetical directory
  • Belfast street directory - arrangement of names by street Search
  • Village directory - inhabitants in the suburbs of Belfast eg Dunmurry, Whiteabbey, Newtownbreda, Glengormly, Jordanstown, Dundonald
  • Ballymacarrett directory - some directories list the inhabitants of Ballymacarrett (now in east Belfast) separately
  • Country residents - a list of the gentry living in the outskirts of Belfast
  • Belfast professions and trades - arrangement of names by professions and trades
  • Provincial directory - counties, and towns and villages
  • Advertisements
  • Miscellaneous - includes general indexes and indexes of streets


You can refine your results by locale (town, village or county) within the search results page. Note that each directory contains a different subset of locales and some directories may contain no specific locales at all.  Locales identified will be listed as appropriate to your search results.

Browsing through a specific directory

If you do not enter a keyword, search results will be presented in date and page order on the results page.  In this way you may browse through the pages of a directory or selection of directories in the proper order.

Viewing street directory pages

Your table of search results is comprised of clickable links to the relevant entry in a Street Directory.
The relevant directory page will appear and your keyword/s will be highlighted in block colour.  If you have used more than one keyword, each will be highlighted in a different colour.  You can select/deselect highlighting of keywords using the list which appears at the bottom of the page.
Using your cursor to roll over the directory page will magnify the document.
You can navigate through the pages of the directory and also back and forward through your search results. You can also navigate back to the results overview/search page.


You can print a directory page using the 'print' option located at the bottom of the document viewer page.

Using tablets and mobile devices

This application has been optimised for use on PCs.  Some reduction in functionality may occur when using tablets and mobile devices, particularly in relation to the roll-over magnification in the document viewer.  On touch-screen devices, tapping alternate corner of the document images allows magnification and movement of the magnified image.