Kellys' Directories 


Kelly's Directory  was a trade directory in the United Kingdom that listed all businesses and tradespeople in a particular County, city or town, as well as a general directory of postal addresses of local gentry, landowners, charities, and other facilities.

The namesake and originator of the directory was Frederic Festus Kelly. In 1835 or 1836 he became chief inspector of letter-carriers for the inland or general post office, and took over publication of the Post Office London Directory, whose copyright was in private hands despite its semi-official association with the post office, and which Kelly had to purchase from the widow of his predecessor.

He founded Kelly & Co. and he and various family members gradually expanded the company over the next several decades, producing directories for an increasing number of UK counties and buying out or putting out of business various competing publishers of directories.

In 1897, Kelly & Co Ltd became Kelly’s Directories Ltd, and continued to produce County Directories, which are now an important source for historical and family history research, until the mid-1970's.

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