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Directories are one of the most effective ways of tracing members of a family, especially tradesmen. Many small businesses needed to ensure the public was aware of their activity and one of the better ways to do this in an age before media dominated was via a directory. The value of directories as a research tool is enhanced when no census material is available. The directories include many pages of advertisements, which all provide useful information, often including names of people and places.

1892 - 1899

Researchers are likely to find names and addresses listed in the following sections:

  • Colony-wide alphabetical directory

  • District directories

  • City street directories, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Wellington

  • Trades directory

Names and addtional information can be found in:

  • Manufacturers of English goods for export to New Zealand

  • Banking and finance, bank managers

  • Legal, judges and magistrates, court officials, coroners, crown prosecutors, sheriffs, barristers and solicitors, justices of the peace

  • Ecclesiastical, clergy

  • Insurance, company administrators

  • Educational, administrators, tertiary educators, head teachers, private school teachers

  • Medical, Otago University School of Medicine, medical associations, medical practitioners, hospital administrators, dentists, chemists

  • Pastoral and agricultural

  • Municipal, county, town and borough clerks, harbour masters, road and river boards

  • Government directories, elected members, ministers and government departmental administrators

1900

This years the directory contains the following sections which lists the names, addresses and professions of many in New Zealand in 1900. It also includes a street guide for some of the major towns and separate directories for banking, public companies, medical, legal, ecclesiastical, educational, pastoral, municipal and government.

This years directory contains the following sections:

  • Towns

  • Alphabetical 

  • Miscellaneous 

  • Trades 

1905

This edition of Wise's Post Office Directory for New Zealand is divided into three main sections, enabling the enquirer to see at a glance the Householders or Traders in any one town; the business and address of any resident in the colony; and the firms throughout New Zealand engaged in any trade or profession.

This years directory contains the following sections:

  • Towns - alphabetical list for over 2000 towns, boroughs, cities and districts 

  • Alphabetical - contains the names, occupations and postal addresses for the entire colony

  • Trades and professions - shows the business firms of the State, arranged under their trade or profession

Separate directories are given in the following areas:

  • Medical 

  • Ecclesiastical 

  • Legal 

  • Educational 

  • Banking and finance

  • County council

  • Municipal

  • Insurance 

  • Pastoral 

  • Agricultural

  • Marine 

  • Local and General Government