Bassett’s Book of Armagh is both a directory and a guide to the entire county in 1888. It is one of the most important sources published for late nineteenth century Armagh, recording details (addresses and occupations) for 9,147 people in the county. It contains over 400 pages of detailed information, as well as an excellent full colour map.
The book begins with the history, economy, geology and social life of the county. This is followed by a full directory for every town and village, giving the names and details for all office-holders, professionals, merchants and tradesmen, as well as a full alphabetical directory of farmers and other residents not listed by trade. There is a detailed introduction to each town and village, with information about the economy, history, religion, railways, post, and general character of the place. The book finishes with a list of fairs and markets in the county, and an index.
The publication of Irish county directories in the nineteenth century was nowhere near as comprehensive as England. William Bassett produced some of the best county directories in Ireland. Unfortunately he only published a small number of volumes and never covered the entire country.
All personal and place names in these publications are searchable. Search results give an individuals name and the town or postal district they were recorded for. This is linked to a scan of the original page of the publication that usually contains more precise address information and occupations.