Find your ancestors in Medical Directory for Ireland 1858

The Medical Directory for Ireland was first published in 1852 (also available on findmypast), detailing the locations and publications of medical practitioners who held qualifications as either apothecaries (pharmacists) or doctors in Ireland. The Medical Act of 1858 set out to regulate the medical profession and abolish unlicensed practitioners.

The 1858 Directory published online here captures the Irish medical world at the point of this movement towards stricter regulation through the General Medical Council. The first Medical Register was published in 1859, in conjunction with the Act.

The entries in the Directory were sent to the medics to whom they related, for verification purposes. A passage in the preface to the Directory indicates that many doctors didn’t return this circular to confirm their details.

Searching for your ancestors in the Directory
It is important to note that as much as the editors of the Directory strove for completeness, there was no compulsion on the part of the doctors to be included, prior to the 1858 Medical Act. As such, it is inevitable that some practitioners will have been missed. Some are noted in the supplemental list, with fairly limited details.

One eminent doctor listed in the Medical Directory is William Stokes. Of his published works, The Diagnosis and Treatment of Diseases of the Chest was especially noteworthy, gaining him manifold plaudits. Stokes was also responsible for treating James Clarence Mangan on his death-bed (and with instructing Sir Frederic Burton to draw a sketch of Mangan’s face, immediately following his death, which is now held at the National Gallery in London).

In addition to listing practicing professionals, the Directory contains Obituaries of medical professionals.