Gazetteers and directories provide real insights into a community and are of significant value to family history researchers. Directories place a person at a specific location at a specific time. Additionally there are other details available about the person, such as occupation and address, as well as details about the community and neighbors. Additionally, this book provides the reader with a twenty page history of Hastings County, an overview of settlement, institutions, courts, and a variety of lists including members of local, provincial and federal government in 1879-1880.
The book is organized by municipality / township, with each householder and business recorded alphabetically by surname or business name.
There are descriptive sketches of each municipality before the listing of the persons in the place. Some of the sketches are lengthy... for example, Belleville's sketch is several pages.
Two examples of listings of individual residents. The first is an example of a rural listing in Wicklow Township. The second is an urban listing in the town of Belleville:
Anderson, James, yeoman, 3rd Con. [Concession], Lots 15 and 16, Greenview
Connor, WIlliam, lamplighter, corner of Pine and Foster Ave., Belleville
An example of a listing of a business (in Trenton):
"EGGLESTON E. L., grocer, Front [street] See Adv." [the directory is loaded with advertisements of local businesses in 1879-80)
This directory is not just a commercial or professional directory. It lists every householder or farmer regardless of position within the community.