Friday, 22 October 2010

Gunnees at work - Local Trade Directories

I've had some luck in finding information about the Gunnee family using copies of old trade directories. Sometime ago we stayed in Hull (which is actually where I was born) to look at the local archives. One of the surprising things that we came across were facsimile copies of trade directories, which we found in the local history section of a bookshop in Hull. Having checked all their copies for Gunnee entries I ended up buying 4 which had the most interesting information in, and which covered a good period of time. One of the useful things about trade directories in general is that they can often give you information which pre-dates census and GRO records (ie birth certificates etc.). At the least you can get the street and occupation of the person and in the later ones the street number as well. The disadvantage of later directories, though, is that if they are only available with listings by trade, unless you know the occupation you are looking for, the search can be very lengthy.

The copies I bought were:
  • 1803 General Directory of Kingston upon Hull
  • Battle’s Hull Directory 1814-15
  • Battle’s Hull Directory 1817
  • White’s Directory of Hull 1895

I also have references from Directories for Hull in 1826 and 1828/9 and for Thorne in 1822 and 1828/9.
In order of their appearance the Gunnee entries are:

1803 Wm Gunne cordwainer Waterworks St
1814/5 William Gunny shoemaker 4 Carr Lane
1817 Samuel Gunnee druggist, paint and colour manufacturer 35 Chariot St
1817 William Gunnee shoe-maker and shop keeper, 15 Princess-street
1822 George Gunnee house , ship and sign painter (Thorne)
1826 William Gunney shoemaker 49 Carr Lane
1828/9 Samuel Gunnee chymist, 35 Chariot Street
1828/9 George Gunnee Painter – House, Sign King St (this is the Thorne entry)
1895 Samuel Gunnee Chemist & Druggist 40 Chariot St

From what I can piece together from other records William the shoemaker is the William at the very top of the Gunnee tree. He was father to at least 9 children including another William, George, from whom most us are descended, and Samuel who is the chemist in this list. If you are thinking that 1817 – 1895 is a long time to be a chemist, that’s because at some point Samuel’s son, also Samuel, took over.

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