Treasure Chest Thursday: Stone's Directories

Stone’s New Zealand directories were compiled from a comprehensive house-to-house canvas of all streets in a district. They included the full name and occupation of the head of the household, as well as male lodgers aged over 18 years (21 years in some cases). However, spouses were excluded (unless he or she owned property on his or her own account), as were children over the age of 15 even if they were in the workforce, and generally people who rented property.

A typical entry in the Street and Country Directory reads as:

Abberley Road
Right side from St Albans lane
6– Rutherford, Mrs Amelia, ladies’ nurse

Stone’s historic books contain detailed sections such as the Alphabetical Directory and a Trades Directory. The Pastoral Directory includes the names and addresses of all holders of 1,000 or more sheep, for example:

Sounds County
1,198 Beauchamp, Mrs. H. Grove.

The Educational and Ecclesiastical Directory lists education boards, schools and colleges. A typical entry being:

Christchurch Girls High School
Opened 13th September 1877
Lady Principal – Miss M.V. Gibson

followed by a list of all of her assistants and subject mistresses, the school’s calendar terms and daily timetable.

All religious denominations, places of worship and ministers are likewise listed; along with many items of useful information such as how to register births, deaths and marriages - and dogs.

Stone’s Directories have a lot more to offer researchers than just their street, alphabetical and trade directories. As well as the information outlined above, there are maps, distances between towns and what rail passages were open for traffic.

Central Auckland Research Centre has a growing collection of Stones Directory’s. At present we offer fully searchable CD-Roms of the following:

Stone’s Otago and Southland Directories, 1884-1933

Stone’s Wellington, Hawkes Bay and Taranaki Directories, 1891-1900

Stone’s Canterbury, Nelson, Marlborough and Westland, 1902-1914

and Stone’s Nelson, Marlborough and Westland, 1899-1901


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