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Jollies Cumberland Guide & Directory 1811: Containing a descriptive tour through the County. 1811, reprinted 1995. viii, 138 pp. £35. History and Directory of West Cumberland, 1901 by T. Bulmer. 1901, reprinted 1994. 152 pp. £15. Both reprinted by Michael Moon, 41 Roper Street, Whitehaven, Cumbria, England. Tel. 011-441-1946-62936. Payment by Sterling checks, credit cards not accepted.

Jollies guide and directory is the earliest directory for Cumberland and was originally printed by hand in two volumes. They are extremely rare now. They have been combined into one volume for this beautiful quality reproduction. I wish there were more companies willing to reproduce the old volumes in this quality.

The book contains three loose maps in a pocket at the back of Carlisle, Workington and Whitehaven at a scale of 6 1/2 inches to the mile. They are dated 1811 but actually were created in 1794 with some minor alternations such as new mines being added.

The guide book describes a journey through all the towns of Cumberland in 1811. This is a fascinating journey mentioning many of the land owners in the area. You see how the cost of provisions increased rapidly from 1793 to 1796, learn about street manure being sold in Carlisle, public water pumps being put up in Whitehaven, and how the fortifications at Whitehaven were increased to 98 canon after John Paul Jones attacked the harbor in April 1788.

Both parts of the directory contain lists of the professionals and tradesmen in most of the towns in the county. Your ancestor may not be found in the lists. But, if your ancestor is in the county in this time period, this book is a must for getting a good description of the industry, people and land.

The Bulmer's reprint is one section from a much larger edition (990 pages) entitled A History, Topography and Directory of Cumberland published in 1901. This directory is designed for those wishing to find their grandparents in the area. The directory is organized by community beginning with a good detailed description, history of the local industries, descriptions of all the churches, schools and significant organizations within the area. The description for the town of Harrington, for example, shows how significantly the community had grown in the prior century. It got only a passing reference in Jollie's directory of 1811. The directory covers the Western or Egremont Parliamentary Division of the county. A map showing the boundaries of the Division would have helped users not in the area. The boundaries appear to be Harrington to the north on the coast, Haverigg and Millom to the South, and inland into the Ennerdale, Wastwater and Eskdale valleys. This is a quality paperback book. I especially liked that extra-long, folded front and back covers that in effect provide built-in book marks.

ed - George Washington's grandmother is buried near Moon's shop. Michael Moon produces an excellent catalogue of local used and rare books. This is a resource you need to know about if you have Cumbrian ancestors. I only wish I had ancestors from here.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.3 no.5, 1996