Fethard, Clonmel - Book of County Tipperary, 1889

About “The Book of County Tipperary,” 1889

George Henry Bassett produced 7 Irish county directories in the 1880s: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Kilkenny, Louth, Tipperary and Wexford. Each provides useful history of the respective counties as well as lists of office holders, farmers, traders, and other residents of the individual cities, towns and villages.

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The directories are naturally an invaluable resource for those tracing family history. The Book of County Tipperary is the first of these to be made available on libraryireland.com, with its own search page. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version is designed primarily as a genealogical research tool and therefore the numerous advertisements in the original book, many full page, and quite a few illustrated, have been excluded.
  2. The text has been proofed with due care, but with large bodies of text typographical errors are inevitably bound to occur.
  3. Be aware that there were often inconsistencies in spelling surnames in the 19th century and also that many forenames are abbreviated in Bassett’s directories.

With respect to the last point, surnames which today begin with the “Mc” prefix, for example, were often formerly spelt as “M‘,”. For a list of some of the more common forename abbreviations used in the directory, see Forename Abbreviations.

To enjoy the rich variety of advertisements, confirm accuracy of the entries, or have a printed record of a family member, obtain an original or facsimile copy of The Book of County Tipperary.

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Population 1,926 in 1881.—Trout river.

Fethard is in the barony of Middlethird, on the Southern Railway, 8½ miles, English, north of Clonmel. It is usually referred to by the inhabitants as “Fethard, Tip,” but the correct address, as finally arranged by the Post-office authorities, is—Fethard, Clonmel. Direct communication by rail with Dublin, 103½ miles, English, was established in 1880. Thurles, 17 miles, English, north by west, is the connecting point. The town rises gently from a valley, through which the Clashawley, a good trout river, runs on the way to the Anner. It is surrounded by hills, and in the view there are several splendid plantations, old castles, and other striking features. The greater part of the houses in Fethard are slated, and in fair repair. In the principal thoroughfare there are many tastefully fitted and well stocked business establishments. These represent modern progress, and are in curious contrast to the existing castles and sculpture-adorned houses of ancient Fethard, with which they are most picturesquely intermixed.

Within three years there has been a marked tendency toward improvement in the commercial affairs of the town. Two butter factories have been established, one by Mr. Michael Coffey, and the other by Mr. William Dwyer; a weekly market on Thursday has been established for fowl, butter, and eggs, and a pig market is held on the third Monday of every month. There is also a cattle and sheep fair on the third Tuesday of every month. The land of the district, for the most part, has a limestone basis, and is good for pasture and tillage. Oats and potatoes are the chief crops.

A governmental system was organized in 1840 under the 9th of George IV., chap. 82. There are 13 Town Commissioners. Elections are held triennially in July. The last was in 1888. In 1888 the revenue of the town was £137. This was made up from head rents received out of landed property at Market Hill, town houses, tolls of fairs and market, etc. The expenditure during the same year was £133. Of this, £12 was paid for maintaining 27 oil-lamps in the public streets. The water supply is procured from pumps.

Fethard is a military station under Cahir. One troop of Hussars is usually quartered here.