Messrs. W. Phelan & Sons, 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, 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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W. Phelan, Clonmel

In the opposite page an illustration is given of Suir Island Mills, in which Messrs. W. Phelan & Sons carry on business as corn and oatmeal millers, and flour merchants. Their other places of business in Clonmel are also supplied from here.

The mills have a frontage of about one hundred feet, a depth of about fifty-five feet, and contain fourteen pairs of stones. The driving power is supplied by two water-wheels, one twenty-four feet in diameter, and eight feet wide, the other twenty feet in diameter and four feet wide. There is also a beam-engine of about twenty nominal horse-power which can be used in Summer when the River Suir usually gets very low.

Messrs. Phelan also make oatmeal at Spa Mill, which is situated within a short distance of Clonmel, at the Waterford side. It is five storeys high, has an overshot water-wheel, twenty-four feet in diameter, and four feet wide, and is driven by the Ragwell, a mountain tributary of the Suir.

After the foregoing particulars had been put into print, the Suir Island Mills were destroyed by fire. This fact, however, only temporarily interfered with the extensive business of Messrs. W. Phelan and Sons.