Thurles - 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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Population 4,850 in 1881.

Thurles, in the parish of same name, barony of Eliogarty, is on the Great Southern and Western Railway, 86½ miles, English, south-west of Dublin, and 20½ miles, north-east of Limerick Junction. At a short distance to the south-west the G. S. & W. line is joined by the Southern Railway, which terminates at Clonmel, 25½ miles south. The town is situated in the valley of the Suir, occupying a considerable area at both sides of the river. A connection is formed by a stone bridge. The Catholic Cathedral, Protestant parish church, convents and college are at the eastern side. There are also several business houses here, but the greater number are on the western side, following the lines of the Main-street, to its junction with New-street and the West Gate, leading to the Railway station.

Thurles has suffered from the causes that have affected the prosperity of nearly all the southern towns, but it still maintains a foremost place among the best of the size. It is surrounded by a first-rate agricultural country, with plenty of limestone. The land is adapted for pasture and tillage. Oats, barley, potatoes and turnips are the principal crops. Nearly all the extensive farmers divide attention between the raising of young stock, dairying, sheep fattening and tillage, with the result that they are able to contribute largely to the supplies which maintain the reputation of the markets and fairs.

Charles II. granted a patent to Lady Elizabeth Matthew and heirs for two markets in every week, Tuesday and Saturday, and for three fairs every year, each to be held for two days. The successors of Lady Matthew have permitted the markets to be held toll free, and only collect at one fair, Easter Monday, when it happens to be the first Monday in the month, the great day for pigs. The fairs are now held on the first Tuesday of every month for horses, cattle and sheep: pigs on the previous day. They are held in the streets and are all good. The markets (Saturday) are also held in the streets with the exception of that for butter. It is held in a yard in New-street, under the supervision of a committee. Sellers are charged 4d. per cask. This covers the cost of coopering and delivery at the railway station for buyers, who have nothing to pay. The owner of the yard receives 1d. per cask. Corn finds a market every day in the season. The market house in the Main-street, was destroyed by fire in 1869, and continues in ruins, all but one end, occupied for business purposes by Mr. Patrick Ryan. A movement was on foot in 1889 to acquire Mr. Ryan’s interest with a view to the erection of a Town Hall.