Tipperary - 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 7,274 in 1881.

Tipperary, in the parish of the same name, barony of Clanwilliam, is on the Waterford and Limerick Railway, 24½ miles, English, west by north from Clonmel, and 3 miles from Limerick Junction, Great Southern and Western Railway. It rises out of the valley of the river Ara to a height most favorable for the maintenance of good sanitary conditions. The situation, from all points of view, is charming. In the surroundings there is a chain of green hills, affording easily accessible look-out points, and the Galtee Mountains, with the lower peaks, including Slievenamuck, 1,215 feet, in the foreground, and the higher, with Galtymore, 3,015, at the back. The beautiful Glen of Aherlow lies between these, at a distance of about 3 miles. Handsome private residences, in richly wooded demesnes, are features of the prospect at every outlet.

The town, itself, is well calculated and well built, and the streets, for the greater part, are of adequate breadth, and have good foot-ways. In all the thoroughfares the houses devoted to trade, with few exceptions, have a flourishing appearance. Some, as may be seen from the illustrations, are quite imposing. During prosperous times, Tipperary was reckoned among the best business centres in Ireland, of its size. Considering that the depression has been pretty general throughout the Kingdom, this estimate may still be regarded as not far out of the way. Its exceptional position is due to the fertility of the large district contributing to the markets. A great part of this has a limestone basis, and is famous for pastures, embracing the Golden Vale.

Markets for general produce are held every Thursday and Saturday. The butter market is held daily during the season of seven months, and to this the supply averages about 450 casks. The right to hold markets was given by Charles II. to Erasmus Smith in 1666. An enclosed space is provided for general produce, with entrance from the main street. Tolls are charged at the rate of 3d. per load. Potatoes, etc., 1d. per sack. The butter market is in Church-street. Mr. Cooper Chadwick leases the weigh-house from Mr. Arthur H. Smith-Barry, landlord, and charges 3d. per cask for weighing and delivering. A movement was initiated at the beginning of this year looking to the establishment of a weekly market for poultry. Fairs are held monthly for cattle, sheep, and horses, and for pigs on preceding days. Dates are given in the list of fairs, for which see index. The old fair green, near the railway station, consists of about two acres. This has been used for horses as well as cattle, but at the beginning of 1889 it was proposed that the green opposite the Catholic Church should be utilized for horses specially, with the object of establishing a great fair.

Tipperary is an important military station, and has extensive barracks erected in recent years, containing all the modern improvements, with first-rate quarters for married men, etc.

The town is the head of a Constabulary district, and has a resident magistrate. It is likewise the head of a Poor Law Union. Two sessions of the County Court are held here, usually in April and November.