Loretto Convent, Gorey - Wexford Guide and Directory, 1885

About “Wexford County Guide and Directory,” 1885

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. However, there are a few points to bear in mind.

  1. This online version of Bassett’s Wexford County Guide and Directory 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.

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THE Loretto Convent is connected with the Catholic church by a long passage or cloister, which enables the nuns to worship there in a special place behind the sanctuary, free from observation. The convent is called the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the order was founded in Germany in the seventeenth century. There are twenty-five nuns occupied in teaching, and the school has three divisions—the higher being the boarding school, with fifty pupils, for young ladies; the day school, forty to fifty pupils; and national school, 175 to 200. A new building at the back of the convent is devoted to the young ladies’ school and dormitories. The school-room is sixty feet long, divided by pillars and a large arch at the end. In one of the convent parlours hangs a portrait of Sir Thomas Esmonde, Bart., and the windows look upon the garden, in the centre of which is a large statue of the Virgin and Child. The convent chapel is tastefully decorated, the apse being sky-blue and gold, the whole, including the altar, receiving a tint from a coloured window to the left.

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