Messrs. A. Stephens & Son, New Ross - 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 premises occupied by this enterprising firm run beside John Street and Creywell Road for about an eighth of a mile. They have an average breadth of about 250 feet, and extend to the edge of the river, where there is a quay the entire length, at which vessels of 2,000 tons burden may be moored.

The corn department of the extensive business of Messrs. A. Stephens & Son requires the use of three stores. Of these, the first, at the Creywell side, is seven stories high, has a capacity for about 25,000 barrels, and runs the full breadth from east to west. The second corn store is five stories high. It runs parallel with the first, and has a capacity for about 10,000 barrels. The third corn store is likewise in parallel line. It is four stories high, and has a capacity for about 12,000 barrels.

In the coal department the extent of space occupied by sheds is able to accommodate 10,000 tons. Coals are sent to merchants and consumers in a circuit of twenty miles. Inistioge is supplied by boat.

In the milling department one of Greenhill’s patent discs is used for grinding Indian corn, barley, and wheat. Although situated in close proximity to such immense water power, it has been found more convenient to use steaM. One of Robey’s fixed engines drives the machinery.

Messrs. A. Stephens & Son began business at New Ross in 1879, but the premises they occupy, for more than a hundred years, had been devoted to similar uses. Michael McCormick, a merchant well known in Wexford, Kilkenny, and Waterford, founded the corn and coal business.

The steam mill and south corn store occupy the site of the ancient Abbey of St. John. At the time of the erection of the corn store, in 1880, several broken sculptures and fragments of doorway arches were discovered in the foundations.

The possibilities for the further extension of the buildings of Messrs. A. Stephens & Son are very great. There is a large fruit and vegetable garden at the upper end of the premises, with river frontage, all of which may be utilized.

It is worthy of remark that the water at the Stephen’s Quay, in the lowest state of the tide, averages from twenty-one to twenty-two feet. Iron rings of immense size, hang from blocks of cut stone at convenient intervals along the wall. Steamers, with corn from the Danube and elsewhere, and sailing colliers from Newport, Cardiff, Liverpool, and Clyde ports discharge at it with expedition and safety. A considerable portion of the quay being covered, the unloading of cargoes is not impeded by the prevalence of bad weather.

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