Messrs. James Galavan & Co., 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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AMONG the shipowners of New Ross engaged in the foreign trade, none remain but Messrs. James Galavan & Co. This firm has held its way steadily through all the commercial changes since 1826. It was established in that year by Mr. James Galavan, father of Mr. James E. Galavan, J.P., and devoted its best energies to the timber trade. In furtherance of a most enterprising programme, the barque Bergmann, 384 tons register, and the barque Albinus, 484 tons register, were purchased, and made regular trips from the principal timber ports of America to New Ross.

In 1840 a coal department was added, and the schooner Enterprise, 72 tons register, and the schooner J. M. Ternan, 86 tons register, were purchased for special service as colliers. The Bergmann was lost in 1865, and the Albinus has continued to make regular voyages, and is at present the only foreign-going ship owned in New Ross. In 1854 a department for the sale of Peruvian guano was opened, and in 1861 the firm embarked in the artificial manure trade. Four yards of immense proportions are used for the accommodation of the several departments. Yard number one runs clear through from South Street to the Quay, a distance of about 350 feet. It has a breadth of about 250 feet. At one end there is a store of considerable capacity devoted to guano, artificial manures and cement. The rest of the space in the yard is occupied by coals, deals, and sawed timber. Yard number two, one hundred feet square, is devoted to square timber, slates, tiles, and bricks. It is entered from the quay. There has lately been erected in it a large steam saw mill. Yard number three and yard number four have entrances from the quay and Sugar House Lane. They are each 80 feet wide, and, both together, measure about 300 feet. They are used for coal and culM.

The styles of building and the modes of builders are no longer what they were. In the “good old days” the timber was taken from the yards in bulk. Now it is all cut and prepared. Deals were then cut in short lengths only, 12, 14, and 16 feet. Now they are often cut at 32 feet. The timber trade of Messrs. James Galavan & Co. is as large as ever, but of a different character.

Mr. James E. Galavan, who is the present owner of the several interests of Messrs. James Galavan & Co., has a considerable amount of house property in New Ross, and is an extensive landed proprietor in the County Wexford. He is a County Magistrate, has been twice chairman of the Town Commissioners, was for three years, successively, elected to the Chairmanship of the New Ross Board of Guardians, and is, for the third time in succession, filling the position of Chairman of the Harbour Board.

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