Tobacco and Snuff Manufacture at 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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MR. JOSEPH JEFFARES began the manufacture of tobacco and snuff at New Ross in 1811, and continued it most successfully for upwards of forty years. His son, Mr. William Jeffares, in 1852, was engaged in a similar industry in the vicinity of Christ Church, Dublin. Upon the invitation of his father, he removed to New Ross, in 1853, and went into partnership with hiM. Mr. William Jeffares had had considerable experience, and employed it to advantage, in the manufacture of tobacco and snuff.

Mr. Joseph Jeffares was a man of remarkable business ability, and having seen a splendid opportunity for heavy operations in the corn trade, gave over the tobacco factory entirely to his son, and entered it. Up to the time of his death, in extreme old age, there was no more enterprising citizen of New Ross, whose shipping trade was largely upheld by his efforts.

Mr. William Jeffares carried on a tallow chandlery, in addition to the tobacco and snuff factory. Indeed, it might be said that the three branches had been in vigorous operation before his father entered the corn trade. The candles had a yellow “cast,” and it is claimed for them to this day, that they hold color and are free from the odor which is often so offensively distinct in the sickly grey article.

Mr. William Jeffares died in 1882. His son, Mr. Thomas E. Jeffares, under the style of William Jeffares & Son, continues the business, attached to which there is a wholesale and family grocery establishment.

The tobacco and snuff factory and chandlery occupy premises at the rere of the grocery warehouse in Mary Street, which extend for nearly 300 feet toward Michael Street, and have an average breadth of about 100 feet. Fifteen presses are used in the manufacture of tobacco, the grades of which include roll, coil, and grass cut. One of the modern features is the stove, put up by a famous Cork tobacco kiln builder. It can dry 480 lbs. of tobacco at a time.

Snuff manufacture is carried on according to the old method, the mill being worked by three men. A great deal of attention is given to the toasting, and this is relied upon to keep the Jeffares brand in the front rank. The raw tobacco is stored by Messrs. William Jeffares & Son, in their own bonded warehouse, Charles Street.

Wexford and Kilkenny Counties consume all the tobacco and snuff manufactured by the firM. Messrs. William Jeffares & Son have no rivals in these counties. Two efforts to establish tobacco factories were made at New Ross, during the career of Mr. Joseph Jeffares, but neither proved successful.

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