Welcome to our historical survey of Gorey Main Street, Gorey, County Wexford. This historical project was carried out over the period of 2018 and 2019 by members of North Wexford Historical Society. This survey has been sponsored by North Wexford Historical Society under the direction of John Nangle and the Leader Development Program of Wexford County Council. We would like to record our appreciation to our sponsors and everyone who helped with the survey.
The project involves recording information on the individual shops of Gorey Main Street from the cancellation books which now are in storage with the Valuation Office. These books are now no longer used so they became “cancelled” whilst the current book for the current year was being used. The cancellation books list the landlord and occupier and type of property involved and their rateable valuation. The cancellation books also record the years when properties changed occupancy and ownership. Therefore the cancellation books are useful historical sources when carrying out family research for individuals who had connections with businesses on Gorey Main Street. We have covered the period 1853 to early 1940’s in our historical survey.
Each annual round of revision in the book was allocated a coloured ink code (by pen) for the particular year. When a change of occupancy occurred the name of the previous householder or owner was crossed through and the new owner’s name written above it; in the same colour ink. The date was recorded in the right hand column in the same ink colour. All manner of observations are also noted to the size of the physical structure of the land/property in the cancellation books.Over time; occupiers were given assistance by the Land Commission to buy their properties if they wished from the landlord. If this happened the occupier was recorded as being “in fee”.
The project team members have selected each property on the main street and recorded the landlord and occupiers for the period of time in a timeline format. Various Gorey families lived or worked in these shops or as we see eventually owned the properties when they changed from “occupiers” to being “in fee”. We have selected families which occupied the properties and delved a little bit more into some of them to give social and historical context to the tapestry of life on Gorey Main Street. We hope you enjoy it especially if you have a family connection.
Businesses were run on Gorey Main Street and changed occupiers and landlord’s over a period of time. This change can be observed in the timeline on each property in the attached webpages. It is important to note businesses were ran as shops; but also rooms above were let to other businesses or people had lodgings. In some instances the family who ran the business also lived over the shop so this may explain different names connected with the property or recorded in the census of 1901 or 1911. Also some families may have lived elsewhere.
Gorey Main Street Numbering on the Shop Fronts
The numbering system on Gorey Main Street does not follow the correct numerical pattern. Indeed the census of 1901 and 1911 do not follow the properties numerically so this should be noted if you are doing any historical research. In addition in the early times of Gorey Main Street; there were properties knocked down to make way for progress – an example would be shops were knocked down and removed to make space for the new Avenue which joined at the top of Gorey Main Street. So whilst these shops disappeared; the numbers along Main Street never changed to compensate for the adjustment.