Reply To: Caseys from North Cathedral area of Cork City

 Bob Frewen

Hi Jennie,

I too have ancestors who were baptised in the North Cathedral during the same era– the son of one later went to Australia and I wrote about him for this Society,  it will give you an idea of the area in 1800 – 1850, see –

In the time you write about 1794-1810, the present North Cathedral (correctly the Cathedral of Saint Mary & Saint Anne) is the third church in that period, as one was replaced and rebuilt and then it was burned and rebuilt)  served a busy, bustling parish that was the northside of Cork city. Frequently its baptism registers give a street address so it is very worthwhile to examine the microfilmed originals rather than the transcribed versions. We are very lucky to have those records as many contemporaneous records have been lost.

Griffiths – most dwellers in the old part of Cork city lived in tenements (multi-family houses) and as many paid rent on a weekly basis they would not have leases (or if they had, it was for a period of less than one year) so they would not feature in Griffiths.

The Cork City Council has a very good website for Cork history – here is a link to Windele’s book that give a flavour of pre-Famine Cork and you can use that link also to get to their site which has several trade/street directories which are on-line.

The main business in the north city area centred on the cattle trade – butchery, hides/skins/tanning and glue making. Much of what was there in pre 1850 is gone – that part of the city was a warren of lanes and alleyways now demolished and many of the old streets widened and poorer quality houses knocked.  Windele wrote

The approach from the old City, was by a narrow winding street, ….At the west side of “Mallow-lane,” and on still higher ground, is an extremely populous suburb, divided into numerous lanes and alleys. Its southern boundary is Blarney-Lane, a long old street, formerly the principal western entrance to the City……..The [lanes]  are extremely minute, and the ways and passages rather labyrinthine. …….. Scattered amongst these teeming recesses, are a number of slaughter houses,, tanneries and glue manufactories, which, whilst affording much employment to the population, tend by no means to improve the fragrance of such a locality. A cattle market, always well supplied, is held twice in every week, on a rising ground in the outskirts, and two fairs are held in every year, on a hill in the neighbourhood.

A great book to understand the development of Cork is by David Dickson, , Old World Colony: Cork and South Munster 1630-1830.

I certainly would make time to visit the Local Studies at Cork Library,

If you think it worthwhile to study directories, the following are the main ones for the era

1787: Richard Lucas, Cork Directory
1788: Richard Lucas, General Directory of the Kingdom of Ireland.
1797: John Nixon, Cork Almanack
1809: Holden’s Triennal Directory
1810: William West, Directory of Cork
1812: John Connor, Cork Directory
1817: John Connor, Cork Directory
1820: J. Pigot, Commercial Directory of Ireland
1824: Pigot & Co., City of Dublin and Hibernian Provincial Directory,
·         PIGOT & CO.’S DIRECTORY 1824 – CORK CITY –
1826: John Connor, Cork Directory
1828: John Connor, Cork Directory

Aldwells post office directory is 1845 and Slater produced one for all Ireland in 1846. Many of these and other references can be found online via

If you cannot find your Caseys in a trade director they probably (as you have suggested) would have been poor and consequently ‘below the radar’ of public notice.

Good luck with the research and visit,



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