Who Lived on Midleton’s Main Street in 1901?

We decided to have a look at the 1901 Census to see who was living along Midleton’s Main Street in 1901. Our Transition Year student Rob Mitchell took up the challenge, and picked out some of the well known businesses on the street today to see what was going there over 100 years ago. The results are fascinating- read on to find out about the Australian, Tasmanian and Americans living on Main Street, as well as the ‘Fowl Fanciers’ and ‘Fancy Tobacconists’ who worked there. From new born baby’s to immigrant German jewellers, there was a lot happening on the Main Street in 1901. Rob takes up the story:

I have researched the buildings and inhabitants of the Main Street of Midleton from this era and compared this to the present day. Many of the buildings remain largely intact and unchanged. Some questions addressed are;

Who lived in the buildings of the Main Street?

What was the function of the building?

Is there any connection to today’s tenants?

I have selected some of the findings and detailed them below.

Main Street, Midleton, Co. Cork

Main Street, Midleton, Co. Cork

McDaid’s, 55 Main Street, Midleton

This is presently one of the most popular pubs in Midleton. 112 years ago an old shop keeper named Mary Ann Blansfield (80) who sold provisions, along with her daughter Mary Margaret Blansfield (44). The same architect who designed the Palace of Westminster, A.W. Pugin also designed McDaid’s in 1852 at the request from Lord Midleton. Originally designed as two buildings, by 1901 it had become one.

Shanghai House, 25 Main Street, Midleton

This was home to one the O’Brien families. John O’Brien (42) was a shop keeper as was his wife Kate (42). They had five sons Daniel Joseph (16), Thomas (14), Paul (12), Michael (10) and Maurice (9). Two servants were also present on the night of the census, Fanny Morrison (22) and Michael O’Dwyer (24), as well as Kate’s mother Kate Lisk (84).

Boots, 26-27 Main Street, Midleton

As this was once two buildings it was home to two separate families. In No. 26 lived the Barrys. Head of the family was Patrick Barry (49). a shop keeper who lived with his Limerick-born wife Johanna (50). He also had three apprentices- Bridget Barry (16), Kate Colbert (23) and Katie Draddy 16), one servant- Ellie Gearey (18) and one boarder, shoemaker Patrick Lane (23). No.27 was home to a small collection of the Daltons. Robert Richard Dalton (58), born in Derry, was a baker by trade. He lived with his wife Annie (57) and his daughter Queenie (17) who was a scholar.

Cummins Sports, 41 Main Street, Midleton

This was lived in by the Kelleher family. John Kelleher (58) was an accountant in the distillery, his wife Bridget Kelleher (56) was a vintner. They had two daughters Josephine (21) and Mary Ellen (15).

Wallis’s, 74 Main Street, Midleton

Today the site of another popular pub, in 1901 it was home to Richard Fitzgerald (56) a shopkeeper and draper who was the Head of the Family and led a very large household.. Also in residence were his wife Ellen (46), his brother and business-partner Michael (50), children Norah (13), Michael (15) and William (5) (all scholars) and brother and sister-in-law William Walsh (39) and Kate Fitzgerald (43). They had two servants, Hannah Higgins (24) and Kate Keeffe (16) as well as five boarders- Shop Assistant Michael Desmond (27), Dress-Maker Norah Higgins (26), Milliner Margaret Power (26) and Apprentices William Lane (15) and Michael Manning (15).

Leonardo’s Restaurant, 83 Main Street, Midleton

This was the home of William Deasy (33) who was a tailor and his wife Mary (33). Also present was Timothy Riordan (17) who doubled up as their servant and as a second tailor. They had three sons, Thomas (3), Francis (1) and William who had not yet reached a year old.

Muckley’s Jewellers, 85 Main Street, Midleton

Victualler and vintner Daniel Gilmartin (32) was the head of the family here, with his wife Katie (34) from Kilkenny running the business with him. They had four children, Christopher (6), Erin (5), Bartholomew (3) and May who was under one. Daniel’s 21-year-old nephew Michael Allen also resided there as a butcher, as did a servant/butcher Michael Spillane, also 21. The family also had a waiting maid, Lizzie Dunlea (28) and a cook Bridget Burke (24).

It is interesting to note that at the time of the 1901 Census two German brothers had taken rooms in No.28 Main Street. These were Albert (30) and Edward (25)- both were jewellers by trade and were surely the originators of the family and shop which retains a presence in Midleton over a century later.

123 Main Street, Midleton

Some of the more unusual residents of the Main Street resided in this house in 1901. Richard Walton Long (41) was the head of the family, He was a physician and surgeon and must have been an important man in the town. His wife Maria Long was 30-years-old and was described as a ‘Fowl Fancier.’ In addition she had been born a long way from Midleton- she came originally from Tasmania. They had a three-year-old daughter Iris Maria Walton Long. Also in the house was 27-year-old Marian Lilla Clockie, from Australia. The family clearly had strong connections to the other side of the World. Sisters Elizabeth Deacon (a 27-year-old nurse) and Edith Deacon (a 26-year-old scholar) were visiting on the night of the census. Another nurse, Mary Jugh (26) lived in the house with domestic servants Minnie Curtin (29) and Kate McCarthy (28).
The Maple Bar, 5 Main Street, Midleton

This building has been a pub for more than one hundred years as in 1901 this was owned by licensed publican John P. Barry (45) who was originally from Whitegate. He lived with his wife Marie (36), a native of Ballinacurra, and their five children James (10)  Louise (8), Lillie (5),  Margaritte (3) and ‘Ez O C’ who was only two days old. The family had recently returned from living in America, as eldest three children had had been born there, Also in residence were two domestic servants- Hannah Meade, an 18-year-old domestic servant from Ballincurrig, and Elizabeth Riordan, a 16-year-old from Thomas Street in the town.

O’Farrell’s Butchers, 19 Main Street, Midleton

This was occupied by May O’Keeffe (66), a widow who ran a grocery shop from here. Working with her were her son Eugene (40) and his wife Hannah (33). They also had a domestic servant, 18-year-old Hannah Brien who lived with them.

Ballycotton Seafood, 46 Main Street, Midleton

In 1901 Denis Desmond (52), who worked as an accountant at the distillery but also had a business as a ‘Fancy Tobacconist’. He lived with his wife Christine (51), who was from the city, and their 24 year-old daughter Ellen, a shop-keeper, and their son Michael (19) who was a medical student. Denis’s older brother James (60) who had been a mariner and was an invalid.

Paddy Power, 14 Main Street, Midleton

This was originally home to the Days. David Day (40) the head of the family was a merchant tailor, married to his wife Ellie (40). They had three daughters Winifred (6), Johanna (4) and Margaret (2). David’s mother Hannah (60) also lived with them in 1901.

101 Main Street, Midleton

In 1901 this was occupied by the Fishbournes. This family is interesting in that they were all born outside Cork. John G (45) was the head of the family and was a bank agent born in Carlow, His wife Sarah (40) was born in Co. Kildare, It seems likely that John had travelled around the country working with the bank, as the couple’s daughter Dorah (10) had been born in Laois (Queen’s County) and their son Derrick (4) in Waterford City. They employed a 25-year-old governess, Mable Shaw, who was born in Dublin. The family cook, Hannah Holsour (21) was from Co. Kilkenny; their house maid, 26-year-old Annie Ryng [Ring?] and groom, 24-year-old Denis Murphy were both from Co. Cork.

We intend to put all the families from the 1901 Census up on the site, but if you are interested in finding out more you can see a full list of the occupants of Main Street in 1901 on the National Archives site here. We intend to expand our search to look at other streets in the town, as well as the 1911 Census to see what changes had taken place.

*Please see the comment of Kathryn Walsh below regarding an error in the census information which throws out some of the house numbers (Thanks Kathryn!)

Categories: Midleton Census | Tags: , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “Who Lived on Midleton’s Main Street in 1901?

  1. Gordon callinan

    Hi. I’m looking for an old photo of my premises on distillery walk. If u had one or knew where I could source one it would very much appreciated. Thanks for your time. Gordon

    • Hi Gordon,

      Hopefully someone who sees this comment might be able to help out- if we come across any I will drop you a line.

      Kind Regards,


  2. tonyharpur

    Now this is a great use of the two online censuses (1901 & 1911) and more of this needs to be done for the town, and for the villages around Midleton.. The years following led to major changes due to World War I and the War of Independence and Civil War. It might be worth looking at the men who enlisted and fought in the Great War, and also those who died.

    • Hi Tony,

      Many thanks for that- that is certainly on the ‘to do’ list, would be a nice project!

      Kind Regards,


  3. Kathryn Walsh

    Hi just a slight correction! There is an error in the actual census … Paddy Powers is correctly number 14 now but is incorrect in the 1901 and 1911 census the family living there … And still today … Are the Walshes down as 15.2! if you notice there is no number 7 on either census … which throws everything out by one …..would be interesting to find out how the mistake was made!

    • Hi Kathryn,

      Thanks for pointing this out! I will make reference in the text to the census error and also refer to your comment so people can see what the numbers should actually be, many thanks!

      Kind Regards,


  4. gerard burke

    Would love to find out about youghal road in midleton.
    I was born and raised on this road as was my mothers family.
    I lived at 10 youghal road.

    • Hi Gerard,

      We will put a post on the Youghal Road down as one we have to do, it would be nice to start a few small history’s of different streets in the town, so one for us to look into.

      Kind Regards,


  5. Michael D.Barry

    Thank you for these interesting “pickings” from 1901.
    My family lived at NO 91 Main Street, where they ran a business since 1835 before moving to No 83.
    I have an interest in what you are doing and may be able to help you, with family info over the period
    1800 to the 1970s when we sold the properties.
    Keep up the good work
    Michael Barry.

    • Hi Michael,

      Many thanks for the comment- we would love to hear from you if you have any information you would like to share, and I am really glad you liked the post!

      Kind Regards,


  6. Mary O Callaghan

    Very interesting not from mdleton but have lived here for 13+ years looking forward to Looking up some more of the area after reading this
    Well done

    • Hi Mary,

      You are the same as myself, I am actually a blow in from Limerick! Thanks glad you liked the post.

      Kind Regards,


  7. Maureen Pova nee FitzGerald

    The Main Street shopkeepers most interesting . Thank you.My family had strong ties to Midleton Gr Gr Grandfather’s sister Charlotte married to Draper Mathias Callaghan. 1815. They had fourteen children. Lived there until deaths 1851 and 1877. My Great Grandfather’s older brother Maurice FitzGerald and wife Mary Creagh lived there also. Maurice was Manager of Munster Bank Midleton. Also lived there until deaths. 1881 and 1884. His sister Mary Anne FitzGerald lived with her brother and died there 1901. Is there a chance that the Drapery shop address is known and who now occupies it. please? The Munster Bank and the same premises occupied by a son Dr Richard Joseph FitzGerald a Doctor was in Main Street.. He died as late as 1925. His last sister died there 1966. Again thank you Maureen.

    • Hi Maureen,

      Many thanks for the comment. The draprey shop is as far as I am aware now Wallis’s pub, I will have to double check that. You have fantastic detail on your family history, it is absolutely fascinating.

      Kind Regards,


  8. Maureen Pova nee FitzGerald

    Hi Damian. Received many comments via my email thanks. Above you have Wallis’s Bar as belonging to Richard FitzGerald. As far as I can find he although a Fitzgerald was not related to my family. It was Mathias Callaghan and later his sons John and probably Richard who had the ‘Woollen and Linen Drapery and Haberdashery store in Main Street. I do not know the number so if you could come up with an answer it would be great. Mathias died 1851, before that I do find mention of him but never with a number just Main Street. I believe his son John and probably Richard then ran the store and were Insolvent some time later possibly in the early 1870’s. Thanks again Maureen

    • Kevin Cronin

      I am trying to make contact with Maureen Pova who had a request for information on Teresa Sullivan/Brady Blackrock Cork in 2013, I have just come across it , it is on another site perhaps she can email me direct for some info which I have. Thanks Kevin Cronin

      • Hello Kevin, I have some info now about Teresa. However always glad to find more information. I have tried twice to send a message but feel I made a mistake Hope this one goes through.. You did not enclose an email address so cannot contact direct. Mine is map_2@hotmail.com. Will look forward to contact. Regards Maureen

  9. nicky quill

    Myself and hubby@ owennacurrapharmacy 77 -78 main street, would love to know who occupied the units then. (Dont suppose u have any old pics of that part of road). If u happen to know I’d love if u shared with us .
    Many thanks,

  10. Shanghai House, 25 Main Street, Midleton
    This was home to one the O’Brien families. John O’Brien (42) was a shop keeper as was his wife Kate (42). They had five sons Daniel Joseph (16), Thomas (14), Paul (12), Michael (10) and Maurice (9). Two servants were also present on the night of the census, Fanny Morrison (22) and Michael O’Dwyer (24), as well as Kate’s mother Kate Lisk (84).

    This should read “Kate SISK” not Lisk.

    Kate O’Brien nee Sisk was my “first cousin, thrice-removed”.
    Her father Daniel Sisk from Ballykennefick near Inch Bay had a farm in Ballyspillane and a shop in 35 Main Street.
    His wife was Kate O’Flynn from Leadinton, Templenacarriga.
    Dan & Kate had 3 sons and 3 daughters.
    1 daughter and 1 son died young.
    The remaining 2 sons went to America and disappeared.

    The daughter Kate married in 1883, John O’Brien from Kilmacahill, Cloyne.
    They had 5 children including
    John Paul, a doctor, who lived in Castlemartyr and later in Bishopstown and
    Michael Francis, also a doctor, lived in Mountbell, Killeagh and later Clonard, Lee Road, Cork and
    Maurice who lived in River Street, Cloyne and was a clerk in the O’Brien Glasshouses in Cloyne.

    Dan Sisk died in 1875 and John took over the shop in 1889 and Kate, his mother-in-law continued to live with them.

    Kate O’Brien nee Sisk’s older sister Mary Sisk also married an O’Brien, Patrick from Midleton and had 4 children after his death she married Michael Egan and had 7 children including Vincent John Egan of whom you recently wrote

  11. Daniel Sisk’s No. 35 was shown on a map in the late 1800’s at the site where Boots is now, so the numbers may have changed before 1901.

  12. Very interesting read ! Well done

  13. Michael Holland

    HI, I’m doing a bit of research into John Joseph Joyce, killed at Clonmult in 1921, who appears to have been the son of Eugene and Mary Joyce, of Main Street, Midleton, who apparently had a grocery / provisions shop on Main street [see 1911 census, ‘House 17’.].
    Can any readers of this blog confirm or correct this info? Eugene seems to have been a stone mason (Census 1901, Queenstown / Cobh) and later ‘Engineer Midleton R C’ [sic, = ? ‘Rural Council’] (Census 1911, Midleton), later a member of Midleton UDC.
    All comments & information very gratefully received!
    Kind regards,
    Michael Holland, University Curator UCC.

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