Embrace Your Irish Heritage: Jameson Employee Records

More than one million Jameson whiskey employee records have been released and are free to access through Ancestry.com during July 2021.

May the “Luck of the Irish” be with you during your search through this treasure trove of Irish family history.

Ancestry.com and Irish Distillers, producer of some of the world’s best-loved Irish whiskeys, teamed up to share Jameson’s employee records. Ancestry’s staff traveled to Midleton and digitized the Jameson’s extensive collection of oversize record books. The official title of the collection on Ancestry.com is: “Ireland, Jameson Distillery Staff Wage and Employment Books, 1862-1969.”

These historic records include detailed weekly wage books, with employee names, occupation, hours worked, and wages paid, spanning 100 years. To protect the privacy of living former employees, the personal details in these records are currently available only through 1937.

The employee records are considered historically significant for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that they may be the only surviving records for the individuals listed in the earliest volumes. Civil registration of births did not began until 1864, and later records were destroyed in the bombing of the Four Courts in 1922.

Workers pictured at Jameson’s Bow Street Cooperage. Source: Irish Central

The Jameson Distillery Bow Street (informally the Jameson Distillery) was established in 1780. It was originally named The Steins Family Bow Street Distillery, up until a Scotsman by the name of John Jameson stepped off the boat in Ireland and changed the Irish whisky business forever. Jameson became the general manager of the distillery in 1786.

At its peak, the Bow Street Distillery was described as a “city within a city.” In addition to the distillery, the Jameson complex housed a Smithy, cooperage, saw mills, engineers, carpenters, painters, and coppersmiths’ shops. Cellars were dug underneath the streets to store the maturing whiskey.

In 1976, the company opened it’s New Middleton Distillery; and whiskey production was relocated to that facility. As a result, the Bow Street Distillery was closed. Today, the original Bow Street Distillery is an Irish whiskey tourist attraction located just off Smithfield Square in Dublin, Ireland. Unfortunately, it is temporarily closed due to COVID guidelines issued by that country.

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