Trading Ledgers of Yore

We in the Society are fortunate to have been supplied with original account books detailing the business transactions of a number of merchants in the area, for the purpose of digitised preservation. This article summarises the contents of these interesting relics, and presents a selection of pages drawn from the ledgers themselves.

The merchants presently included in the archive comprise the following: O’Briens (Ardpatrick), Hayes, O’Shaughnessys, Dohertys (Kilfinane) and O’Sullivans (Elton), in addition to records from Ballinvana Creamery.

O’Brien Ledger

The most venerable of the account books is from the O’Brien establishment at Ardpatrick cross, and covers the years 1893-1896. We suspect however that the entries may refer to customers from the Kilmallock area, as this is where the O’Briens carried out business before moving to Ardpatrick. See here and here.

Above: sample of the O’Brien ledger, August 1894. Full-size image

The second account book relating to the O’Brien’s shop and public house dates from the 1940s through to the 1950s. The sample below, in the neat handwriting  of Joe (or possibly Tim) O’Brien, details the transactions of a typical customer in 1948 –

Full-size image

The records of the Hayes’ merchant premises in Kilfinane span the years 1915-1962

Hayes Ledger

Below is a statement of accounts providing a financial overview of the years 1919 to 1928 –

Full-size image

The detail below gives an insight into a typical week’s transactions during August 1925, from which we can derive that the value of a packet of candles was 1 shilling and 4 old pence…

Full-size image

O’Sullivan’s of Elton are represented in the archive with the years 1948 to 1964 –

O’Sullivan Ledger

Patrick O’Donovan of Hill House, Knocklong (1897-1952) was grand-uncle of a Society member, and proprietor of a public house himself. His trading record with the O’Sullivans during 1949/50 is preserved below –

Full-size image

Also of significant interest are the records from Ballinvana Creamery, covering the years 1953 to 1957 –

Ballinvana Creamery Ledger

A list of the milk suppliers during 1954 can be gleaned therein; see full-size image:



During peak summer months almost 700,000 lbs of whole milk was supplied, with a value of over 5,000 pounds.

We express our gratitude to those who have made it possible for these enlightening repositories of local history to be preserved.

Comments about this page

  • A wonderful collection of records, well done for your work in preserving and making them accessible

    By Lorna Elms (11/01/2023)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.