Monday 6 March 2023

Cheers! Ancestry releases second Jameson distillery collection

Ancestry has uploaded a second collection of records from John Jameson & Son to its database: the All Ireland, Jameson Bottling Agreements with Publicans, 1909–1965 collection. Its contains 30,484 records of bottling agreements at a time when most of the company's whiskey wasn't bottled at the Bow Street distillery in Dublin, but was sold directly to retailers by the cask. The retailers, most of them publicans, had to sign legal agreements between the distillery and the bottler, who may have been the publican or a third party.

These renewable annual contracts were a means to ensure the whisky was not adulterated by the bottler, who was held accountable for the drink that was sold in them. They had to agree that the whisky would neither be tampered with nor diluted.

The records note some or all of the following: the date and place of production; the name of the bottler and place of distribution; the amount sold and dates of transactions. Images are available for distribution agreements and bills of sale.

Among the findings in this collection are names, addresses and signatures not only of bottlers and publicans, but also their chosen witnesses. Some of the latter were members of pub staff or otherwise connected with the business ie accountants, but sometimes members of family, neighbours or friends. In the example below, from a store in Inchicore Road, Dublin, the witness is a retired Dublin Metropolitan Police officer.

This new record set joins the Jameson Distillery's Staff Wage and Employment Books, 1862-1969, which hold details of staff employed at the original James Irish Whiskey distillery until 1971.