Billheads from James Kelly shop in Westport

This is a collection of billheads (invoices/receipts/order lists) relating to Louisburgh businesses. They were sent to Kelly’s, The Octagon, Westport, who were wholesale and retail grocers, tea, wine & spirit dealers, etc.

A number of these items are addressed to P.J. Kelly, who founded the business in 1871 and was married to Sarah McEvilly from Bunowen. Many of the earliest items below relate to Sarah’s father, James McEvilly. By the way, his brother was Walter McEvilly, who with his wife Julia had a bar & grocery shop on Bridge street in Louisburgh for many years up to the early twentieth century.

James and Walter’s older brother was Archbishop John McEvilly of Tuam. Another brother was Canon Jeremiah McEvilly, for a long time P.P. of Aughagower. James died in 1901 and some of the items below were bills settled following his death. Some are addressed to his son, John McEvilly. The rest were sent to either Peter J. Kelly or his son, James W., or his son (my father) John.

The business is still going on The Octagon and now sells handwoven tweeds and handknitted items, Irish linen, hats and caps, etc.

James Kelly

March 2012

Click on any billhead below to view enlarged version


Comments about this page

  • To ‘dar’: Yes. There is a typing error in my original post. Bridget McEvilly is the daughter or Wattie McEvilly. I still don’t think that he was the Archbishop’s brother. I’ve found obituaries for various ancestors which mention that they were distant relatives of the Archbishop. I’ve also made contact with a living McEvilly who is a cousin of mine. He said that his family don’t believe that we’re related to the Archbishop at all. It looks as if I’ll never get any closer to finding out the truth.

    By James Morgan (17/12/2021)
  • James, are you missing a generation? Delia & Jim were married in 1924, so born about 1900, Bridget and Ed O’Malley were married in 1875 so born about 1850. Could Bridget McEvilly be the daughter of Walter “Wattie” McEvilly thereby being the niece of the Archbishop? 

    By dar (28/04/2021)
  • I’d be SO grateful if anyone could help me with a genealogical query. My mother is Celine Lyons, born in Shop Street, Westport in 1928. Her mother was Delia O’Malley married to Jim Lyons. I know that we are related to Archbishop McEvilly, but I’m not sure how. We have a Walter McEvilly who was born in 1818 and was brother of my great grandmother Bridget McEvilly (mother of Delia O’Malley). Some people’s family trees show ‘our’ Walter as a brother of the Archbishop, but I find that unlikely as the other Walter mentioned above was definitely the Archbishop’s brother. Could it be that there were two Walters as siblings? Also, ‘our’ Walter was born on Inishturk, but all the others were born in Louisburgh. My Ancestry DNA test shows that I’m related to the Archbishop’s mother, but I can’t find out how I’m related. I’ve spent hours on this and am still no closer to finding out the truth. Sadly, my mother is 92 and her memory is failing. I hope someone can help. It would mean the world to me.

    By James Morgan (25/08/2020)
  • I could look at this stuff all day! It gives a great insight into what must have been very tough times although there always seemed to be time for the odd ‘half of malt’ or three!

    By jackinthewoods (09/05/2012)

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