County Wicklow is known as the Garden of Ireland, a name that is surely appropriate to the delightful and varied scenery that can be encountered in this varied landscape. From the wonder of the ancient monastic settlement of Glendalough to the breathtaking beaches and colourful woodlands, the traveller is rewarded with new spectacles at every stage of their journey. For those taking up the ancestral trail, the Wicklow Family History Centre provides both advice and research services for Wicklow descendants.
The genealogy service, which was established in 1987 by Wicklow County Council, is operated by the Wicklow County Archives. It is part of the cross-border network of local centres which form the Irish Family History Foundation. These centres assist the thousands of visitors who come to our shores every year on the ‘roots trail’ and also facilitate the growing interest in family history at home in Ireland. Wicklow parish records are now searchable online on the IFHF’s popular website Rootsireland.ie, which currently holds over 20 million family history records, and is the largest holder of parish records. The parish registers, along with the other sources held by the service, provide those with Wicklow ancestors as complete a picture as possible of where and how their ancestors lived.
Researching your Wicklow ancestors
Wicklow descendants can discover their links to this fascinating county with the assistance of the Wicklow Family History Centre. Since its foundation the service has computerised County Wicklow’s Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland parish registers. Church records of Methodist, and Presbyterian circuits within the county have also been computerised. Other records held by the Centre include land and tax records, i.e. Griffith’s Valuation and the Tithe Applotment Books, as well as Ordnance Survey townland maps, parish maps, place histories, commercial directories and tombstone inscriptions. Indeed, the service has researched and compiled Wicklow family histories for enquirers from all over the world, including the United Kingdom, the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Wicklow County Archives
As the genealogy service is housed in the Wicklow County Archives, the researcher also has access to a wealth of local authority records such as Grand Jury records, Wicklow County Council, urban and rural district council records, Poor Law Union records including Workhouse admission and discharge records, newspapers and many more sources.
For more information on tracing your County Wicklow roots please contact:
Catherine Wright at the Wicklow Family History Centre, Wicklow County Archives, County Buildings, Wicklow Town.
You can also find articles and news about Wicklow genealogy at www.countywicklowheritage.org/category.aspx?id=10