a VirtualTourist member from New Orleans
My family history includes ancestors described as being from "Vale of Avoca" and I have records of some being baptized in Arklow (although I have no parish names). What are the best resources for viewing parish records, as I've read that the parish priests are very covetous of those records and that libraries in Dublin are the best place to look.
Also, what about visiting cemeteries for headstones? Are they well maintained to the point that markings are visible? We are planning a vacation to the Avoca/Arklow region later this year and I'd like to visit the places of our ancestral home.
I have the same intentions as you and have so far found that the best source appears to be the National Library in Ireland, especially the parish registers that are kept there. You might want to check out this page. nli.ie/en/family-history-int...
Cemetaries are generally well maintained by the church or local authorities that are responsible for them. Graves and gravestones are the responsibility of the family however so your ancestors resting places may be somewhat neglected by now. You didn't say what religion your family was so it might be a good idea to try and narrow your search down by as many criteria as possible like religion, date etc., that way you can concentrate on the most likely locations. I don't think you'll encounter any resistance if you contact the relevant authorities in advance. You might find the General Register Office useful, have a look at www.groireland.ie Many Irish records were lost in a fire in the Custom House in the 1920s but if you know what church you want to consult you might be lucky. Co Wicklow is beautiful so at least you'll get to see lots of scenery!
Enjoy your visit,all the best with your search!
A new online genealogy service has just started, it costs money to do a search but it might save you a lot of bother as they will have all parish records, check it out at http://www.irish-roots.net