6. Tombstone Inscriptions

Main sources for Wicklow headstones

By Catherine Wright

Photo:Headstones

Headstones

Wicklow Family History Centre

Tombstone inscriptions are a rich resource for family history research as memorials can often contain the details of several generations of a family.  However, it is not until later in the 19th century that inscribed stones become more prevalent.  Indeed, many families could not afford a tombstone and often a burial was marked with a wooden cross or unmarked and it was usually the wealthier families who were inclined to erect memorials. 

 

Cantwell's Memorials of the Dead

Photo:Extract from Cantwell's Memorials of the Dead: Kilcoole Cemetery.  Tombstone inscriptions are arranged by cemetery and in alphabetical order and each volume has a surname index.

Extract from Cantwell's Memorials of the Dead: Kilcoole Cemetery. Tombstone inscriptions are arranged by cemetery and in alphabetical order and each volume has a surname index.

Cantwell's Memorials of the Dead

The most comprehensive collection of County Wicklow tombstone inscriptions was compiled in the 1970s by Mr. Brian Cantwell in his four volumes – Cantwell’s Memorials of the Dead.  These volumes are available (reference only) from the Wicklow Library Service (link) and can be researched by the Wicklow Family History Centre (link).  A digitised version of the memorials is available on CD ROM from Eneclann.  (Please note Cantwell’s cut-off date was 1880 – he did not record any tombstones erected after this date.  On the other hand, Cantwell captured the information on many stones that have since perished due to the elements). 

Online Resources

The Irish Genealogical Project has also done outstanding work on making many County Wicklow tombstone inscriptions and images available online.  There are also some Wicklow inscriptions available on Interment.net (mainly West Wicklow).

This page was added by Catherine Wright on 23/10/2012.

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