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Chapelry History

Skelmersdale St Paul was created a chapel of ease in 1776 from, and lying within the boundaries of Ormskirk, Lancashire Ancient Parish.

Skelmersdale means "Skjaldmarr's valley", from the Old Norse personal name Skjaldmarr + probably Old Norse dalr (or Old English dæl) "dale, valley". The name was recorded as Skalmeresedel in 1136. One place-name book suggests that it may be of Celtic origin, with the place-names being in Celtic place-name order, i.e. "Element/personal name/word", rather than "Personal name/word/element", as with Old English place-names. Te first recorded use of the name Skelmersdale appears in the Domesday Book of 1086. It was under the rule of Uctred as part of the hundred of West Derby.

The urbanisation and development of Skelmersdale largely coincided with the Industrial Revolution. Industrial scale coal mining began in the early 19th century and continued to expand during that century to give rise to Skelmersdale as an important colliery village.

Skelmersdale was designated as a new town in 1961.It is known locally as "Skem", with a further distinction being made between "Old Skem" (the area which was a small mining town prior to 1961) and the broader swathe of development which has now developed.


The chapelry dedicated to St Paul became a parish in its own right. The chapel was built by subscription in 1776, and enlarged in 1823 and 1850. The St. Paul’s was opened in 1906 in a location close to the old chapel which was subsequently demolished, although the old building had already suffered subsidence due to mining underneath it.

"SKELMERSDALE, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Ormskirk, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 4 miles east by southeast of Ormskirk. The chapel, dedicated to St. Paul, was built in 1776."[1]

Resources

Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/


Church records

Online Records

Church of England

Skelmersdale chapelry's registers of christenings, marriages and burials, along with those of the ancient parish of Ormskirk to which it is attached, have been mostly transcribed and are displayed online at the following web sites and ranges of years:

AC = Ancestry.co.uk (£)
FMP = FindMyPast.co.uk (£)
FREG = FreeReg
FS = FamilySearch.org
LBMD = LancashireBMD.org.uk
LOPC = Lancashire Online Parish Clerk


SKELMERSDALE ST PAUL Chapelry (1817) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1817-1900 1858-1900 1887-1900
LOPC 1833-1900 1858-1900 1822-1876
LBMD 1918-1950 1858-1959 1918-1952
ORMSKIRK ST PETER & ST PAUL PARISH (1557) Indexes (ancient parish containing SKELMERSDALE Chapelry)
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1557-1837 1557-1836  None
LOPC 1557-1901 1557-1911  1557-1906
LBMD None 1837-1955 None 
AC 1557-1626 1557-1626 1557-1626
FREG 1557-1901 var. yrs 1557-1901 var. yrs 1557-1901 var.yrs


For a full list of all those chapels surrounding Skelmersdale and comprising the whole ancient parish of Ormskirk to which it was attached, be certain to see "Church Records" on the ORMSKIRK PARISH page.


Census records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library. The first film number is 306902.


Poor Law Unions

Ormskirk Poor Law Union, Lancashire


Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites

References

  1. A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 113-115. Adapted. Date accessed: 21 July 2010.

 

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