Atherton, Lancashire Genealogy
Atherton is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Lancashire, created in 1722 from chapelry in Leigh Ancient Parish.
ATHERTON, a chapelry [built by at least 1724], in the parish and union of Leigh, hundred of West Derby, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 12 miles (W. by N.) from Manchester, and on the road from Leigh to Bolton; containing, with the village of Chowbent, 4475 inhabitants. This place was held of the barons of Warrington by Robert de Atherton, in the reign of John; and in this knightly family the manor descended through many generations, successively allied to the Byrons, Warrens, Ashtons, Butlers, Catterals, Conyers, Irelands, and Bolds: by the marriage of the late Lord Lilford with the heiress of Atherton, the manor came to his lordship's family. The chapelry comprises 2323a. 3r. 35p., and abounds with valuable stone and extensive coalmines. Two-thirds of the population are employed in the cotton and silk manufactures, in the working of the collieries, and in making nails; and the remaining third in agricultural pursuits. A cattle-fair is held in January, and holiday fairs on the 29th of June and 24th of August. Atherton Hall, a superb edifice, built by the Atherton family in the early part of the 18th century, at an expense of about £63,000, was taken down in 1825; Alder House, an ancient mansion of stone, of peculiar architecture, is the residence of Alfred Silvester, Esq. The village of Atherton includes that of Chowbent, the name of the latter being now in disuse. Petty-sessions are held every alternate Monday. The living, endowed about 1720 by Sir Richard Atherton, is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of Lord Lilford, with a net income of £100: the tithes have been commuted for £118 per annum. The present chapel is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, and is a plain structure, built in 1810: the former edifice originally belonged to dissenters, and was consecrated in 1723, for the service of the Church, by Dr. Wilson, Bishop of Sodor and Man. There are places of worship for Unitarians and Baptists; and infants' and day schools, in connexion with the chapel, built in 1840.
From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 108-112. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50769 Date accessed: 25 June 2010.
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
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http://www.1881pubs.com/ for details of public houses in the 1881 census
Poor Law Unions
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
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