Chester, Cheshire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Cheshire Gotoarrow.png Chester

Parish History

CHESTER, a city and two sub-districts in Great Boughton district, Cheshire; and a diocese in Cheshire and part of Lancashire. The city stands on the river Dee and on the Via Devana, 5 miles SE of the head of the Dee's estuary, and 16, through Birkenhead, SSE of Liverpool. An artificial channel of the Dee, navigable for vessels of 350 tons, gives it communication, through the Dee's estuary, with the sea; one canal connects it northward with the Mersey at Ellesmere-Port, and another east-south-eastward with the Birmingham canal at Nantwich; and railways go from it in five directions, toward Birkenhead, Manchester, Crewe, Shrewsbury, and Holyhead.

The places of worship within the city, in 1851, were 15 of the Church of England, 17 of dissenters, and 3 of other bodies. Those in 1869, besides the cathedral and some in the suburban parts, were 11 of the Church of England, 1 of English Presbyterians, 4 of independents, 1 of Baptists, 1 of Quakers, 1 of Unitarians, 2 of Wesleyans, 1 of N.Methodists, 1 of Primative Methodists, 1 of Welsh Calvinists, 1 of Christians, 1 of Brethren, and 3 of Roman Catholics. There was also a Roman Catholic convent. The livings in the city, or connected with it, are the rectories of St. Bridget, St. Martin, St. Peter, St. Mary-on-the-Hill, and Holy Trinity; the vicarages of St. John the Baptist, St. Oswald, St. Michael, St. Olave, Lache-with-Saltney, and Bruera; and the p. curacies of Little St. John, Upton, St. Paul, and Christ-Church. St. Martin is annexed to St. Bridget; St. Olave to St. Michael; Upton to St. Mary on-the-Hill.

Chester was first chartered by its earls in the 13th century; and has sent two members to parliament since 1541. It is governed by a mayor, ten aldermen, and thirty councillors; and is divided municipally into five wards. It includes, as a borough, the parishes of St. John the Baptist, St. Olave, St. Michael, St. Peter, St. Bridget, and St. Martin; the extra-parochial places of Chester-Castle, Chester Cathedral, Little St. John, and Spittle-Boughton; and large portions of the parishes of St. Oswald, St. Mary-on-the-Hill, and Holy Trinity.  The county assizes are held at it in both Lent and summer; and quarter sessions in April, July, Oct., and Dec.

The above extract is taken from:  John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72).  The full account is available on Vision of Britain.


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.

Church records

To find the names of the neighboring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Chester Cathedral

Chester Holy Trinity

Chester St Bridget

Chester St John the Baptist

Chester St Mary

Chester St Michael

Chester St Olave

Chester St Oswald

Chester St Peter

Chester Little St John

Chester Christ Church

Chester St Paul

Chester St Barnabas

Bennett collection, ca.1252-1955  Authors Bennett, J. H. E. (John Henry Elliot), 1873- (Main Author)
Broster, John Lawson, P. H Richards, Raymond Of interest to Cheshire generally but specific Chester content includes:

Online trancripts for the parishes of Chester St John and Chester St Mary are available at Cheshire Parish Register project

Other Content FHL Film
C[heshire] T[opography] General 1:" (St. Oswald's Parish, Chester - notes and original records; includes numbered plan of parish burial grounds with list of tombstone inscriptions, i.e., names and geneal. data for individuals buried there; includes also churchwardens accounts, overseers of the poor accounts, workhouse accounts, etc.); BRITISH 375327 Item 5
Monumental Inscriptions:" (St. John the Baptist, Chester - inscriptions to the churchyard and church, and inscriptions not now to be found BRITISH
375328 Item 4
"Monumental Inscriptions:" (St. Mary-on-the-Hill, Chester, and Christleton, Backford and Shotwick in Cheshire County - inscriptions in the churchyards and churches, and inscrip- tions not now extant BRITISH 375329 Item 1
"Monumental Inscriptions:" (St. Michael's, Chester, and Bruera, Eccleston, Dodleston, Plemstall [i.e., Plemonstall], and Pulford in Cheshire County - inscriptions in the church- yards and churches, and inscriptions not now extant BRITISH 375329 Item 2
"Monumental Inscriptions:" (Aldford, Cheshire County; St. Bridget's, Chester; St. Martin's Chester; Llanidan, Anglesey, Wales - inscriptions in the church and on monuments, some now lost BRITISH 375329 Item 3
"Parish Register Transcript:" (St. John the Baptist, Chester - transcript of registers of baptisms, 1559-1779 BRITISH 375329 Item 4
"Parish Register Transcript:" (St. John the Baptist, Chester - transcript of registers of marriages, 1559-1793, and burials, 1560-1735 BRITISH 375330 Item 1
"C[hester] Misc. 1:" (extracts from Chester Corps. records - notes on ms. & printed works in the possession of Raymond Richards; 1640 rental of the Manor of Handbridge; 1664 hearth tax returns for Chester; includes lists of Chester freemen, 1784, 1805-1831; roll of Chester journeymen tailors, 1688- 1754; 1799 survey & valuation of lands and houses in parish of Holy Trinity, Chester); BRITISH 375330 Item 3
"C. Misc. 2:" (notes on Archdeacons of Chester, and Deans and Canons of St. John's, Chester; newspaper cuttings;, notes and articles on Chester and Chesley's history; seal impressions; notes on two mss. in possession of Raymond Richards; includes extracts from Papal register calendars, 1252-1431, list of electors from the 1733 poll book, etc.); "C. Misc. 3:" (list of parish register publications; parish register extracts relating to Bennett and other families; lecture notes of J.H.E.B.; correspondence; 1719-1720 calendar of 41 Chester marriage licences; etc.); "C. Misc. 4:" (list of sources consulted for genealogical and historical research; notes on Chester Corps., Diocesan registry, probate registry, and St. Joseph probate registry records; notes of reference to Chester and Cheshire history in various printed works; includes index to lay subsidy rolls, Chester, 15 Henry VIII - 30 Charles II) BRITISH 375331 Item 1-3
"Cuttings book no. 3:" (newspaper clippings, as listed in detailed table of contents; includes note of intended removal of headstones and gravestones, Christ Church, Chester). BRITISH 375332 Item 2

Non Conformist Churches

Chester, St. Werburgh (Roman Catholic), Grosvenor Park Road. Built in 1875, replacing Queens Street Chapel (built c.1800). Registers of baptisms 1794–1956, marriages 1827–1973 and burials 1861–1923 are at the Cheshire Record Office. Indexes to baptisms 1790–1956 are at the Cheshire Record Office.

Census records

Contributor: Include an overview if there is any unique information, such as the census for X year was destroyed. Add a link to online sites for indexes and/or images. Also add a link to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.

Probate records

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

Poor Law Unions

Contributor: Add information about the pertinent poor law unions in the area.

Maps and Gazetteers

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

Web sites

Contributor: Add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.