Didsbury, Lancashire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Parishes

Christ Church Didsbury contributor Anthony Parkes.jpg

Church History

Didsbury St James was created a chapel of ease in 1603 from, and lying within the boundaries of Manchester ancient parish.

William Roberts was a brewer in Manchester and owned the Crown Brewery in Hulme in 1851. In the 1870s he employed 62 men and lived at Oaks Farm which occupied the site which is now St. Ambrose's Church.

During the 1860s and 70s the area between Palatine Road and Burton Road was developed and St. Luke’s Church was built as a chapel-of-ease for Didsbury St James, Lancashire. Plans were in hand for the creation of a new parish and a group of residents obtained an option of a site at the corner of Burton Road and Barlow Moor Road (the site of the Burton Road Mosque). At this point Mr. Roberts offered to build a church and rectory at his own expense but insisted on the present site, the corner of Darley Avenue and Princess Road.
In 1881 he was still living on the Chorlton/Didsbury boarder and would have watched the building of the Church and Rectory,

"DIDSBURY,  a parochial chapelry', 'in the parish of Manchester', union of Chorlton, hundred of Salford, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 5½ miles (S.) from Manchester. This chapelry, which is separated from Cheshire by the river Mersey, consists of the townships of Didsbury, Heaton-Norris, Burnage, and Withington. The chapel is dedicated to St James. Didsbury had parochial oversight to at least three other chapelries, including at Heaton-Norris St Thomas', (which see), the chapel erected at Withington (which see), to which the townships of Withington and Burnage have been assigned as a district; and another church built at Heaton-Mersey, to which that part of the township of Heaton-Norris has been attached.

The Wesleyans have a place of worship at Withington. The Independents built a place of worship at Heaton-Mersey.[1] 


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

Church records

Online Records 

Online transcriptions exist for Didsbury St James Chapelry, as well as for the ancient parish of Manchester Our Lady, St George, and St Denys--to which it was attached. Links to online baptisms, marriages and burials registers are displayed below located at the web sites indicated; note the ranges of years: 

FS =FamilySearch.org
LOPCLancashire Online Parish Clerk
FMP =  FMP = FindMyPast
LBMDLancashire BMD
AC = Ancestry.co.uk
FREG =FreeReg.org.uk


 DIDSBURY ST JAMES Chapelry (1561) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1561-1874 1561-1881 1603-1684;1721- 1864
LOPC None 1561-1751 None
GLUK  1561-1757 1561-1757 1561-1757
LBMD 1837-1936 1838-1997 None
FREG 1561-1757 1561-1751 1562-1757
DIDSBURY CHRIST CHURCH Chapelry (1882) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1882-1931 1882-1931 None
LOPC 1837-1902 None None
DIDSBURY EMMANUEL (or BARLOW MOOR) Chapelry (1858) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS None None None
LOPC None None None
LBMD 1837-1936 1861-1963 None



Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1573-1872 1573-1889  None
LOPC 1573-1616;1777-1837 1573-1616;1782-1836 - part. yrs 1573-1616;1792-1836 - part. yrs
LBMD 1837-1881 1837-1946 1837-1881 
AC  1573-1616 1573-1616 1573-1616

To view a full list of all the (over 150) chapelries and district churches in the ancient parish of Manchester and their respective links to online transcriptions of their baptisms, marriages and burials, be sure to visit the MANCHESTER (CATHEDRAL) OUR LADY, ST GEORGE & ST DENYS page.

Original Records

The original parish (chapelry) registers are housed at the Manchester Central Library archives.

FamilySearch has microfilmed these original registers from 1561 to 1911 and these films may be researched at any of its 4,600 FamilySearch Centers worldwide.

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.

http://www.1881pubs.com/ for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Poor Law Unions

Chorlton 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


  1. Samuel A. Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England (pub. 1848), pp. 46-55. Adapted. Date accessed: 08 March 2011.