Farnworth, Lancashire Genealogy

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Chapelry History

Farnworth St Luke is a chapelry of Prescot, Lancashire Ancient Parish in Lancashire.

Other places in the parish include: Bold, Widnes, Ditton, and Cronton. St Luke's Church, Farnworth, Widnes is a parish church in Farnworth which was once a separate village but which is now part of the town of Widnes, Cheshire, England. The church dates back to the 12th century and it contains a number of items of historical interest, in particular hatchments and memorials. It is a Grade II listed building[and an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Liverpool, the archdeaconry of Warrington and the deanery of Widnes,

Farnworth is an ancient village some 2 miles (3 km) north of the River Mersey in what used to be the county of Lancashire. It has now been subsumed into the town of Widnes in the borough of Halton, in the ceremonial county of Cheshire. Around 1180 a chapel was built in the village which was dedicated to St Wilfrid. At that time the village was known as St Wilfrids-on-the-Hill. It was a chapel of ease to the mother church at Prescot. Included within its boundaries were the townships of Bold, Appleton, Cronton, Cuerdley, Ditton and Penketh.
Originally Farnworth was within the Mercian diocese of Lichfield but following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1541 the abbey at Chester was converted into a cathedral and Farnworth became part of the diocese of Chester. In 1859 the church was re-dedicated to St Luke and in 1880 it became a parish in the diocese of Liverpool.

Over the years the church has had a number of benefactors, one of the earliest being Yorfrid the first (and in its own right the only) Baron of Widnes (the barony passed to the Barons of Halton when his daughter married William FitzNigel, the 3rd Baron of Halton). Since then, over the centuries, the main benefactors have been the Bold family of the nearby township of Bold.

There have been many changes to the church, internally and externally, over the centuries. The first extension was about 1280–1300 when the north aisle was added. Between 1360 and 1380 the south aisle was added and around this time the tower was also built. The Bold Chantry (or Chapel) was added in 1406 and in 1431 the east end was extended. In 1500 the Cuerdley chapel was added to the south of the church. This was provided by Bishop William Smyth to allow his tenants in the village of Cuerdley to attend mass without coming into contact with the people of Farnworth at a time when plague was prevalent in the area. At a restoration in 1855 the nave, the north aisle and the Bold Chapel were rebuilt, the east end of the chancel was restored and the north side of the church and the vestry were repaired. A new roof was added to the nave. Galleries were built and the organ was moved into the gallery on the west wall. This restoration was carried out by William Culshaw. Farnworth became a separate parish in 1859. The last major internal restoration took place in 1894–95 when the galleries were removed and the plaster was stripped from the walls. Two new vestries were erected on the north side of the chancel and a new organ was installed. This restoration was carried out by Paley, Austin & Paley

FARNWORTH, a parochial chapelry, in the parish of Prescot, hundred of West Derby, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 5¾ miles (W.) from Warrington; comprising the townships of Bold, Cronton, Ditton, and Widness, which are in the union of Prescot, and contain 3836 inhabitants; and the townships of Cuerdley, Penketh, and Great Sankey, which are in the union of Warrington, and contain 1440 inhabitants. The chapelry is bounded by the river Mersey for three miles, and being rather elevated land, commands views of the Cheshire hills and the Welsh mountains: the soil is of various quality; and red sandstone is quarried. The manufacture of watch-movements is carried on to a considerable extent, as is also that of sailcloth. Cattle-fairs are held in spring and autumn. The St. Helen's and Runcorn railway, and the Huyton branch of the London and North-Western railway, pass near the village. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Prescot; net income, £172, with a house. The chapel is dedicated to St. Wilfrid, and is an ancient edifice, in which different kinds of architecture are combined. The earliest notice of it is preserved in Sir Peter Leycester's History of Cheshire, where it is mentioned that "Sir Peter Dutton received orders from William Harrington, chief steward of Halton, under Henry, Archbishop of Canterbury, and other feoffees of King Henry V., to deliver an oak for the repair of Farnworth chapel." The east window is handsomely enriched, and the edifice contains some interesting monuments to the Bold and other families. There is an endowed chapel at Sankey, which see. A grammar school was founded in the reign of Henry VIII. by Bishop Smith, who was born here, and who endowed it with £10 per annum, since increased to £50 by bequests; there are also excellent national schools.

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 216-220. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=50957 Date accessed: 30 June 2010.


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

Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

Farnworth (Widnes)- St Luke
Baptisms Transcript-1538-1698- 929.3272 F1
Baptisms Transcript-1698-1812- Archives LPRS Transcript
Baptisms Transcript-1698-1743- MFE 929.342737 Fa(767)
Burials Transcript-1538-1698- 929.3272 F1
Burials Transcript-1698-1812- Archives LPRS Transcript
Burials Transcript-1698-1743- MFE 929.342737 Fa(347)
Marriages Transcript-1538-1698- 929.3272 F1
Marriages Transcript-1698-1837- Archives LPRS Transcript

For original registers of above please enquire at Cheshire Record Office.

The Manchester Room and Greater Manchester County Record Office
Email: archiveslocalstudies@manchester.gov.uk

The Manchester Room@City Library (Local Studies)

Parish registers for Farnworth, near Prescot, 1538-1953 Microfilm of originals in the Cheshire Record Office, Chester.
Farnworth was a chapelry (now a parish) in Prescot parish (Lancashire).Some text in Latin.
Cheshire Record Office: P283/4080/1-16, 18-34, 35-43, 47-56, 176, 258- 259, 309, 311, 313-314, 316, 321.

Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1538-1728.
1655233 Items 3 - 8
Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1728-1812. Baptisms, 1813-Nov. 1881.
Baptisms, Nov. 1881-1920. Marriages, 1754-Sept. 1834.
Marriages, Sept. 1834-1857.
Marriages, 1857-Mar. 1887.
Marriages, Mar. 1887-1909. Banns, 1872-Feb. 1906.
Banns, Feb.1906-1909. Draft Banns, 1822-1823. Burials, 1813-July 1893.
Burials, July 1893-1900. Vestry books, 1673-1855. Surveys, 1736, 1727, 1702 1700, 1730.
1655301 Items 1 - 8
Baptisms, 1920-1938. St. John's Mission Church baptisms, 1914-1919. Marriages, 1909-1920.
2262873 Items 6 - 8
Marriages, 1920-1948. Banns of marriages, 1909-Feb. 1942.
Banns of marriages, Feb. 1942-1950. Burials, 1900-1953.
2262875 Items 1 - 5

Bishop's transcripts of Farnworth (near Prescot), 1604-1873. Text in Latin and English.
Microfilm of original records at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.
Farnworth was a chapelry (now a parish) in the parish of Prescot.

Baptisms, marriages and burials 1604-1641, 1664- 1745.
1469032 Items 4-5
Baptisms, marriages and burials 1746-1818.
Baptisms, marriages and burials 1819-1845.
Baptisms, marriages and burials 1846-1865.
Baptisms and marriages 1866-1873; burials 1865- 1873.
1469036 Items 1-2

Census records

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.

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

Poor Law Unions

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

Add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.