Formby, Lancashire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Parishes

Formby St Luke contributor Christine Westerback

Chapelry History

Formby St Luke was created a chapel of ease in 1748 from Walton on the Hill St Mary, Lancashire Ancient Parish.

Other places in the parish include: Ainsdale, Raven Meols, and Amsdale.

The common place-name ending -by is from the Scandinavian byr meaning "homestead", "settlement" or "village". The village of Formby was originally spelt Fornebei and means "village belonging to Forni". At that time Fornibiyum was a well-known Norse family name. He could have been the leader of the invading expedition which took possession of this coast. Until its closure in 1998, Oslo Airport in Norway was situated in a town called Fornebu. It was from Ireland in about 960 AD that these Norsemen or Vikings first came to the west coast of Lancashire, first trading or raiding and then settling. Tradition says that the Viking invaders failed to defeat the native Anglo-Saxons on the coast of Formby, so they sailed inland, up the River Alt, and attacked from the rear.[5] It is more probable that the Viking invaders simply found that the area was thinly populated and took control without any blood being shed. It is thought that the Romans used Formby as a major pass through for their troops during the time of their settlement

Formby is a town and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton in Merseyside.

Historically a part of Lancashire, it now forms part of the Liverpool City Region. Formby was built on the plain adjoining the Irish Sea coast. Largely a residential town, it is generally considered to be one of Liverpool's most affluent suburbs. Formby becomes a tourist hot spot during the summer months, with day trippers attracted to its beaches, sand dunes, and wildlife - most particularly the red squirrels and Natterjack toads.

"FORMBY, a chapelry, in the parish of Walton-on-the-Hill, union of Ormskirk, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 12 miles (N. by W.) from Liverpool; containing 1446 inhabitants. This place was held in early times, as at present, by different proprietors; a large portion of the property descended to the Blundells, of Ince-Blundell, holders of the manor jointly with the Formby family, the latter descendants of Thomas de Forneby, who was living in the 46th of Edward III. The chapelry comprises 6703a. 3r. 8p., of which the surface is level, and the soil chiefly sand and moss; a considerable part is waste land, lying on a wild sea-shore that extends for several miles, where are numerous sand-hills and mosses, which abound in birds, many of them very rare, and where wild plants grow in great variety. The beach is well adapted for bathing, being very firm, and the water clear; the air is salubrious, and the chapelry is remarkable for longevity, and for freedom from fever and consumption. A brewery here, established nearly a century ago, is the property of Mr. Richard Tyrer. Formby Hall is the seat of the Formby family. The village had a chartered market, which has fallen into disuse. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Walton; net income, £140, with a house. The chapel, dedicated to St. Peter, was rebuilt in 1746, and enlarged in 1830, and is a plain building with a campanile tower. The Roman Catholic chapel of Formby is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, and was built in the reign of James II.; there is a house and garden for the priest, the Rev. John Smith. Two schools are endowed with about £34 per annum, the bequest of Richard Marsh in 1703. The ancient churchyard, half a mile from the shore and two miles from the village, is used as a burial-place for the Roman Catholic population; it is curiously surrounded by sand-banks: no vestige of the church which stood upon the spot remains."

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 250-253. URL: 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

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes

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

Census records 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

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Web sites

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