Kirkby, Lancashire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Parishes

Kirkby St Chad

Chapelry History

Kirkby was created a chapel of ease by 1610 from, and lying within the boundaries of Walton on the Hill St Mary, Lancashire ancient parish. Other places in the parish include: Simonswood.

The name Kirk-by, literally meaning "church" and "settlement" is of Old Norse origin whose settlers arrived via Ireland around 900. The first direct evidence of a settlement dates from 1086 and the Domesday Book, with a reference to Cherchebi - population 70.Ownership of the land containing modern-day Kirkby - established as the West Derby Hundred in the 11th century - passed through many hands, until 1596, when the Molyneux family purchased the hundred in its entirety. After a brief loss of patronage in 1737, as a result of the head of the family taking holy orders, in 1771 the Molyneux family were made Earls of Sefton and regained their lands.

The first chapel on this site is believed to have been erected in 870 when the settlement was established by Norsemen. This chapel was recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 where the area was cited as 'Cherchebi', meaning church by settlement.

In 1766 and at a cost of £1043 which was raised by parson Thomas Wilkinson, a new chapel was built on the ancient church site. This was a plain red brick building, which was further enlarged in 1812 when it was capable of holding 600 people.

The foundation stone for the current church was laid on 31 March 1869 by William Molyneux, 4th Earl of Sefton, near to the still standing older chapel. The construction of the new church was requested by the Charles Molyneux, 3rd Earl of Sefton, of his son, before he died. While the construction should have taken just a few months there was a strike amongst the masons and the building was not completed until 1871. St. Chad's Church, Kirkby is in the town of Kirkby, Knowsley, Merseyside. The current Grade II listed building was built from 1869-1871 by the 4th Earl of Sefton. It was designed by the architectects Paley and Austin. It is dedicated to St Chad, who it is believed visited Kirkby during the latter half of the seventh century.

A final service was held in the old chapel on the morning of Wednesday, 4 October 1871. On the same day the new church was consecrated by the Lord Bishop of Chester. The old chapel was finally demolished in 1872 although part of its altar still remains in the grounds. The stones from the old chapel were kept and used to build the wall that surrounds the new church.

A war memorial was built in the churchyard to the memory of all the people of the area who lost their lives in the two World Wars. Many of these belonged to Lord Derby's Regiment. At the base of the cross is an inscription of the year AD 870.

The modern parish in the Kirkby benefice, Huyton deanery of the Diocese of Liverpool was formerly in the Diocese of Chester.

"KIRKBY, a chapelry, in the parish of Walton-on-the-Hill, union and hundred of West Derby, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 5¾ miles (N. W.) from Prescot; containing 992 inhabitants. Robert de Rokeport, Roger Gernet, and Thomas de Bethun, all allied to Warin Bussel, baron of Penwortham, held lands in "Kyrkeby." Adam de Molynes, lord of Sefton, in the reign of William II. married Annotta, heiress of Benedict, son of Roger Gernet; and this place has ever since remained in the family of Molyneux, of Sefton, Kirkby comprises 3907 acres, of which 124 are common land. The living is a perpetual curacy, net income, £120, with a house; patron, the Earl of Sefton. The tithes have been commuted for £460. The present chapel, dedicated to St. Chad, is a plain building, erected by a brief dated 5th March 1766, when £1043 were collected: the old font is massive, and sufficiently deep to allow of the immersion of the whole body; its base is decorated with two wreathed bands, and on the sides are rude figures, supposed to represent Adam and Eve, and the Twelve Apostles. There is a place of worship for dissenters. A school has been built by Lord Sefton, the master of which receives £8 per annum, the produce of an ancient bequest; and a sum left by Thomas Aspe in 1698, is applied in apprenticing children."

From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 689-692. URL: Date accessed: 01 July 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

Parish registers for Kirkby Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1949 Microfilm of original records at Kirkby.

Christenings, marriages, burials, 1678-1948. FHL BRITISH Film 93758
Banns, marriages, 1756-1948. FHL BRITISH Film 93759
Burials, 1786-1949. FHL BRITISH Film 93760
Parish registers for Kirkby Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1988-1990

Microfilm copy of original records at the Liverpool Record Office.
Kirkby is a chapelry, known as St. Chad's, in Walton-on-the-Hill parish.
Liverpool Record Office no.: KIR 1/1-6, 2/1-5, 3/1-8, 4/1-4.

Burials, 1678-1776; baptisms, 1678-1695. Baptisms, 1727-1763; marriages, 1678-1753. (Some years are missing.) FHL BRITISH Film 1545852 Items 9 - 12
Baptisms, 1775-1788; burials, 1775-1788. Marriages 1756-1812. FHL BRITISH Film 1655552 Items 8 - 9
Baptisms and burials, 1786-1812. FHL BRITISH Film 1545852 Item 13
Baptisms, 1813-1958. Marriages, 1813-1923. FHL BRITISH Film 1545853
Marriages, 1923-1959. FHL BRITISH Film 1545854 Items 1 - 5
Burials, 1892-1917. (Title board reads dates, 1813-1847.) FHL BRITISH Film 1545854 Item 6
Burials, 1875-1892. (Title board reads dates, 1847-1875.) FHL BRITISH Film 1545854 Item 7
Burials, 1847-1875. (Title board reads dates, 1875-1892.) FHL BRITISH Film 1545854 Item 8
Burials, 1813-1847. (Title board reads dates, 1892-1917.) FHL BRITISH Film 1545854 Item 9

Bishop's transcripts for St. Peter's Church, Formby, Lancashire and the Chapelry of Kirkby  Microfilm of original records at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.Includes records of St. Chad's Church in Kirkby.
Formby and Kirkby are chapelries in the parish of  Walton on the Hill St Mary, Lancashire.

Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1620-1641, 1663-1839 (Formby); baptisms, marriages and burials 1610, 1629-1637, 1664-1685, 1714-1749 (St. Chad). FHL BRITISH Film 1468978 Items 3 - 5
Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1750-1848, 1893 (St. Chad). FHL BRITISH Film 1468979 Items 1 - 2

Census records for details of public houses in the 1881 census

Poor Law Unions

West Derby, Lancashire Poor Law Union Ormskirk 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

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Web sites

Add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.