Lancashire Church Records
Church of England
Lancashire was comprised of at least 75 ancient parishes, but well over 400 extant chapels (chapelries) and district churches prior to 1851. As all authoritative treatises on Lancashire civil parishes differ somewhat--some much more than others--in their facts which indicate the extant township chapelries, several key reference publications have been used here to compile as thorough and comprehensive a list of Lancashire parishes and all associated chapelries as may be possible.
Here is as standard a list as can be identified, of all Lancashire parishes and their chapels of ease, and the township chapelries within their boundaries. Also included next to each parish and chapelry are the ecclesiastical courts which held (pre-1858) jurisdiction over them. These jurisdictions held authoritative oversight and kept additional records for such events as issuing marriage licences, oversight in ecclesiastical (church) court proceedings, probate and in other important records.
To view Lancashire's parishes and/or chapelries, click on the links below for the desired parish or chapelry.
To help you determine whether a Lancashire place is an ancient parish or a chapelry, or, in which ancient parish a chapelry is in, or which chapelries are found within the boundary of an ancient parish, use two or more of the excellent topographical guides listed in the next section ("Source Citations").
1. Lewis, Samuel A. Topographical Dictionary of England and Wales. London 1848 (FHL book 942 E5Le)
2.The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales. Dublin Ireland : A. Fullarton, 1846 (FHL 942 E5ful 12 vols). This topographical dictionary provides one of the most accurate historic views of parishes and their chapelries in this most complex of all England counties.
3. Youngs, Frederic A., Jr.Guide to the Local Administrative Units. London, England: Royal Historical Society, 1979, 1991. (FHL 942 C4rg no. 10, 17.) This guide identifies Church of England ecclesiastical jurisdictions and gives an outline history of changes and the creations of the parishes and their chapels--often called chapelries.
4. Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales. 1868-1870 FHL.
5. Family History Library Catalog. This catalog provides evidence of those parishes and their associated chapelry registers and years pertaining thereto.
6. Raymond, Stuart A. Lancashire: a genealogical bibliography, vol. 2. Registers, inscriptions and wills. Birmingham [England]: Federation of Family History Societies, c 1996-1997.
- FamilySearch has indexed over 70 percent of its vast Lancashire parish and chapel registers collections. The data from these registers are now accessible online at this time.
- Online Parish Clerks for the County of Lancashire. This site has transcribed over 6 million baptism, marriage, burial and banns entries for the county, currently. Their aim is to extract and preserve the records from the various parishes and chapels to provide online access to that data free of charge. Searches parish by parish, or, county-wide made by conducted.
- Lancashire Parish Register Society transcribes and publishes parish registers for pre-1837 Lancashire. Their published books may be accessed at local public and college libraries and archive insitutions worldwide.
- Catholic History: England and Wales - 1550-1850
- England, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Parish Registers, 1603-1910: provided by FamilySearch Historical Record Collection. To learn more about this record set review the Wiki article.
- England, Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers, 1797-2004: provided by FamilySearch Historical Record Collection. To learn more about this record set review the Wiki article.
- Lancashire BMDs - although these are indexes to civil registratrions of births, marriages and deaths, the marriage records mirror precisely the same information and millions of individuals were born prior to 1837 (the year civil registration began), many died post-1837 (see also FreeBMD).
- 48% of Lancashire's parishes are indexed in Boyd's Marriage Index (£). Coverage. Popular places to marry included the towns of Garstang, Kirkham, Lancaster, Leyland, Manchester, Oldham, Preston, Rochdale, Standish, and Wigan.
- 41 Lancashire parishes are indexed in Joiner's Marriage Index (£). Coverage.
- 'Boyd's Marriage Index - Parish details by county,' British Origins, (Wayback Machine) accessed 31 August 2013.
- 'Coverage of the Joiner Marriage Index', The Joiner Marriage Index, accessed 1 September 2013.