Southport Christ Church, Lancashire Genealogy

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Southport Christ Church contributor Alexander P Kapp.jpg

Chapelry History

Southport Christ Church is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Lancashire, created in 1825 from North Meols, Lancashire Ancient Parish; located on Lord Street.

The area is mentioned in the Domesday Book where it was called Otergimele. The name is derived from Oddrgrimir meaning the son of Grimm and inked with the Old Norse word Melr meaning Sandbank. The Domesday Book states that there were 50 huts in Otergimele, housing a population of 200. The populationn was scattered thinly across the region and it was at the North-East end of Otergimele (present day Crossens) where blown sand gave way to new fish supplies from the River Ribble Estury that a small concentration of people had occurred. The alluvium provided fertile agricultual land.

It was here, it seems that a primitive church was built, which gave the emerging village its name of Churchtown. This church was called St Cuthbert's and is still a centre point to Churchtown to this day.

With a booming fishing industry the area grew slowly and hamlets became part of the parish of North Meols. From south to north these villages were Southaws, Hawiside, Little London, Higher Blowick, Lower Blowick, Rowe-Lane, Churchtown, Marshside, Crossens, and Banks. North Meols was centred around St. Cuthbert's Church in Churchtown, although there were vicarages in Crossens and Banks.

William Sutton was born in North Meols in 1792. He was the landlord of the Black Bull Inn in Churchtown (now the Hesketh Arms). In the early 1790s he realised the importance of the newly created canal systems across the UK, he gambled with the idea of a hotel by the seaside just 4 miles (6 km) away from the newly constructed Leeds and Liverpool Canal. So in 1792 he built a bathing house in South Hawes, two miles south-west of Churchtown. William arranged transport links from the canal that ran through Scarisbrick, 4 miles from the hotel. At the time South Hawes was an almost uninhabited place that was riddled with sand dunes. The local people thought he was mad and so they called him The Mad Duke.

He quickly made a profit and others decided to open hotels nearby. Southport grew quickly in the 19th century as it gained a reputation for being a more refined seaside resort than its neighbour-up-the-coast Blackpool.

SOUTHPORT,  in the parish of North Meols, union of Ormskirk, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 9 miles northwest from Ormskirk, and 20 north of Liverpool. There are two churches. Christ Church, was erected in 1820. [Holy] Trinity Church, was consecrated in November 1837.

There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyan Mrthodists; and a Roman Catholic chapel. The last, dedicated to Ste. Marie-on-the-Sands, was built in 1840[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

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes

Church records

Online Records

Church of England

Southport Christ Church chapelry's registers of christenings, marriages and burials, along with those of the ancient parish of North Meols to which it is attached, have been mostly transcribed and are displayed online at the following web sites and ranges of years:

AC = (£)
FMP = (£)
FREG = FreeReg
FS =
LOPC = Lancashire Online Parish Clerk

SOUTHPORT CHRIST CHURCH Chapelry (1824) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS None None None
LOPC 1824-1839 None 1822-1839
LBMD None 1837-2010 None
NORTH MEOLS ST CUTHBERT PARISH (1594) Indexes (ancient parish containing SOUTHPORT CHRIST CHURCH)
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1594-1838 1602-1837 None
LOPC 1594-1835 1600-1921 1732-1911
LBMD None 1837-2010 None 
AC  1594-1837 1594-1837 1594-1837

For a full list of all those chapels surrounding Southport Christ Church and comprising the whole ancient parish of North Meols to which it was attached, be certain to see "Church Records" on the NORTH MEOLS PARISH page.

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. The first film number is 306902.

Poor Law Unions

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

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites


  1. A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 149-152. Adapted. Date accessed: 21 July 2010.