Southport Christ Church, Lancashire Genealogy
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, a sea-bathing place, in the parish of North Meols, union of Ormskirk, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 9 miles (N. W.) from Ormskirk, and 20 (N.) from Liverpool; containing, in 1841, 3346 inhabitants. It is situated at the mouth of the Ribble, on the shore of the Irish Sea, opposite to Lytham. Prior to 1792, the site of this improving village was a dreary sand-bank, at the lower end of a bay seventeen fathoms deep, which is now choked up with sand. The foundation of the prosperity of Southport, as a seabathing place, was laid by Mr. Sutton, of North Meols, who, appreciating its local advantages, built the first inn, called the Royal Hotel, in 1792; in a few years symptoms of prosperity began to appear, and some cottages were built in the vicinity of the hotel, on ground considerably elevated above the level of the sea. From this beginning the village gradually rose into importance, attaining its present celebrity from the influence of fashion, the easy communication with some of the principal towns of the county, and a salubrious air from which invalids derive essential benefit. It is now a favourite resort for sea-bathing, and possesses excellent accommodation for visiters. The houses are built of brick, a considerable number of them cemented, and many in the form of villas; there are several large hotels, and a number of good shops. Lords'-street, the principal street, is about a mile in length, very wide, and open, with gardens in front of the houses. The Victoria Baths, erected by subscription, form a handsome range of building with a colonnade in front, facing the sea; and attached is a fine terrace-walk of great extent. An assembly-room, newsroom, and libraries supply means of amusement and relaxation; and upwards of a hundred donkeys, and many convenient donkey-carriages, enable visiters to explore the neighbourhood, and enjoy the breezes on the shore. An act was obtained in 1846, for paving, lighting, and otherwise improving the place, and for establishing a market; and under its provisions Improvement Commissioners have been appointed. In 1847 an act was passed for a railway to Liverpool, through Crosby, 16½ miles in length; the line, being nearly level, is free from engineering difficulties. In the same year, another act was passed for a railway to Manchester, through Wigan. There are two churches. Christ Church, an unostentatious brick building with a tower, was erected in 1820, and enlarged in 1830: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Rev. Charles Hesketh; net income, £107. Trinity Church, in the early English style, was consecrated in November 1837, and enlarged in 1847: the living is a perpetual curacy, with a net income of £150, and a substantial parsonage-house; patrons, Trustees. There are places of worship for Independents and Wesleyans; and a Roman Catholic chapel. The last, dedicated to Ste. Marie-on-the-Sands, was built in 1840 from a design by Pugin, is in the early English style, and cost £1500: a house for the priest and a school-house are adjacent. A strangers' charity provides medical aid and bathing for the sick poor coming from a distance, and a dispensary affords aid to the local poor.
From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 149-152. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51289 Date accessed: 21 July 2010.
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 http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/
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
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http://www.1881pubs.com/ for details of public houses in the 1881 census
Poor Law Unions
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.
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