Spital Boughton, Cheshire Genealogy
The area known as Boughton or Spital Boughton is an extra parochial place.
Boughton is a neighbourhood to the east of Chester city centre, part of the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England. It is located atop the steep banks of the River Dee as it turns the meadows bend for the last time around the 'Earls Eye' before flowing into Chester.
Most of Boughton forms part of an unparished area which until 1974 comprised the county borough of Chester. The adjoniing areas of Boughton Heath and Vicars Cross lie within the separate civil parish of Great Boughton, which is outside the boundaries of the city of Chester.
The name 'Boughton' or 'bluestone' may have originated from the placement of a blue boundary stone (now lost) alongside the road similar to the Gloverstone which stood outside Chester Castle.
In medieval times the area was home to Spital Boughton, a community which grew around a Leper hospital founded there in the 12th century by Ranulph de Gernon, 2nd Earl of Chester. The word (ho)Spital gave Spital Boughton its name. The hospital operated for over 500 years and today its location is marked by the old cemetery of St Giles.
The inscription is visible from the road:
St Giles Cemetery. Here stood the leper hospital and chapel of St Giles. Founded early in the 12th century and endowed by successive Norman earls of Chester they remained in constant use until 1643. When defensive measures during the siege of Chester necessitated the demolition of buildings outside the city walls. The cemetery remained to mark the site and in time the little village of Spital Boughton clustered around it. In 1644 the royalist defenders suffered great loss of life in a gallant sortie in Boughton and many of the fallen were buried here. It was also used for victims of the plagues which ravaged the city in the 16th and 17th centuries. Being extra parochial the site was granted to the corporation by Charles II in 1685. As a burial ground and through for a period in the charge of St Johns parish. It remains in their hands. When Protestant martyr George Marsh was burned at the stake on gallows hill close by his ashes were collected by his friends and buried here. The last burial took place in 1854.
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.
To find the names of the neighbouring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.
Non Conformist Churches
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 241232.
Poor Law Unions
Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Cheshire 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.
Contributor: add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.