Stretford St Matthew, Lancashire Genealogy

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Stretford St Matthew Manchester contributor R Greenhalgh.jpg

Chapel History

Stretford [St Matthew] was an ancient chapel of ease and lay within the boundaries of Manchester Our Lady, St George and St Denys, Lancashire Ancient Parish.

It was founded before 1413.
In early medieval days the de Trafford family built a small chapel for their own tenantry and it is known that a chantry existed there in 1413. In 1718 Stretford Chapel was rebuilt on the site of its predecessor. It was furnished with a barrel-organ to provide music for the services even though it was "deficient of notes"; the instrument was augmented by minstrels playing Basvoyle and Oby (Oboe).

The third Stretford church, St. Matthew's was built on a new and larger site given by Sir Thomas de Trafford in 1841. The church was enlarged in 1863 and the chancel added in 1906.

"STRETFORD, a parochial chapelry, in the parish of Manchester, union of Chorlton, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 4 miles southwest from Manchester. The chapel, supposed to have been erected by [1598], was taken down and rebuilt in 1718, was enlarged in 1821, and again in 1824; and the present chapel was dedicated to St. Matthew. The Manchester Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb and for the Blind, are in the township." [1]

Historically a part of Lancashire, during much of the 19th century Stretford was an agricultural village known locally as Porkhampton, a reference to the large number of pigs produced for the nearby Manchester market. It was also an extensive market gardening area, producing over 500 long tons (508 t) of vegetables each week for sale in Manchester by 1845. The arrival of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 and the subsequent development of the Trafford Park Industrial Estate in the north of the town, accelerated the industrialisation which had begun in the late 19th century. By 2001, less than 1% of Stretford's population was employed in agriculture.

Stretford has been the home of Manchester United Football Club since 1910, and of the Lancashire County Cricket Club since 1864. Notable residents have included the industrialist, philanthropist, and Manchester's first multi-millionaire John Rylands, the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, the painter L. S. Lowry, Morrissey of the Smiths and Jay Kay of Jamiroquai.


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

  • Chorlton 1837-1849
  • Barton-on -Irwell 1850-1934
  • Barton 1935-1974
  • Trafford 1974-present

Church records

Online Records 

Stretford St Matthews Chapelry had two additional district chapelries assigned to it--including All Saints (1884), and St Thomas' Chapel for the Blind (1837).

Online transcriptions exist for some of these chapelries which comprised this large township in Manchester Parish. It was one of 150-plus such chapelries found within the Manchester ancient parish boundary. The online data includes content for these three chapelries' baptisms, marriages and burial registers. Displayed below are the links to these chapelries available online data located at the web sites indicated; note the ranges of years: 

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

STRETFORD ALL SAINTS Chapelry (1884) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1885-1910 1891-1935 None
LOPC 1885-1915 1891-1937 None
LBMD 1884-1942 None 1837-1947
 STRETFORD ST MATTHEWS Chapelry (1599) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1598-1932 - part.  1603-1932 1665-1666, 1678-1679, 1695, 1723-1762, 1767-1848
LOPC 1712-1781; 1794-1932 1712-1764;1835-1943  1712-1781;1794-1960 
LBMD 1837-1942  None 1837-1947
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1838-1863 None 1838-1863
LOPC None None None
LBMD 1837-1942  None 1837-1947



Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1573-1872 1573-1889  None
LOPC 1573-1616;1777-1837 1573-1616;1782-1836 - part. yrs 1573-1616;1792-1836 - part. yrs
LBMD 1837-1881 1837-1946 1837-1881 
AC  1573-1616 1573-1616 1573-1616

To view a full list for all of Manchester Parish’s (over 150) chapelries, ecclesiasitical churches, and district chapels, and to view online baptism, marriage and burial transcription indexes, visit the MANCHESTER (CATHEDRAL), OUR LADY, ST GEORGE & ST DENYS page Parish registers for St. Matthew's, Stretford, 1712-1960: Microfilm of original records formerly held at the Manchester Archives Central Library in Manchester, England.
Stretford was a chapelry in Manchester parish. The church was known as St. Matthew's. It later became an ecclesiastical parish.
Manchester Archives Central Library call nos.: L 89/1/3/1-5, L 89/1/4/1-8; L 89/1/5/1-3; L 89/1/1/2; L 89/1/2/2; L 89/1/14/2-3.

FamilySearch has microfilmed the parish (chapel) registers for these chapels and they are available for searching at any of its FamilySearch Centers worldwide.

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.

Poor Law Unions

Chorlton 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

Church website

  1. John Marius Wilson,Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870)