Urswick, Lancashire Genealogy

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Guide to Urswick, Lancashire family history and genealogy. Parish registers (baptism, christening, marriage, and burial records), civil registration (birth, marriage, and death records), census records, history, wills, cemetery, online transcriptions and indexes, an interactive map and websites.

St Mary's Church, Urswick .JPG

Parish History

URSWICK St Mary [1608], a parish, in the union of Ulverston, hundred of Lonsdale north of the Sands, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 3 miles southwest by south of Ulverston; containing, the hamlet of Little Urswick. The church, which was repewed in 1826, is situated between the villages of Great and Little Urswick. Other places in the parish include: Adgarley, Bardsea, Birkrig Common, Stainton, Great Urswick, Little Urswick, and Bolton with Adgarley. [1]

A number of explanations have been suggested for Urswick's name. The '-wick' element is perhaps from the Old English wic meaning 'farm' or 'trading centre', an element commonly found in settlements on or near Roman roads (see below). It has been suggested that the first element may mean 'bison lake' from Old English ur + sǣ . However, an alternative explanation has been proposed which incorporates the first definite historical reference to the ancient estate that incorporated the present Urswick villages - Chiluestreuic - from the Domesday survey.

The name 'Great Urswick' originated as 'Much Urswick', not because of its size but because of its association with Michael le Fleming. The village was an original part of Michael's lands, granted to him before 1111 by Henry I, whilst Little Urswick belonged to Stephen of Blois and later Furness Abbey. The name 'Much Urswick', meaning 'Michael's Urswick', was used to differentiate between the lands of Michael and Furness Abbey.


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.

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/

Church records

Online Records

Urswick St. Mary & St. Michael parish registers and those registers of all of its smaller chapelries lying within its boundaries have been mostly transcribed and are displayed online at the following web sites and ranges of years:

AC = Ancestry.co.uk (£)
FMP = FindMyPast.co.uk (£)
FREG = FreeReg
FS = FamilySearch.org
LBMD = LancashireBMD.org.uk
LOPC = Lancashire Online Parish Clerk
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1608-1901 1608-1901 1695-1911
LOPC 1833-1841, 1855-1870 1692-1841, 1855-1864 1833-1842, 1855-1870
LBMD None None None
FMP None 1608-1837 None
AC 1608-1837 1608-1837 1608-1837
FREG 1692-1837 1696-1837 1634, 1689-1837
BARDSEA HOLY TRINITY Chapelry  (1854) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS None None None
LOPC 1856-1859 1854-1859 1856-1859
LBMD None None None
Original Records

The Lancashire Record Office at Bow Lane, Preston PR2 1RE, holds the original parish registers in its vast collections. Contact their website for contact information.

The Family History Library has microfilmed the parish registers and Bishop's transcripts of Urswick St. Mary & St. Michael parish for the years 1608-1901. These films are available for ordering/circulating and researching at any one of its satellite 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. The first film number is 306916.

Poor Law Unions

Ulverston 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. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 424-428. Adapted. Date accessed: 02 August 2010.