Walney, Lancashire Genealogy

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England RTENOTITLE Lancashire RTENOTITLE Lancashire Parishes

Vickerstown St Mary

Chapelry History

Walney St Mary Vickerstown was created a chapel of ease in 1742 from, and lying within the boundaries of Dalton in Furness, Lancashire Ancient Parish.

Other places in the parish include: Barrow, Barrow Island, Biggar, Walney Island, Peel, Piel Island, and Hawcoat Division.

The name Walney comes from the Old Norse valna ey, which means "Isle of the British". This name would have been given when Norse settlers were present in the area during the Viking Age. One of the main areas of settlement, Biggar Village has been inhabited since at least the 11th century. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Hougenai, or "island of Hougun" from the Old Norse word haugr meaning mound or hill.

The island is around eleven miles long and less than a mile wide at its widest point. 

The island lies in the Irish Sea to the west of the Furness peninsula in north-west England. Until 1974 both the island and the peninsula were a detached part of the county of Lancashire but is now in Cumbria, the island being part of the borough of Barrow-in-Furness to which it has been connected by bridge (Jubilee Bridge) since 1908. Jubilee Bridge spans Walney Channel and until its commission, a ferry was used in order to cross the channel.

The church is situated in Vickerstown which was an estate for worker housing constructed for workers at the Barrow shipyards and docks owned at the time by the Vickers company.

"WALNEY, ISLE OF, a chapelry, in the parish of Dalton-in-Furness, union of Ulverston, hundred of Lonsdale north of the Sands, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 5 miles southwest of Dalton."[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.

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

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

Church records

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

Census records

http://www.1881pubs.com/ for details of public houses in the 1881 census

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

Add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.


  1. A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 444-449. Adapted. Date accessed: 03 August 2010.