Warburton, Cheshire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Cheshire Gotoarrow.png Cheshire Parishes Gotoarrow.png Warburton
St Werburghs Church 3quarter.jpg

Parish History

St Werburgh's Church, Warburton is the name of two separate churches in the village of Warburton, Greater Manchester, England. The older church is located to the west of the village  and may date back as far as the middle of the 13th century. It is now a redundant church but services are held in the summer months. Pevsner calls this church "a lovable muddle".

The newer church was built in 1883–85 and is located to the southeast of the village and is an Ancient Parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Macclesfield and the deanery of Bowdon. Its benefice is combined with that of St Peter, Oughtrington. It includes the hamlet of Moss Brow.

The dedication is an unusual one, ordinarily local to Chester, where Werburgh is the patron saint. Werburgh, an Anglo-Saxon saint who has given her name to Warburgtune, as Warburton was called in the Domesday survey (1086), was the daughter of Wulfhere, the first Christian king of Mercia. She died around AD 700 as Abbess of Ely, with the care of several nunneries. Her relics were moved to the abbey of St Peter and St Paul in Chester, which was later rededicated to St Werburgh.

There is evidence of a Saxon church on the site before the Norman Conquest. In 1187–90 Adam de Dutton founded a priory on the site for Norbertine canons but this was shortlived and there is now no trace of the priory. It is likely that the building of the present church began in the middle of the 13th century. Towards the end of the 16th century, the chancel area was remodelled and a pulpit, altar rails and communion table were installed. In 1645 the church was extensively altered and extended. The south and west walls of the nave were rebuilt and the roof of the nave was lowered. A small chapel and vestry with a stone foundation and timber framed wall were added to the south side of the chancel, while a stone extension was added to the north side. In 1711 the east end of the chancel was rebuilt and a brick tower was added at the east end of the church. In 1722 a gallery was built. Wooden floors were installed in 1813, the vestry was incorporated into the church and a new vestry was built onto the south side of the tower. In 1857 the chancel floor was tiled, the walls were painted with medieval designs and the timber supports and the chancel ceiling were plastered. Stained glass was added to windows and the gallery was removed. By 1880 the church needed major repairs, and because of this the new church was built and the old church ceased to be the parish church. Repairs were undertaken in 1894 for dry rot, in 1927 for death watch beetle and in 1958, again for death watch beetle. In 1971 the church passed into the care of the Redundant Churches Fund, the predecessor of the Churches Conservation Trust.

In 1933 the boundary with Lancashire was adjusted to follow the course of the Manchester Ship Canal;since 1974 Warburton has been part of  Greater Manchester.


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.

Registration Districts
  •  Altrincham (1837–98)
  • Bucklow (1898–1974)
  • Trafford (post 1974)
  • online events may be searched at Cheshire BMD

Church records

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.

Parish registers for Warburton, 1611-1935 Cheshire Record Office call numbers: P68/1/1-6, 2, 3/1-2, 4, 6/1-3, P68/4577/1-2.

An index for Cheshire parish registers is available online in FamilySearch Historical Records (formerly Record Search)

Parish registers Content FHL Film
Baptisms, 1611-1859. Banns, 1755-1812. Marriages, 1611-1836. Burials, 1611-1863. Tenants at church sitting, c. 1796. BRITISH
2105391 Items 7 - 17
Baptisms, 1859-1935. Burials, 1863-1932. BRITISH
2186839 Items 2 - 3

Bishop's transcripts for Warburton, 1813-1876 Bishop's transcripts for Warburton, 1813-1876

An index for Cheshire, Church of England, Bishop’s Transcripts is available online in Family Search Historical records ( formerly Record Search)

Bishop's transcripts Content FHL Film
Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1813, baptisms, burials, 1814, 1873-1876, burials, 1870-1872, baptisms, 1869-1872. BRITISH
1647714 Item 7

Non-Conformist Churches

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.

Probate records

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.

Poor Law Unions

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites


Pevsner, Nikolaus; Edward Hubbard (2003) [1971], The Buildings of England: Cheshire, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 375–376, ISBN 0 300 09588 0

Richards, Raymond (1947), Old Cheshire Churches, London: Batsford, pp. 339–341

Morant, Roland W. (1989), Cheshire Churches, Birkenhead: Countyvise, p. 186, ISBN 0 907768 18 0