Warton (near Lancaster), Lancashire Genealogy
Warton St Oswald is an Ancient Parish near Carnforth north of Lancaster in the county of Lancashire.
Other places in the parish include: Borwick, Carnforth, Warton with Lindeth, Little Bowland, Priest Hutton, and Hutton Priest.It should not be confused with Warton (near Kirkham), Lancashire in the same county.
The exact origins of St Oswald's Church (formerly Holy Trinity) and its associated parish are unknown. It is believed that the church in this parish was established well before the Norman Conquest in 1066. The oldest portion of the church is the south wall which is of 14th century origin, though the earliest recorded incumbent dates from 1190.
By the start of the 13th Century, Warton had flourished into an important staging post on the route north to Carlisle, Northumbria and Scotland. So much so, it was granted a charter for a Wednesday market, gallows and ordeal pit in 1200 during the reign of King John. The grant of borough status by the town's lord, the baron of Kendal, later in the thirteenth century confirmed the economic importance of Warton at that period.
The oldest surviving architecture other than the church is the ruined rectory, built around 1267; records exist of work being carried out on the rectory until 1332. The ruins are in good condition with the gables surviving to almost their original height (around 30 ft).
Warton is the birthplace of the medieval ancestors of George Washington, the first popularly elected President of the United States. Lawrence Washington, seven generations prior to George Washington and his family, arrived in Warton around 1300, and Robert Washington, Lawrence's great-grandson, is rumoured to have help build the clock tower of St Oswald's Church. The Washington family coat of arms, three mullets and two bars, can be found in the church and is said to have inspired the design of the flag of the United States. The flag of the United States of America is displayed on the village church flag pole every July Fourth. The flag was donated to the village after US soldiers had visited the village during WWII and having returned back to the USA contacted their state senator about the birthplace of the Washington family. The donated flag was one of which had flown above the Capitol Building in Washington DC.
The village continued to expand during the 16th and 17th century, a large number of houses being built to line the backbone of the village, Main Street, running through Carnforth, Warton, Yealand Conyers and Yealand Redmayne
Until the 18th century, Warton was a minor provider of limestone quarried from Warton Crag. With the invention of the steam locomotive this industry boomed, causing Carnforth, the small hamlet where the local railway station was placed, to expand and outgrow Warton in a matter of decades. A number of the old 17th century lime kilns can still be found dotted around Warton Crag, disused due to their inefficiency.
The Diocese of Blackburn is a Church of England diocese, covering much of Lancashire, created in 1926 from part of the Diocese of Manchester. The Diocese includes the towns of Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, and the cities of Lancaster, and Preston, as well as a large part of the Ribble Valley.
Here is an 1848 historical perspective on Warton Holy Trinity by the topographer, Samuel A. Lewis:
"WARTON (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the hundred of Lonsdale south of the Sands, union, and N. division of the county, of Lancaster; containing 2209 inhabitants, of whom 633 are in the township of Warton with Lindeth, 7 miles (N. by E.) from Lancaster. At the time of the Domesday survey, this was one of the twelve manors belonging to the Saxon chieftain Torfin. It is probable that it soon after became a member of the great barony of Kendal, and descended, through the de Lancasters, to Gilbert Fitz-Reinfrid, to whom King John, in the 1st year of his reign, granted a weekly market, on Wednesday, in his manor of Warton. The manor, it would seem, became royal property long before the reign of Henry VIII., and was held immediately under the crown until 1811, when it was purchased by Thomas Inman, Esq., who sold it shortly afterwards to John Bolden, Esq., of Hyning Hall. The parish is bouuded on the west by Morecambe bay, and comprises by computation 25,000 acres, whereof 2684 are in the township of Warton with Lindeth. It includes the chapelry of Silverdale, and the townships of Borwick, Carnworth, Priest-Hutton, Yealand-Conyers, and Yealand Redmayne. The surface is hilly, with the exception of that portion contiguous to the sea, and is of pleasing and diversified appearance; the soil is in general a thin earth, resting occasionally on layers of gravel, but chiefly upon limestone. The mountainous ridge of Warton Crag, taken in the extended sense of the term, stretches through Warton, the Yealands, and Lindeth, whence the chain is continued by Silverdale Nab to Arnside Knot or Fell. The parish is watered by the river Keer or Keir, and the rivulets Leighton-Beck, Whitbeck, HerringSike, and Meerbeck; and the road from Lancaster to Kendal, the Lancaster and Kendal canal, and Lancaster and Carlisle railway pass through. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £74. 10. 2½.; net income, £187, with a house; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. The great tithes have been commuted for £1190. The church, situated on the declining ground at the foot of Warton Crag, is a good ordinary building of the 16th century, and consists of a nave, aisles, chancel, and a noble tower: the interior is very light, and large; and contains some ancient monuments. At Silverdale and Yealand-Conyers are separate incumbencies. A free grammar school and an hospital were founded and endowed in 1594 by Matthew Hutton, Archbishop of York; their income was subsequently increased by bequests from Robert Lucas and others. An estate in Borwick, left in 1700 by Thomas Mansergh, now producing £125 per annum, is appropriated to apprenticing poor boys. There is said to have been a British fortress on Warton Crag; and adjacent are three rocking-stones, probably Druidical. Adjoining the shore is a chalybeate spring."
From: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 475-482. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51379 Date accessed: 03 August 2010.
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
Lancashire Online Parish Clerks
An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/
Warton St. Oswald parish registers and those registers of both of its smaller chapelries lying within its boundaries--including Yealand Conyers St Mary and to a much lesser extent--Silverdale Chapelry have been transcribed and are displayed online at the following web sites and ranges of years:
|FS = FamilySearch.org|
|LOPC = Lancashire Online Parish Clerk|
|FMP = FindMyPast.co.uk|
|LBMD = Lancashire BMD.org.uk|
|AC = Ancestry.co.uk|
|FREG = FreeReg|
|WARTON ST OSWALD PARISH (1568) Indexes|
|SILVERDALE ST JOHN Chapelry (1871) Indexes|
|YEALAND-CONYERS ST JOHN Chapelry (1858) Indexes|
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 Warton (near Lancaster) parish for the years 1568-1903. These films are available for ordering/circulating and researching at any one of its satellite FamilySearch Centers worldwide.
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
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.
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