West Derby St Mary, Lancashire Genealogy

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West Derby St Mary

Chapelry History

West Derby St Mary was created a chapel of ease by 1688 from and lying within the boundaries of Walton on the Hill St Mary, Lancashire ancient parish.

Other places in the parish include: Stanley and Kensington.

The earlier chapelry building was replaced in 1853/4 by present church designed by  Gilbert G. Scott built of red sandstone with Yorkshire stone pillars and is situated in the heart of West Derby Village at the entrance to Croxteth Park.It is regarded as a fine example of Scott’s work and has windows by Clayton and Bell together with some fine wood-work in the Chancel and Sanctuary. The style is 14th century Gothic, but because of the great expense of providing secure foundations for the tower, the original more elaborate design had to be significantly modified. The whole cost was raised by voluntary subscriptions! The building cost £8,000. The tower, marked by three turrets of matching size and a larger one which includes the staircase cost another £4,000 and was built at the expense of Mr Pemberton Heywood. It is 30 feet square and over 160 feet high. The nave is 72 feet by 50 feet and the chancel 41 feet by 25 feet.

"DERBY, WEST St Mary, a district [chapel of ease as of 1688], and the head of a union, in the parish of Walton-on-the-Hill, hundred of West Derby, S. division of the county of Lancaster, 4 miles northeast of Liverpool.  St James' church was built, in 1847. St Jude's church, in Hardwick-street, was built in 1841. There are also churches at Stanley (or Old Swan), Knotty-Ash, and Edge-Hill, which places are separately described.

A Roman Catholic chapel, called Gillmoss chapel, is situated in West Derby, about a mile from Croxteth Hall; it was built in 1823.—See Liverpool."[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.

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

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

West Derby- St Mary
Baptisms Transcript-1688-1837- 929.3272 We1
Marriages Transcript-1698-1837- 929.3272 We1

The Manchester Room and Greater Manchester County Record Office
Email: archiveslocalstudies@manchester.gov.uk

The Manchester Room@City Library (Local Studies)

For original registers of above please enquire at Liverpool Record Office.

Parish registers for St. Mary-the-Virgin Church, West Derby, 1688-1948 Microfilm copy of original records at the Liverpool Record Office.
West Derby was a chapelry of Walton-on-the-Hill parish until 1847.
Liverpool Record Office no.: WES 1/1-2, 2/1-7, 3/1-10, 5/1-2.

Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1688-1812. Baptisms, 1813-1848.
1546069 Items 4 - 7
Baptisms, 1847-1947. Marriages, 1837-1863. (Items 2 & 3 were filmed out of order and with the wrong title boards. Correct title boards were filmed after item 6.)
Marriages, 1863-1929.
Marriages, 1929-1947. Banns, 1837-1907, 1944-1948.

Bishop's transcripts for St. Mary-the-Virgin Church, West Derby, 1697-1871 Microfilm of original records at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.
West Derby was a chapelry of Walton-on-the-Hill until 1847.

Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1697, 1723-1805; baptisms 1808-1871.
1468982 Items 2 - 3

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.

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

Poor Law Unions

West Derby, Lancashire Poor Law Union

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. A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 32-46. Adapted. Date accessed: 29 June 2010.