Cheshire Family History Guide

Cheshire is bounded North by Lancashire, East and South-East by Derbyshire and Staffordshire, South by Shropshire and part of Flintshire, and West by Denbighshire and part of Flintshire. About 58 miles long and 40 broad. There are seven hundreds; namely, Broxton, Bucklow, Eddisbury, Macclesfield, Nantwich, Northwich, and Wirral. Rivers: the Dee, the Weever, and the Mersey. It is in the Province of York and in the Diocese of Chester, and in the North-Wales Circuit. It contains 1052 square miles, or 673,280 acres. Population, 395,560.

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

PARISHES IN CHESHIRE

A

B

  • Backford, Cheshire
  • Baddiley, Cheshire
  • Baguley, Cheshire
  • Barnton, Cheshire
  • Barrow, Cheshire
  • Barthomley, Cheshire
  • Bickerton, Cheshire
  • Bidston, Cheshire
  • Birkenhead St Mary, Cheshire
  • Birkenhead Holy Trinity, Cheshire
  • Birtles, Cheshire
  • Bollington, Cheshire
  • Bosley, Cheshire
  • Bowdon, Cheshire
  • Bredbury, Cheshire
  • Brereton cum Smethwick, Cheshire
  • Bromborough, Cheshire
  • Buglawton, Cheshire
  • Bunbury, Cheshire
  • Burleydam, Cheshire
  • Burton, Cheshire
  • Burwardsley, Cheshire
  • Byley, Cheshire

C

  • Capesthorne with Siddington, Cheshire
  • Carrington, Cheshire
  • Castle Hall, Cheshire
  • Chadkirk, Cheshire
  • Cheadle, Cheshire
  • Chelford, Cheshire
  • Chester, Cheshire
    • Chester Castle, Cheshire
    • Chester Cathedral, Cheshire
    • Chester Cathedral Church Precinct, Cheshire
    • Chester Christ Church, Cheshire
    • Chester Holy Trinity, Cheshire
    • Chester Little St John, Cheshire
    • Chester St Bridget and St Martin, Cheshire
    • Chester St John the Baptist, Cheshire
    • Chester St Mary on the Hill, Cheshire
    • Chester St Michael with St Olave, Cheshire
    • Chester St Oswald, Cheshire
    • Chester St Paul, Cheshire
    • Chester St Peter, Cheshire
  • Christleton, Cheshire
  • Church Hulme, Cheshire
  • Church Lawton, Cheshire
  • Church Minshull, Cheshire
  • Claverton, Cheshire
  • Coddington, Cheshire
  • Congleton, Cheshire
    • Congleton St Peter, Cheshire
    • Congleton St James, Cheshire
    • Congleton St Stephen, Cheshire
  • Coppenhall, Cheshire

D

  • Dane Bridge, Cheshire
  • Daresbury, Cheshire
  • Davenham, Cheshire
  • Delamere, Cheshire
  • Disley, Cheshire
  • Doddington, Cheshire
  • Dodleston, Cheshire
  • Dukinfield St Mark, Cheshire
  • Dukinfield St John the Evangelist, Cheshire

E

F

G

  • Gawsworth, Cheshire
  • Godley cum Newton Green, Cheshire
  • Goostrey, Cheshire
  • Grappenhall, Cheshire
  • Great Budworth, Cheshire
  • Great Stanney, Cheshire
  • Guilden Sutton, Cheshire

H

  • Halton, Cheshire
  • Handley, Cheshire
  • Hartford, Cheshire
  • Harthill, Cheshire
  • Haslington, Cheshire
  • Henbury, Cheshire
  • Heswall, Cheshire
  • High Legh, Cheshire
  • Hoose, Cheshire
  • Hurdsfield, Cheshire
  • Hyde, Cheshire
  • Hyde St George, Cheshire

I

K

L

  • Latchford St James, Cheshire
  • Leighton with Minshull, Cheshire
  • Little Budworth, Cheshire
  • Little Leigh, Cheshire
  • Lostock Gralam, Cheshire
  • Lower Peover, Cheshire
  • Lower Whitley, Cheshire
  • Lymm, Cheshire

M

N

  • Nantwich, Cheshire
  • Neston, Cheshire
  • Nether Bebington, Cheshire
  • Nether Peover, Cheshire
  • Newton in Mottram, Cheshire
  • Norbury, Cheshire
  • Norley, Cheshire
  • North Rode, Cheshire
  • Northenden, Cheshire

O

  • Over, Cheshire
  • Over Peover, Cheshire

P

  • Plemstall, Cheshire
  • Portwood, Cheshire
  • Pott Shrigley, Cheshire
  • Poynton with Worth, Cheshire
  • Prestbury, Cheshire
  • Prior’s Heys, Cheshire
  • Pulford, Cheshire

R

  • Rainow, Cheshire
  • Ringway, Cheshire
  • Rock Ferry, Cheshire
  • Rostherne, Cheshire
  • Runcorn, Cheshire
  • Runcorn Holy Trinity, Cheshire
  • Runcorn Weston St John, Cheshire

S

  • Sandbach, Cheshire
  • Seacombe, Cheshire
  • Shocklach, Cheshire
  • Shotwick, Cheshire
  • Shotwick Park, Cheshire
  • Smallwood, Cheshire
  • Spital Boughton, Cheshire
  • Stalybridge St Paul, Cheshire
  • Stanlow, Cheshire
  • Stoak, Cheshire
  • Stockport St Mary, Cheshire
  • Stockport St Matthew, Cheshire
  • Stockport St Peter, Cheshire
  • Stockport St Thomas, Cheshire
  • Stockton Heath, Cheshire
  • Stretton, Cheshire
  • Sutton, Cheshire
  • Sutton St George, Cheshire
  • Swettenham, Cheshire

T

  • Tarporley, Cheshire
  • Tarvin, Cheshire
  • Tattenhall, Cheshire
  • Taxal, Cheshire
  • Thelwall, Cheshire
  • Thornton le Moors, Cheshire
  • Threapwood, Cheshire
  • Thurstaston, Cheshire
  • Tilston, Cheshire
  • Tilstone Fearnall, Cheshire
  • Tintwistle, Cheshire
  • Tranmere, Cheshire

U

  • Upton, Cheshire
  • Upton by Birkenhead, Cheshire

W

  • Wallasey, Cheshire
  • Warburton, Cheshire
  • Warmingham, Cheshire
  • Waverton, Cheshire
  • Weaverham, Cheshire
  • Werneth, Cheshire
  • Kirby, West, Cheshire
  • Weston, Cheshire
  • Wettenhall, Cheshire
  • Wheelock, Cheshire
  • Whitchurch, Cheshire
  • Whitegate, Cheshire
  • Willington, Cheshire
  • Wilmslow, Cheshire
  • Wincle, Cheshire
  • Wistaston, Cheshire
  • Witton, Cheshire
  • Woodchurch, Cheshire
  • Woodhead, Cheshire
  • Wrenbury, Cheshire
  • Wybunbury, Cheshire

Historical Descriptions

Cheshire Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

CHESHIRE, a maritime county; bounded, on the NW, by the Irish sea; on
the N, by Lancashire; on the NE, by Yorkshire; on the E, by Derbyshire;
on the SE, by Staffordshire; on the S, by Salop; on the SW, by North
Wales. Its outline has two projections, northwestward between the
estuaries of the Mersey and the Dee, and north-eastward to Yorkshire;
but is otherwise nearly oval. Its greatest length, north-eastward, is 58
miles; its greatest breadth, 36 miles; its mean breadth, about 18
miles; its circuit, about 200 miles; its area, 707,078 acres. A ridge of
hills, subordinate to the Derby and Yorkshire mountains, extends along
all the eastern border; another ridge, much broken, crosses the west
centre northward from Malpas to Frodsham; a remarkable isolated rocky
eminence, about 366 feet high, is in the line of the latter ridge, at
Beeston; a chain of high ground goes through the peninsular projection
between the Mersey and the Dee; and a few other eminences occur near
Macclesfield and toward Salop; but the rest of the surface, comprising
about four-fifths of the entire area, is remarkable for flatness, and
has a mean elevation of probably not more than 150 feet above the level
of the sea. The chief rivers are the Mersey, the Dee, the Weaver, the
Dane, the Bollin, the Tame, the Peover, and the Weelock. Lakes, bearing
the name of meres, are numerous and pretty enough to give feature to
some landscapes; but are all small. Medicinal springs occur in Delamere
forest, at Shore-heath near Stockport, and at Buglawton. Rocks of
millstone grit occur along the eastern border, and fill the extremity of
the northeastern projection; rocks of the coal measures, rich in coal,
form a broad band, immediately west of the mill-stone grit; rocks of
bunter sandstone occupy a great tract westward of the coal measures, and
a still greater one from the vicinity of Malpas, Tattenhall, and
Frodsham all westward to the sea; and rocks of the keuper marl and
sandstone occupy most of the country between these two tracts, and occur
to some extent near the extremity of the north-western peninsula. Lead
and copper ores are found at Alderley-edge and Peckforton-hills; cobalt
ore, yielding smalt of fine colour, is found at Alderley-edge; and iron
ore occurs at Alderley-edge, Dukin-field, and Stockport. Red sandstone,
for building, is extensively quarried at Runcorn, Manley, Great
Bebington, and other places; and limestone and millstone are found at
Mole-Cop mountain. Coal is worked in thirty-five collieries, with an
output of 700,500 tons a-year. Salt abounds in strata and in springs,
near Northwick, Nantwicb, Winsford, and Middlewich; and is produced from
the strata to the amount of about 60,000 tons a-year, and from the
springs to the amount of about 45,000 tons.

The soil, in some parts, is a light sandy earth; in other parts, a dark
peat mould; but in most parts, a rich reddish loam, variously sandy and
clayey. The subsoil, in general, is either clay or marl; and has, to a
vast extent, afforded material for the improving of the soil.

About 64,000 acres are water and sea-sand; about 17,000 are bog and
morass; about 28,000 are heaths, commons, and woods; and the rest of the
area is variously building site, pleasure-ground, park, pasture,
meadow, and arable land. The estates, in general, are large; but the
farms, on the average, are under 100 acres. Leases commonly run eleven
years. Husbandry has undergone much improvement; but is still in need of
much more. Wheat was formerly a famous produce; but is now less
cultivated than before. Potatoes have considerable attention, and
average about 10 tons per acre. Cheese is a main produce; and is
exported, to all parts of England and to the Continent, to the amount of
about 12,000 tons a-year. Butter also is made in considerable quantity.
Much attention has been paid to the breed of cows. About 65,000 sheep
are kept, yielding about 1,250 packs of wool a-year. Commerce, trade,
and manufacture maintain about 23 ½ per cent, of the population. The
chief manufactures are muslins, calicoes, fustians, tapes, silks,
thread, leather, gloves, and hose; and have their seats principally at
Stockport, Macclesfield, Congleton, Sandbach, Knutsford, and Tarporley.
Railways intersect the county in all parts, in all directions; the
Bridge-water, the Grand Trunk, the Ellesmere, the Chester and Nantwich,
and the Macclesfield and Peak Forest canals also intersect it; and
highways exist to the aggregate of nearly 2,500 miles.

The county contains 91 parishes, parts of 5 other parishes, and 4
extra-parochial places; is divided into the hundreds of Broxton,
Bucklow, Eddisbury, Macclesfield, Nantwich, Northwich, and Wirrall, with
the boroughs of Chester, Congleton, Macclesfield, and the main part of
Stockport; and forms, for parliamentary representation, two divisions,
North and South, separated chiefly by the river Weaver. The registration
county excludes a township to Derby, a township to Salop, two parishes
and two townships to Lancashire, and fourteen townships and part of an
extra-parochial tract to Denbigh; includes a parish of Stafford, two
townships of Lancashire, and a parish and part of another parish of
Flint; measures 692,999 acres; and is divided into the districts of
Altrincham, Great Boughton, Congleton, Macclesfield, Nantwich,
Northwich, Runcorn, Stockport, and Wirrall. The market-towns are
Chester, Altrincham, Congleton, Frodsham, Macclesfield, Malpas,
Middlewich, Knutsford, Nantwich, Northwich, Sandbach, Stockport, and
Tarporley. The chief seats are Cholmondeley Castle, Eaton-Hall,
Dunham-Massey, Combermere Abbey, Crewe Hall, Tabley Hall, Vale-Royal
Abbey, Poynton, Alderley, Hooten, High Beach, Oulton, Norton Priory,
Doddington, Over-Peover, Arley Hall, Aston Hall, Booths Hall, Adlington,
Bolesworth, Brereton, Bromborough, Bramhall, Henbury, Dukinfield,
Capesthorne, Hyde, Hatherton, Lyme, Marbury, Netherlegh, Mollington,
Marple, Poole, Tatton, Willington, Rode, Mere, Somerford, Toft,
Withenshaw, Upton, Tustingham, and Somerford-Booths. Real property in
1815, £1,114,927; in 1843, £1,889,937; in 1851, £2,062,283; in 1860,
£2,673,756,—of which £5,589 were in quarries, £56,757 in mines, £15,484
in canals, and £262,970 in railways.

The county is governed by a lord lieutenant, a high sheriff, 65
deputy lieutenants, and about 290 magistrates. The assizes are held at
Chester; and quarter-sessions, at Chester and Knutsford. The county jail
and a city jail are at Chester; and the county house of correction is
at Knutsford. The police force, in 1862, for the county at large,
comprised 225 men, at a cost of £16,945; for Chester city, 36 men, at a
cost of £2,140; for Birkenhead, 67 men, at a cost of £4,280; for
Stockport, 25 men, at a cost of £1,217; for Macclesfield, 18 men, at a
cost of £950; for Congleton, 5 men, at a cost of £354. The crimes, in
that year, in the county at large, were 1,017; in Chester city, 141; in
Birkenhead, 271; in Stockport, 61; in Macclesfield, 93; in Congleton,
27. The number of depredators and suspected persons at large were, in
the county, 1,926; in Chester, 169; in Birkenhead, 106; in Stockport,
88; in Macclesfield, 82: in Congleton, 102. The houses of bad character,
in the county at large, were 283; in Cheater, 82; in Birkenhead, 95; in
Stockport, 52; in Macclesfield, 42; in Congleton, 23. Two members are
sent to parliament by each of the two parliamentary divisions of the
county; two by each of the boroughs of Chester, Stockport, and
Macclesfield; and one by the new borough of Birkenhead. Electors, in
1860, of the Northern Division, 6,303; of the Southern Division, 6,881.
The county, excepting part of the parish of Threapwood, is all in the
diocese of Chester. The poor-rates of the registration county, in 1862,
were £152,532. Marriages in 1860, 3,979,—of which 659 were not according
to the rites of the Established church; births, 16,081,—of which 1,207
were illegitimate; deaths, 10,146,—of which 4,049 were at ages under 5
years, and 174 at ages above 85. The places of worship, within the
county-proper, in 1851 were 252 of the Church of England, with 121,882
sittings; 2 of United Presbyterians, with 910 s.; 3 of English
Presbyterians, with 700 s.; 66 of Independents, with 20,597 s.; 31 of
Baptists, with 6,092 s.; 10 of Quakers, with 2,311s.; 14 of Unitarians,
with 3,232 s.; 3 of Moravians, with 246 s.; 188 of Wesleyan Methodists,
with 37,877 s.; 29 of New Connexion Methodists, with 9,005 s.; 135 of
Primitive Methodists, with 14,334 s.; 50 of the Wesleyan Association,
with 7,988 s.; 4 of Calvinistic Methodists, with 983 s.; 8 of Lady
Huntingdon’s Connexion, with 1,278 s.; 5 of Brethren, with 616 s.; 7 of
isolated congregations, with 760 s.; 9 of Latter Day Saints, with 900
s.; and 17 of Roman Catholics, with 5,882 s. The schools were 352 public
day schools, with 35,898 scholars; 685 private day schools, with 19,187
s.; 545 Sunday schools, with 71,270 s.; and 78 evening schools for
adults, with 1,643 s. Pop. in 1801, 192,305; in 1821, 270,098; in 1841,
395,660; in 1861, 505,428. Inhabited houses, 97,874; uninhabited, 5,420;
building, 715.

The territory now forming Cheshire belonged anciently to the British
Cornavii; and was included by the Romans, first in their
Britannia-Superior, next in their Flavia-Csesariensis. It was overrun,
in 607, by Ethelfrith; annexed to Mercia, in 828, by Egbert; made an
earldom, under Leofric, by Canute; constituted a palatinate, under Hugh
Lupus, by the Conqueror; annexed to the Crown, in 1265, by Henry III.;
made a principality by Richard II.; constituted again a palatinate by
Henry IV.; and governed thence, under the king’s eldest sons, as Earls
of Chester, by a separate and independent jurisdiction. The privileges
of the palatinate were greatly curtailed by Henry VIII., and ceased
altogether in 1830. The county is crossed by the Via Devana and
Watling-street; and has British and Saxon remains at Prestbury, ancient
castles at Haulton and Beeston, old timber houses at Bromborough,
Bramhall, Moreton, and Mottram, monastic remains at Birkenhead and
Rock-Savage, and curious ancient churches at Prestbury and Mottram.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

This article was updated on February 11, 2020