Garstang, Lancashire Family History Guide

Garstang is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Lancashire.

Other places in the parish include: Bilsborough, Billisborrow, Cabus, Catteral, Catterall, Claughton, Cleveley, Forton, Holleth, Kirkland, Nateby, Scorton, Nether Wyresdale, Winmarleigh, Barnacre with Bonds, Barnacre with Ronds, and Bilsborrow.

Parish church: St. Helen

Parish registers begin: 1567

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Roman Catholic, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Garstang

Historical Descriptions


The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

GARSTANG, a small town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district in Lancashire. The town stands on the river Wyre, the Preston and Lancaster canal, and the Preston and Lancaster railway, 11 miles South of Lancaster. It was occupied by the Pretender, for a short time, in 1715. It is irregularly built; possesses one main street; and presents an unattractive appearance. It has a bridge over the Wyre, a town-hall, a corn-exchange, a church, three dissenting chapels, a head post office, and a railway station; is a seat of sessions and a polling-place; was incorporated in 1314, with renewal of charter in 1680; and is governed by a bailiff and seven capital burgesses. Fairs are held on Holy Thursday, 10 July, and 22 Nov.; a good corn trade is carried on; and many of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood are employed in corn mills, worsted mills, and cotton factories. A tower of Greenhaugh Castle, built by the first Earl of Derby, stands on the north-east side of the town; and a fine aqueduct of the Preston and Lancaster canal crosses the Wyre¼ of a mile to the south. The township comprises 500 acres. Real property, £2,684. Pop. in 1851, 839; in 1861, 714. Houses, 158. The decrease of pop. was caused by the migration of operatives and the pulling down of old cottages. The parish contains also the townships of Claughton, Catterall, Kirkland, Nateby, Winmarleigh, Cabus, Barnacre-with-Bonds, Nether Wyresdale, Forton, Holleth, Cleveley, Bilsborrow, and Pilling. Acres, 31,403. Real property, £44,864; of which £55 are in quarries. Pop. in 1851, 7,465; in 1861, 7,221. Houses, 1,364. The property, in most parts, is not much divided. The Wyre, throughout its connexion with the parish, abounds with trout, chub, gudgeon, and other fish. The cattle, in the several townships, are a fine well-shaped breed, of smaller size than the ordinary Lancashire breed. The ancient parish church was so sapped by inundation of the Wyre, that it required to be restored in 1746; was restored again, with internal improvement, in 1865; is a fine edifice, situated at Church Town, about 1½ mile from the town, and is dedicated to St. Helen. The church now in the town was originally a chapel of ease, and is dedicated to St. Thomas. The living of St. Helen is a vicarage, and that of St. Thomas is a p. curacy in the diocese of Manchester. Value of St. Helen, £400; of St. Thomas, £150. Patrons of St. Helen, R. and T. Pedder, Esqs.; of St. Thomas, the Vicar of Garstang. The chapelries of Calder Vale and Pilling are separate benefices. There are dissenting chapels in some of the townships; and there are a Roman Catholic chapel and school, a national school, an endowed school with £6, and other charities with £180. The sub-district includes Bleasdale chapelry in Lancaster parish, but contains only twelve townships of Garstang, excluding those of Bilsborrow and Pilling. Acres, 31,034. Pop., 6,029. Houses, 1,145. The district comprehends also the sub-district of Stalmine, containing the township of Pilling in Garstang parish, the chapely of Hambleton in Kirkham parish, and the townships of Stalmine-with-Stainall and Preesall-with-Hackinsall in Lancaster parish; and the sub-district of St. Michael-on-Wyre, containing the township of Bilsborrow in Garstang parish, the township of Myerscough in Lancaster parish, and the townships of Out-Rawcliffe, Great Eccleston, Inskip-with-Sowerby, and Upper Rawcliffe-with-Tarnacre in St. Michael-on-Wyre parish. Acres, 62,617. Poor rates in 1862, £4,536. Pop. in 1851, 12,695; in 1861, 12,425. Houses, 2,380. Marriages in 1860, 72; births, 390, of which 28 were illegitimate; deaths, 224, of which 56 were at ages under 5 years, and 6 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 788; births, 3,984; deaths, 2,243. The places of worship, in 1851, were 11 of the Church of England, with 4,590 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 645 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 210 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 200 s.; 8 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 1,377 s.; and 4 of Roman Catholics, with 1,358 s. The schools were 24 public day schools, with 1,338 scholars; 20 private day schools, with 491 s.; and 28 Sunday schools, with 2,103 s. The workhouse is in Claugliton.

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

Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Garstang, 11 miles S. Lancaster, and 227½ miles N.W. London. Market, Thurs. P. 7659

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


A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

CLAUGHTON, a township, in the parish and union of Garstang, hundred of Amounderness, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 2 miles (S. S. E.) from Garstang; containing 772 inhabitants. This place gave name to a local family, of whom Richard de Clacton appears in a deed without date as a benefactor of Cockersand Abbey. The Banastre family held a moiety of the manor in Edward II.'s reign; and Claughton is afterwards found in possession of the Brockholes, whose descendant, in the last century, devised his estates to William Fitzherbert, Esq., of Swynnerton Hall, Staffordshire, with injunction to take the name and arms of Brockholes. The township lies on the road from Lancaster to Preston, and comprises 3785a. 2r. 4p. of land: the Lancaster and Preston railway and canal also pass through it. Claughton Hall, the seat of the family of Fitzherbert Brockholes, is a noble stone mansion, surrounded by a well-wooded park of 500 acres, abounding with game, and commanding beautiful views. The vicarial tithes have been commuted for £350. At a short distance from the Hall is a Roman Catholic chapel, a neat building in the Grecian style; the interior is very handsome, especially the altar: adjoining is the house of the priest, the Rev. Henry Gradwell. There is a small cotton-mill.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848


Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

NATEBY, a township in Garstang parish, Lancashire; 1 ¾ mile NW by W of Garstang. Acres, 2,030. Real property, £2,547. Pop., 385. Houses, 62. The manor belongs to the executors of the late R. Thompson, Esq. There is a Calvinistic chapel.

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

Nether Wyresdale

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

WYERSDALE, NETHER, a township, in the parish and union of Garstang, hundred of Amounderness, N. division of Lancashire, 4 miles (N. N. E.) from Garstang; containing 762 inhabitants. In the 12th century, Wyersdale was part of the possessions of the Lancasters: in the reign of Philip and Mary, John Rigmayden held the manor; and in 1605 it was held by the Gerards, of Bromley. The property afterwards passed to the family of the present Duke of Hamilton. The ancestors of the late John Fenton Cawthorne, Esq., M. P. for Lancaster, are said to have held a portion of Wyersdale for six or seven hundred years; and George III. once contemplated the revival of the barony of Wyersdale in the person of Mr. Cawthorne, whom he intended to create lord Wyersdale. The township comprises 6349 acres, and forms a very mountainous district. The scenery on the banks of the Wyre or Wyer, as the river flows along the valley, being varied by hills and ridges skirted with wood, is both bold and beautiful. Cotton and worsted spinning affords employment to the villagers of Scorton and Dolphinholme. Wyreside, an elegant mansion, has long been the residence of the Cawthorne family. Here is also the seat of Robert Garnett, Esq. The Wesleyans have a place of worship.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848


Parish Registers

The Catholic Registers Of Ss. Mary & James, Scorton, Garstang, Lancashire. 1774-1885. - View Online


The Catholic Registers Of St. Thomas , Claughton-On-Brock, Garstang, Lancashire. 1771-1834. - View Online


The Catholic Registers of SS. Mary and Michael, Garstang Lancashire 1788-1824 - View Online

Parish Records

Lancashire Archives

Lancashire FH & Heraldry Society

Manchester Archives and Local History


Lancashire BMD

England, Lancashire, Parish Registers 1538-1910

England, Lancashire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1647-1996

Catholic Parish Registers of Liverpool 1741-1773

St James’ Cemetery Burials Liverpool

Manchester Burial Records

England, Lancashire, Oldham Cemetery Registers, 1797-2004

England, Lancashire, Rusholme Road Cemetery 1821-1933

Oldham Burial Records

Tameside Burial Records

Chorlton Upon Medlock Burials 1821-1933


Lancaster Convict Database 1800s

Lancashire Fusiliers

Lancashire Infantry Museum

Loyal North Lancashire Regiment

Lancashire Roll of Honour

St. Helens Roll of Honour

Lancashire Police Records

Lancashire Lantern - archive of local old photographs, postcards and other images

Manchester Local Images

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries


  • County: Lancashire
  • Civil Registration District: Garstang
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Commissary of the Archdeaconry of Richmond Western Deaneries - Amounderness
  • Diocese: Manchester
  • Rural Deanery: Amounderness
  • Poor Law Union: Garstang
  • Hundred: Amounderness
  • Province: York