West Houghton, Lancashire Family History Guide

West Houghton is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Lancashire, created in 1719 from Deane Ancient Parish.

Alternative names: West Houghton, Westhougton

Parish church: St. Mary

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1732
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1755

Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Primitive Methodist, and Society of Friends/Quaker.

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

HOUGHTON, WEST, a chapelry, in the parish of Deane, union of Bolton, hundred of Salford, S. division of Lancashire, 4 miles (W. S. W.) from Bolton, on the road to Wigan; containing 4527 inhabitants. From the period of the Reformation, when the possessions of the abbey of Cockersand were confiscated, the manor of West Houghton has been in the hands of the king; and Lord Skelmersdale now holds it in fee from the crown, receiving the small chief-rents. The chapelry comprises 4460 acres, of which the surface is level but elevated, and the soil a heavy clay: several collieries are in operation. The population is chiefly engaged in the hand-loom weaving of silk, and muslins and jaconets. The cotton-mill of Peter Ditchfield, Esq., employs 250 hands; it stands on the site of one of the first powerloom factories ever established, built by Messrs. Wroe and Duncuft in 1812, and destroyed by the Luddites in the same year. The fate of this early factory presents a feature somewhat remarkable in the history of the cotton manufacture. The outrages of the Luddites in Nottingham and Yorkshire occurring at that period, rendered it an unpropitious time for the introduction of machinery; and when the attacks upon obnoxious property of this description extended to this neighbourhood, Messrs. Wroe and Duncuft’s factory was burnt to the ground. Their violence, however, had not the effect that the incendiaries anticipated. On the contrary, the manufacture, by power-loom process, was transferred to the then almost unknown locality of Stalybridge, where new works continually sprang up, and caused the prosperity of that place. An episcopal chapel, dedicated to St. Bartholomew, existed in West Houghton in 1662, when it had a roof of thatch, and stood in the midst of moors; the edifice was rebuilt in 1731, under the patronage of the vicar of Deane, and is now dedicated to St. Mary. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £150; patron, the Vicar. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and the Society of Friends. A school was built by subscription in 1742, and enlarged in 1784; the income is about £20 per annum. In this township, at a place called Drake-Lane brook, is a strong sulphureous spring.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

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: Bolton
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Chester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Manchester
  • Rural Deanery: Bolton le Moors
  • Poor Law Union: Bolton
  • Hundred: Salford
  • Province: York