England, Manchester, Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This collection consists of parish registers from the Diocese of Manchester for the years 1603-1910.

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England, Manchester, Parish Registers, 1603-1910 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Manchester,  England
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Location of Manchester, England
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Record Description
Record Type Parish Registers
Collection years 1603-1910
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Manchester City Council - Archives and Local History

Why Should I Look at This Collection?

Parish registers have been kept at the local level across England since the mid-1500s. Due to this long and relatively stable tradition, these records are central to English genealogical research as they are often one of the only sources for finding families and individuals in England before the start of civil registration in 1837.

To learn more about parish registers, please see the England Parish Registers page.

What is in the Collection?

This collection contains an index to and images of baptism, marriage, and burial records. The records are held at the Manchester Archives. The parishes are mainly from the historic county of Lancashire, with a few parishes from Cheshire and Yorkshire.

For most of the period of this collection, the area around Manchester fell under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Diocese of Chester, but in 1847, the Diocese of Manchester was created. With the creation of this new diocese, many parish boundaries changed. To learn more about these changes, see the Cheshire Parishes and Lancashire Parishes pages, as well as the England Jurisdictions 1851 page. The Manchester Collegiate Church page also offers insight into the jurisdiction of the area.

Non-Lancashire parishes included in the collection
Parish name Notes
Staleybridge, St Paul, Cheshire Town built on both sides of the River Tame, the historical boundary between Lancashire and Cheshire. Stalybridge Old St George and Stalybridge New St George are on the Lancashire side.
Dobcross, Holy Trinity, Yorkshire Created in 1797 from the ancient parish of Rochdale part of the West Riding of Yorkshire Parishes
Lydgate, St Anne, Yorkshire A chapelry in the parochial chapelry of Saddleworth, both of which were in the ancient parish of Rochdale, Lancashire 
Saddleworth, St Chad, Yorkshire Saddleworth lies on the very western edge of Yorkshire, alongside the Lancashire border. In many ways it is physically separated from the rest of Yorkshire by the Pennine range which form the parish's eastern border
Saddleworth, St Thomas, Yorkshire

(Email: archiveslocalstudies@manchester.gov.uk)

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Manchester, Parish Registers, 1603-1910.

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can find records either by searching the index or viewing the record images. Before using either search method, it is best to know the following information:

  • Name of the person
  • Date range for the record

As you search, compare your results with this information to find a match.

Search the Index

  1. Go to the collection page.
  2. Enter the requested information into the search box.
  3. Click Search to return a list of possible matches.

View the Images

  1. Go to the collection browse page.
  2. Click on the correct County link.
  3. Click on the correct Town (with Parish) link.
  4. Click on the correct Event Type and Year Range link to go to the image viewer.
  5. Use the onscreen controls to move between record images as you look for a match.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking for, What Now?

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference. See below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if possible.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the estimated age given in a marriage or burial record to calculate an approximate year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • If in the appropriate period, use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in civil records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century England are the England Census and the England Civil Registration records.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • When looking for an individual with a common name, look at all the search results before deciding which is the correct person. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to help with this decision. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
  • Try variations of given names and surnames. An individual might appear under a different name in a record for a variety of reasons:
    • An individual might have been listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name.
    • Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as recorders heard them. Pay attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try spelling variations that could have that pronunciation.
    • Some women returned to their maiden names after the death of their husbands.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible matches. Try expanding the date range as well; this is especially useful in searching baptismal records, as it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth.
  • Search the records of nearby locations. In the period of this collection, most people never lived more than 20 miles away from the place of their birth, though smaller moves were common. For this particular collection, bordering locations include Yorkshire and Cheshire parishes outside the Diocese of Manchester, or even certain parishes in the bordering counties of Westmorland, Cumberland, and Derbyshire.
  • The individual in question may not have records in the Church of England at all, but rather might have belonged to a nonconformist denomination. See England Nonconformist Church Records for more information.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:

"England, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Parish Registers, 1603-1910." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Church of England. Archives Central Library, Manchester.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for England, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Parish Registers, 1603-1910.

Image Citation:

When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, Parish Registers, 1603-1910.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.