Manchester, Lancashire Genealogy
For a guide to Manchester, Lancashire history, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
See the ancient parish page for Manchester Our Lady, St George and St Denys, Lancashire Genealogy.
While the locale of Manchester is quite old, its status as a city, and one of the premier cities of England at that, occurred relatively late in time.
The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mancunium. The Roman fort was established around AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. This name has continued, with the local residents still being called Mancunians.
Manchester lies in a bowl-shaped land area bordered to the north and east by the Pennines, a chain of hills that runs the length of northern England, and to the south by the Cheshire Plain.
Manchester is 35.0 miles (56.3 km) north-east of Liverpool and 35.0 miles (56.3 km) south-west of Sheffield, making the city the halfway point between these two major industrial centers. Much of the inner city, especially in the south, is flat, offering extensive views from many highrise buildings in the city of the foothills and moors of the Pennines. This feature of the terrain made for easy and rapid building as the city developed.
Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township but began to expand "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester's unplanned urbanization was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialized city.
Significant quantities of cotton began to be used after about 1600, firstly in linen/cotton fustians, but by around 1750 pure cotton fabrics were being produced and cotton had overtaken wool in importance in the region. The Irwell and Mersey were made navigable by 1736, opening a route from Manchester to the sea docks on the Mersey. The Bridgewater Canal, Britain's first wholly artificial waterway, was opened in 1761, bringing coal from mines at Worsley to central Manchester. The canal was extended to the Mersey at Runcorn by 1776. The combination of competition and improved efficiency halved the cost of coal and halved the transport cost of raw cotton. 
The Peterloo Massacre in 1819 and establishment of the Anti-Corn Law League in 1838 elevated Manchester's importance which eventually culminated in city status in 1853 – thus becoming the first new British city in over 300 years and cementing Manchester's position as the world's first industrial city.
During the same period, the completion of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 (see the picture below) established Manchester as an inland port, and the building of world's first railway, Stephenson's Rocket, (from Liverpool to Manchester) resulted in rapid growth for the city itself, and its environs.
Manchester became the hub for the manufacturing region around, with cotton weaving being king.
Manchester has 3 major cemeteries and crematoria. The following website provides general details:
Southern Cemetery and Crematorium
The Lodge, 212 Barlow Moor Rd
Manchester M21 7GL
Phone:+44 161 227 3205
Manchester M9 8JP
Phone:+44 161 227 3201
Manchester M18 7JS
Phone:+44 161 227 3201
Church of England Parishes
The ancient parish of Manchester Our Lady, St George and St Denys is England's largest city and by about 1890, was comprised of just over 160 smaller chapelries. To view the most exhaustive list of these historical chapelries and their links to online CMBs (christenings, marriages and burials), please see the page for Manchester Our Lady, St George and St Denys, Lancashire Genealogy and scroll down to "Church Records" for a comprehensive list.
The Manchester area has a great diversity in religious activity. The following list (non comprehensive) indicates many sects and organizations:
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Eastern Orthodox
- Jehovah's Witness
- Plymouth Brethren
- Roman Catholic
- Seventh Day Adventist
- Society of Friends (Quakers)
Non Christian groups include, but are not limited to:
Civil registration is the recording of births, marriages and deaths in England and began in 1837. Civil registration records were recorded at the local registration office and the National registration offices. If you cannot find the civil registration in one index, search the other index as they are different indexes.
- Wikipedia History of Manchester
- Local Histories; Manchester
- A History of Manchester - by Alan Kidd at Amazon.com
Maps and Gazetteers
- Visit Manchester, Maps
- Manchester Historic Maps
- Old Maps On Line; Manchester
- Manchester Gazetteer
- John Marius Wilson's Gazetteer of Manchester
- Map of Manchester – Great Britain, Atlas and Index of Parish Registers on Ancestry.com
In the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth centuries, Manchester was a major hub for both the cotton and the woolen trade, specializing in high quality cotton cloths. Most of this activity has ceased, and Manchester has had to re-invent itself. It has done a much better job of this than its nearest competitor, Liverpool. Since about 1970, Manchester and the Greater Manchester area has increased in population, while Liverpool has declined. Since 2001, the population has grown by 87,900, or 20.8%
In fact, since around the turn of the 21st century, Manchester has been regarded by sections of the international press, British public, and government ministers as being the second city of the United Kingdom. In 2014, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked Manchester as a beta world city.
Manchester owns two of the country's four busiest airports and uses its earnings to fund local projects. The airports alone are major employers in the region. Manchester also has the largest UK office market outside London, providing employment bases for more than 25,000 local residents. The strong office market in Manchester has been partly attributed to 'Northshoring', ( a local term derived from offshoring) which entails the relocation or alternative creation of jobs away from the overheated South to areas where office space is possibly cheaper and workforce market may not be as saturated.
Major companies either headquartered in Manchester, or having their UK or European HQ in the Manchester area and providing major employment opportunities include: Adidas, AstraZenica, Auto Trader, Barclays Bank, US Mellon Bank UK HQ, Brother Electronics (Japan), Deloitte, Gazprom, Google, ITV Granada, Kellog's, KPMG, The Peel Group (property management), PG Tips (UK largest tea company), Siemens, Thomas Cook Airlines, Umbro.