Bretherton, Lancashire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Parishes

Bretherton Church Lancashire.JPG

Chapelry History

Bretherton St John was created a chapelry in 1843, taken from and lying within the boundaries of Croston, Lancashire  Ancient Parish.

Bretherton derives from either the Old English brothor and tun or Norse brothir and means "farmstead of the brothers". It was first recorded in documents in 1190. Bretherton has been variously recorded as Bretherton in 1242, Brotherton occurs in 1292, Bertherton in 1292 and Thorp was mentioned in 1212.

Bretherton was a township in the parish of Croston in the Leyland hundred. It became part of the Chorley Poor Law Union, formed in 1837, and took responsibility for the administration and funding of the Poor Law in that area. Bretherton is part of Chorley Borough's Lostock ward and has a parish council. A record of a chapel is mentioned in a charter of 1344 but nothing else is known. The Anglican Commissioners' Church of St. John the Baptist was consecrated in 1840. It is built in the Early English Gothic style.

"BRETHERTON, a township and an ecclesiastical district [as of 1841], in the parish of Croston, union of Chorley, hundred of Leyland, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 10 miles north by northeast from Ormskirk. There are places of worship for Wesleyan Methodists and Independents.[1]


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes

Church records

Online Records

Church of England

Bretherton chapelry's registers of christenings, marriages and burials, along with those of the ancient parish of Croston to which it is attached, have been mostly transcribed and are displayed online at the following web sites and ranges of years:

FS =
LOPC Lancashire Online Parish Clerk project
AC =
FREG = FreeReg

Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1819-1883 1829-1883 1829-1850, 1871-1883
LOPC 1841-1850 1843-1922 1841-1850
LBMD None 1843-1975 None
CROSTON ST MICHAEL & ALL ANGELS PARISH (1538) Indexes (ancient parish containing BRETHERTON Chapelry)
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1543-1900 1543-1900 None
LOPC 1543-1948 1538-1900 1538-1900
AC 1545-1685 1545-1685 1545-1685

For a full list of all those chapels surrounding Bretherton and comprising the whole ancient parish of Croston to which it was attached, be certain to see "Church Records" on the CROSTON PARISH page.

Census records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Poor Law Unions

Chorley Poor Law Union, Lancashire Preston Poor Law Union, Lancashire

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites


  1. A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 357-362. URL: Adapted. Date accessed: 25 June 2010.