Goostrey, Cheshire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Cheshire Gotoarrow.png Cheshire ParishesGotoarrow.png Goostrey

Goostrey St Luke.jpg

Parish History

Goostrey St Luke was created as a parish in 1724 from the chapelry of Goostrey cum Barnshaw within the ancient parish of  Sandbach St Mary, Cheshire.

The parish of Goostrey is first mentioned in the Domesday Book and a church or chapel was present by 1244. By 1617 a timber-framed chapel was present on the site which consisted of a nave and a chancel with a south aisle belonging to the Booths of Twemlow. In 1667 another south aisle was constructed for Edmund Jodrell and this was enlarged in 1711. In 1792 this chapel was demolished and the present church built between 1792 and 1796.

St Luke's Church, a Church of England church, was built before 1220, but it was not until 1350 that the mother church of Sandbach allowed burials here. The parishioners of Goostrey frequently found the way to Sandbach impassable because of floods and must have rejoiced when the five mile (8 km) journey across the Rivers Dane and Croco was no longer necessary. The old church was timber framed, as  Marton St. James,(near Congleton) Cheshire still is today, but all that remains from the Middle Ages of that church is the fifteenth century font.

It is possible that Goostrey was a meeting place or even a settlement during the 1st millennium BC, as stone and bronze axe heads and barrows within the parish boundary show the area was inhabited before the Iron Age. Bronze Age barrows have also been found near Twemlow Hall and Terra Nova School on the edge of the parish. The 1,200-year-old yew tree in Goostrey's churchyard suggests that the mound on which the church is built was a focal point for a community during the Dark Ages of the 1st millennium. At that time Cheshire was under the control of the Wreocensæte people of Mercia.

Goostrey first appears in recorded history with two entries in the Domesday Book of 1086, when most of the parish was held by William FitzNigel, Baron of Halton, and by Hugh de Mara, another follower of the Earl of Chester. Hugh FitzNorman gave much land in Goostrey to endow the new Abbey of Saint Werburgh in Chester in 1119, as did a later owner, Baron Hugh of Mold. Some land in the parish or nearby Twemlow was also given to help endow the Vale Royal Abbey, near Northwich.

The Parish of Goostrey-cum-Barnshaw remained ecclesiastical property until the 14th century, leased out at first and then managed by the abbey directly. Abbey records mostly relate to maintenance of ditches, mills and fish ponds and give a picture of a scatter of small farms set amongst woods and heath supplying wood, flour and fish to the great Chester Abbey, some later gifted to the new foundation of Vale Royal Abbey.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the land was purchased by the Mainwaring family of Over Peover and remained part of that family's estate until the 20th century. From the 17th century, farming techniques improved and farms became bigger and more prosperous. Dairy farming and particularly the Cheshire speciality, cheese, thrived, shielding the county from poor harvests and low prices. Goostrey became a centre for a comparatively well-to-do farming community


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 may be searched at Cheshire BMD

Registration Districts

Here is a list of registration districts that have included Goostry since 1837, with inclusion dates.

  • Crewe (1937–74)
  • Congleton and Crewe (1974–88)
  • South Cheshire (1988–98)
  • Cheshire East (post 1998)

Church Records

Goostrey parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials have been indexed by the following groups:

FS PR's =FamilySearch Parish Registers
FS BT's = FamilySearch Bishops Transcripts
Goodtrey (1561) Parish Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images





To find the names of the neighbouring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Goostry-with-Barnshaw is a chapelry in Sandbach parish. The following records of Goostry-with-Barnshaw are deposited at the Record Office:

  • Parish registers for, 1561-1964. CRO call number: P124/1/1-4, 2/1-2, 3/1-2, 4/1-2.
  • Bishop's transcripts, 1576-1860. CRO call no.: EDB 95.

The following records are microfilmed and are available at the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City:

Parish register content FHL Film #
Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1561-1900. Baptisms, 1813-1964. Burials, 1813-1949. 2093578

Bishop's transcripts content FHL Film #
Baptisms, burials, marriages 1576-1681 (with gaps)  1655672 Item 3
Marriages, 1681-1754, 1772-1839. Baptisms, burials, 1681-1860. 1655823 Item 1
Non-Conformist Churches

Goostrey, Methodist Chapel (Wesleyan). Built in 1875 and enlarged in 1930. Records are deposited at the Cheshire Record Office.

  • Minutes and accounts, 1875-1975, 3 volumes. CRO Document Reference EMS 186.

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.

Probate records

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

Poor Law Unions

Maps and Gazetteers

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

Web sites


Richards, Raymond (1947), Old Cheshire Churches, London: Batsford, pp. 165–167