Much Woolton, Lancashire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Gotoarrow.png Lancashire Parishes

Chapelry History

Much Woolton was created as a chapelry in 1827 from, and lying within the boundaries of Childwall, Lancashire Ancient Parish in the Prescot deanery of the Diocese of Chester.

Other places in the parish include: Thingwell [ Thingwall].

In 1826 a chapel was built on a site a little below the present building. Holding around 200 people the church was built of the locally quarried sandstone. The population of Woolton village grew steadily in the 19th century and the church was felt to be too small. The church records indicate that the building was somewhat of an eyesore and built “in the worst style of British church architecture”. By 1885 matters came to a head and it was decided that a new church should be built.

A number of wealthy merchants had moved into Woolton by this time and they agreed to support the building of the new church. The foundation stone was laid in 1886 and it opened for worship on 31st the following year. The old church was taken down stone by stone and reassembled in the Toxteth district of Liverpool. The new church was built from local sandstone in the so-called perpendicular style developed in the late 15th century.

The 90-ft high bell tower contains 8 bells and is the highest point in Liverpool with commanding views of Lancashire, Cheshire and the Welsh hills.

The modern parish of Much Woolton St Peter is in the Diocese of Liverpool.

"WOOLTON, MUCH, a chapelry, in the parish of Childwall, union of Prescot, hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire, 6 miles east by southeast from Liverpool This place consisted of a Roman Catholic chapel, built more than in early to mid-18th Century.

The Wesleyans have a place of worship here."[1]

The Beatles connection

"Almost certainly the most important meeting in popular music history” is how the first meeting of John Lennon and Paul McCartney has recently been described. The meeting took place at St Peter’s Church Hall on the evening of Saturday, 6th July 1957
Whilst waiting to play at the church dance that night, John Lennon and the other members of the Quarrymen Skiffle Group were introduced to the young Paul McCartney by a mutual friend.

Although Paul McCartney has denied any association with the Eleanor Rigby of the song, the headstone of Eleanor Rigby can be found in the graveyard of St Peter.

Eleanor Rigby gravestone Woolton Lancashire.jpg

As with many of McCartney's songs, the melody and first line of the song came to him as he was playing around on his piano. The name that came to him, though, was not Eleanor Rigby but Miss Daisy Hawkins. In 1966, McCartney recalled how he got the idea for his song:

.“ I was sitting at the piano when I thought of it. The first few bars just came to me, and I got this name in my head... 'Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church'. I don't know why. I couldn't think of much more so I put it away for a day. Then the name Father McCartney came to me, and all the lonely people. But I thought that people would think it was supposed to be about my Dad sitting knitting his socks. Dad's a happy lad. So I went through the telephone book and I got the name McKenzie. ”

Others believe that Father McKenzie refers to 'Father' Tommy McKenzie, who was the compere at Northwich Memorial Hall.

McCartney said he came up with the name Eleanor from actress Eleanor Bron, who had starred with The Beatles in the film Help!. Rigby came from the name of a store in Bristol, Rigby & Evens Ltd, Wine & Spirit Shippers, that he noticed while seeing his then-girlfriend Jane Asher act in The Happiest Days Of Your Life. He recalled in 1984, "I just liked the name. I was looking for a name that sounded natural. Eleanor Rigby sounded natural."


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

  • Prescot

Church records

Online Records

Church of England

Much Woolton St Peter chapelry's registers of christenings, marriages and burials, along with those of the ancient parish of Childwall 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

WOOLTON ST PETER'S Chapelry  (1826) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1826-1889 1838-1904 1826-1901
LOPC None None None
LBMD 1837-1934 1837-1961 None
CHILDWALL ALL SAINTS(ancient parish containing WOOLTON ST PETER Chapelry)
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1557-1853 1557-1638, 1653-1838 None
LOPC 1557-1753 1557-1638, 1653-1753 1653-1728
LBMD None 1837-1963 None
AC 1557-1753 1557-1753 1557-1753

For a full list of all those chapels surrounding Much Woolton St Peter and comprising the whole ancient parish of Childwall to which it was attached, be certain to see "Church Records" on the CHILDWALL ALL SAINTS PARISH page.

Parish registers for Woolton, 1826-1904 Microfilm copy of original records housed at the Liverpool Record Office, Central Library, Liverpool.
Liverpool Record Office call no.: 283 WOO 2/1-3; 3/1; 4/1-3; 5/1.
Woolton is a chapelry in Childwall parish.

Baptisms, 1826-1889; Marriages, 1837-1904.
2147929 Items 4 - 7
Burials, 1839-1901; Banns, 1839-1890.
2147930 Items 1 - 4

Bishop's transcripts for Halewood, 1839-1871 Microfilm of original records at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston.
Includes records of Woolton.
Woolton is a chapelry in the parish of Childwall.

Baptisms 1839-1871 (Halewood); baptisms 1826-1874, burials 1830-1854 (Woolton).
1068855 Item 3

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

Prescot 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 forinformation about the parish and virtual tour of the church British History online


  1. A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 663-670. Adapted. Date accessed: 03 August 2010.