Sefton, Lancashire Genealogy
Sefton is a village and civil parish in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton in Merseyside, England. Located to the south west of Maghull and to the north east of Great Crosby, it is on the flood plain of the River Alt. Historically a part of Lancashire, the name Sefton is thought to be derived from the Old Norse sef, meaning "sedge" or "rushes" and tún meaning "farmstead". In the past Sephton was an alternative spelling.
The Parish Church of St Helen (Church of England) - the only Grade I listed building in the Borough - was first built around 1170 as the private chapel of the Molyneux family.
St Helen's has gained recognition for its extensive carved Tudor woodwork, which Pollard and Pevsner describe as the "great glory of the church", and for its inclusion in Simon Jenkins' book, England’s Thousand Best Churches, and Clifton-Taylor's list of 'best' English parish churches.
A small, decorated chapel in the Norman architectural style is known to have existed by 1291, when the building's worth was estimated at £26 19s 4d in the Valor of Pope Nicholas IV. No part of this original chapel exists today, however during building works at the East Window in the early 2000s, substantial Norman floor tiles were discovered and are now displayed in the Lady Chapel.
By 1320, the original building had been completely removed and replaced with a more contemporary Decorated Gothic structure, which incorporated a small nave with pointed, geometric tracery windows and pitched roofline. A West tower with angle buttresses, a cornice and parapet with beehive-shaped pinnacles and distinctive tall spire was also built adjoining it. The spire was partially rebuilt following damage by severe gales in 1802.
The church has been extensively renovated in ensuing centuries.
"SEFTON St Helen, a parish, in the union and hundred of West Derby, S. division of Lancashire; containing, with the townships of Aintree, Great and Little Crosby, Ince-Blundell, Litherland, Lunt, Netherton, Orrell with Ford, and Thornton, 7 miles north of Liverpool. The parish extends seven miles in length and four in width. At Great Crosby, Seaforth, and Waterloo are separate district chapels; and the Roman Catholics have chapels" in several places within the boundary of this civil parish.
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 http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/
Sefton parish registers and those registers of all of its smaller chapelries lying within its boundaries have been mostly transcribed and are displayed online at the following web sites and ranges of years:
|AC = Ancestry.co.uk (£)|
|FMP = FindMyPast.co.uk (£)|
|FREG = FreeReg|
|FS = FamilySearch.org|
|JOIN = Joiner's Marriage Index (£)|
|LBMD = LancashireBMD.org.uk|
|LOPC = Lancashire Online Parish Clerk|
|SEFTON ST HELEN PARISH (1597) Indexes|
|FS||1598-1855||1600-1603, 1616-1642, 1659-1840||1783-1899|
|LOPC||1597-1780, 1783-1856||1600-1783, 1813-1884||1783-1899|
|GREAT CROSBY ST LUKE Chapelry (1749) Indexes|
|SEAFORTH ST THOMAS Chapelry (1839) Indexes|
|FS|| 1855-1859, 1873-1877
|WATERLOO CHRIST CHURCH Chapelry (1***) Indexes|
The Lancashire Record Office at Bow Lane, Preston PR2 1RE, holds the original parish registers in its vast collections. Contact their website for contact information.
The Family History Library has microfilmed the parish registers and Bishop's transcripts of _____ parish for the years ____-____. These films are available for ordering/circulating and researching at any one of its satellite FamilySearch Centers worldwide.
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
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.
Salter, Mark (2005), The Old Parish Churches of Lancashire, Malvern: Folly, pp. 72–73, ISBN 1 871731 69 0
Pollard, Richard; Nikolaus Pevsner (2006), The Buildings of England: Lancashire: Liverpool and the South-West, New Haven & London: Yale University Press, pp. 580–584, ISBN 0 300 10910 5
Clifton-Taylor, Alec (1974), English Parish Churches as Work of Art, London: Batsford, p. 246, ISBN 0 7134 2776 0
| This section requires expansion with:
any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above..
- A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis (1848), pp. 44-48. Adapted. Date accessed: 21 July 2010.