St. Martin's, Shropshire Genealogy
In 1848 - MARTIN, ST., a parish, in the hundred of Oswestry, N. division of Shropshire, ½ a mile (E. by S.) from Chirk. The ancient parish of St. Martin's was made up of the townships of Ifton, Bronygarth and Weston Rhyn. Each of these townships bordered Wales, with the River Ceiriog and the River Dee forming the border. However, in 1870 the townships of Weston Rhyn and Bronygarth were formed into the new parish of Weston Rhyn. Chirk.
Although predominantly an agricultural area, coal was mined in St Martin's for several centuries. The collieries at Ifton, Chirk Bank, Quinta, Trehowell, Moreton Hall and Preesgweene were, geologically, an extension of the Denbighshire coalfield. Coal production ceased in the area with the closure of the last remaining colliery in the area at Ifton in 1968. Ifton was the largest colliery in Shropshire and its workings crossed the border into Wales, linking up to the coal seams of the former collieries at Brynkinallt and Black Park.
Around the 16th century, a bridge was built across the River Ceiriog at Pontfaen as part of the Chester to Cardiff highway. Later the A5, the London-Shrewsbury-Holyhead trunk road was constructed by Thomas Telford through the parish of St Martin's, crossing into Wales via the bridge at Chirk Bank.
In the 19th century a canal was constructed through St Martin's Moor by Thomas Telford linking the industrial areas around Ruabon to the canal network. This now forms part of the Llangollen Canal.
By 1848 the Chester to Ruabon railway line had been extended south to Shrewsbury, but only one station, Preesgweene (later known as Weston Rhyn), was built in St Martin's parish. Later however, branch lines were built to link the collieries in the area to the main rail network.
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.
The parish of St Martin's formed part of the Oswestry Registrar's District.
The following records are available on the IGI:
Bishop's transcripts held at Lichfield Record Office Bap 1663-1841 Marr 1663-1837 Bur 1663-1841
Nonconformist Church Records
The parish of St Martin's formed a sub-district of the Oswestry Registration District and any entries for births, marriages or deaths from 1837 in St Martin's will appear as Oswestry in the GRO Indexes.
- C Neville Hurdsman, "A History of the Parishes of St Martin's & Weston Rhyn", 2003, ISBN:9781844940042
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 266-269. Date accessed: 05 July 2012.