Upton in Overchurch, Cheshire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Cheshire Gotoarrow.png Cheshire Parishes Gotoarrow.png Upton in Overchurch

Parish History

Upton (Overchurch), St. Mary is the ancient parish church for Upton by Birkenhead in the Wirral Hundred of Cheshire.

Upton was originally settled as a farming community, during the Anglo-Saxon period. In Norman times, Upton was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Optone and was written as being in the possession of William Mallbank. Upton was the primary economic centre of northern Wirral until the industrial development of Birkenhead during the mid-19th century. The main thoroughfare of the village was also the place of a weekly market. Fairs were also held in the village at Michaelmas and Easter.

A Runestone was discovered in the ruins of Upton's Norman parish church in Overchurch. The stone is now kept at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester.

In 1847, William Williams Mortimer said of Upton in his History of the Hundred of Wirral:

"..though now only a small village, Upton was formerly considered the metropolis of the lower mediety of Wirral, and had two annual fairs of considerable importance, and also a weekly market that was discontinued in 1620, the village having been recently almost entirely rebuilt, contains several good houses, among which may be particularly mentioned Upton Hall..."

A major contributor to the village was William Inman, owner of the Inman Line, who donated money for the construction of St. Mary's Church. Inman resided at Upton Manor, within the grounds of Upton Park.

Upton was a township and parish in the Wirral Hundred, which included the nearby hamlet of Overchurch. Its population was 141 in 1801, 227 in 1851 and 788 in 1901.

There is evidence of a church building at Overchurch from about 600 AD. A Runic Stone was discoverd at Overchurch dating between 700-900 AD. The stone invited people to 'pray for Aethelmund'.

There followed a Norman church which was damaged by storms and destroyed by a fire in 1813.

A small chapel existed on Greenbank for a few years before the accerating growth of population prompted the need for a larger church building.

For many centuries, Upton was a traditional Cheshire village of dairy farmers, artisans and labourers. Their lives were dominated through the years by absentee landowners. This changed in 1800 when Upton Hall was rebuilt. Major changes in land ownership from the 1854 resulted in the building of several large mansions for Liverpool ship owners and merchants. The largest, Upton Manor, had a model farm and estate. Its owner, William Inman, a noted Christian philanthropist, transformed the village and its economic life.

Having bought the patronage of St Mary's, Inman appointed a new vicar and was elected as a churchwarden in 1859. The number of Protestants in Upton had been growing steadily and the existing church, at the west end of the village, was not only too small but needed repairing.

William Inman became the prime mover and financier in building a new church in 1868  at the east end of the village on the site of a small farm. This is the present St.Mary's church.

Today,  the church has the same exterior appearance as it had at its consecration apart from the loss of four pinnacles on the original tower, and the addition of a clock with two faces on the tower. 


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.

Registration Districts
  • Wirral (1837–1937)

Church records

Upton in Overchurch 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
Upton in Overchurch 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.

Upton (Overchurch), St. Mary (C of E). The ancient parish church for the township of Upton. Registers of Baptisms 1759–1936, Marriages 1755–1941 and Burials 1759–1837 have been deposited at the Cheshire Record Office, where Bishop's Transcripts survive from 1600. Microfilm copy of originals at the Cheshire Record Office in Chester, England. Upton parish is also known as Overchurch.Cheshire Record Office call number: P155/1, 2/1-2, 3/1-5, 4.

Parish register content FHL Film
Burials, 1755-1812. Baptisms, 1755-1936. Marriages, 1755-1920. BRITISH 2105378 Items 11 - 15
Marriages, 1921-1941. Burials, 1813-1937. BRITISH 2105391 Items 1 - 4

Bishop's transcripts for Upton, 1600-1892

Bishop's transcripts content FHL Film
Baptisms, marriages, burials, 1600, 1609-1610, 1613, 1615, 1617-1625, 1634-1635, 1656, 1667-1672, 1674-1676, 1680, 1682, 1684, 1691, 1694, 1699-1702, 1711, 1714, 1716, 1719-1724, 1726-1737, 1741, 1744, 1746-1747, 1749-1750, 1752-1754, 1756, 1759, 1762-1781, 1783-1789, 1791-1814, 1825-1831, 1833-1834. Baptisms, 1835, 1836, 1837-1838, 1851, 1845-1849, 1868-1871, 1873-1892. Burials, 1836, 1869-1872. BRITISH 1751485 Item 2

Non-Conformist Churches
  •  Upton, St. Joseph (Roman Catholic). Founded 1863.
  •  Upton, Presbyterian Church, Ford Road. Built in 1898.

Non-Conformist Records:

Church records of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Upton, 1914-1940 Microfilm copy of originals at the Cheshire Record Office in Chester, England. Cheshire Record Office call no.: ERC 28/5473/1. Mostly Latin.

Baptisms, 1914-1940. VAULT BRITISH Film 2197776 Item 2

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

  • Wirral

Maps and Gazetteers

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

Web sites


"Set upon a hill- The story of St.Mary's Church and Parish, Upton, Wirral"by Robert Pullen and Kenneth Burnley.

Eaton Press Ltd, Wallasey, Wirral.