WARNING: The correct use of any parish data from this project requires initial reading of the GENERAL NOTES as well as of the specific PARISH NOTES.

ASHTON on MERSEY ST Martin, 1636-1871


The surviving parish register begins in 1636. For records from BTs beginning in 1606 select parish code ASHA in this database.

Volume 1 for 1636-1709 is mutilated, and damaged by water. Entries seem to have been entered on pages at random, so that date order is almost non existent in places. Some pages have been rebound out of order. It contains sometimes separate, sometimes mixed listings of events. There are gaps in the burial records for October 1640 to January 1640/41, and from 1646 to 1651. Entries for a Woodall family dated 1725 appear after 1662/09/20.
Volume 1 overlaps by date slightly with volume 2.

Volume 2 contains separate sequences of events for 1706-1731.
Between 1706 and1726 the transcribers noted that the bishops’ transcripts in general give more information than the parish registers

Volume 3, 1731-1783, contains separate sequences of events for Baptisms 1731-1779, Marriages 1731-1754, and Burials 1731-1783. The volume is entitled: ’Register of births marriages and deaths St Martin’s church Ashton-upon-Mersey, Cheshire’. For baptisms, the register order follows birth dates and not dates of baptisms. Some damage to the register obscures baptism dates after 1744.

Volume 4 has separate sequences, from opposite ends of the book, for baptisms from 1779 to 1812, and for burials from 1783 to 1812.

Registers of baptisms
Two registers of baptisms run from 1813 to 1838, and from 1838 to 1880.

Registers of Marriages
May 1754-1813, 1813 to 1837, and 1837 to 1883. There are no marriages for 1816.

Registers of burials
Two registers of burials run from 1813 to 1841, and from 1841 to 1890. The inside of the front cover of the volume beginning in 1813 contains a note of the appointment of the parish clerk and sexton, 18 November 1822.

BTs lacking
No parish register before 1638-1657, 1661-65 (but burial transcripts for 1663), 1667-1669 and 1671 baptisms, 1707, 1711 damaged, 1712, part 1713, 1714, 1717, 1718, 1749 damaged, 1752, 1753 (marriages) 1780 part

Anomalous entries

Uncertain whether 1719/10/17 Tomason, 1717/10/13 Ashton and Sharock, 1717/12/01 Royle, and 1717/12/25 Ashton are baptisms or burials

The transcribers note a number of marriage and burial records in the parish register not identified in the BTs:
1663/12/08 Leghe and Simson
1720/09/27 Moors and Ridgway
1721/12/17 Renshaw and Ashton
1722/04/21 Roylance and renshaw
1722/05/01 Davenporte and Moores
1722/05/04 Darbishire and Owen
1722/06/07 Redish and Rylance
1725/09/23 Kettel and Darbyshire
1725/09/25 Moors and Lee
1729/01/21 Royle and Hamnett
1729/11/15 Antrobus and Barlow
1731/04/29 Mainwaring and Malyn
1735/10/07 Darbeshire and Rdieway
1736/02/26 Pearson and Millto
1736/05/25 Royle and Lee
1739/03/06 Wooddow and Wooddow
1740/12/30 Nightingale and Laughton
1741/01/01 Darbeshire and Burgess
1756/04/20 Owen and Moores
1756/05/04 Robinson and Hampson
1780/03/08 Renshaw and Barker al. Richardson
1801/01/24 Holt and Smalley
1801/05/04 Kay and Mills
1637/06/06 Brereton
1683/03/01 Davenport
1672/02/06 Davis
1672/04/28 Wild
1708/07/13 Ottwell
1709/03/19 Basford
1710/02/11 Barlow
1711/02/26 Mayson
1717/10/13 Ashton
1726/09/21 Aldersley
1727/01/03 BLNK
1728/12/06 Barlow
1731/04/19 Deane
1731/10/03 Jackson
1740/05/30 Hampson
1755/05/11 Wright
1757/05/20 Doson
1771/01/12 Moor
1771/02/12 Holden
1771/02/17 Clough
1771/03/01 Renshaw
1771/04/13 Marsland
1771/05/23 Jackson
1791/11/25 Heywood

Records which appear only in the BTs
Ba 1666/12/14 (Royle) BT only
Ba 1667/03/03 (Mores) BT only
Ba 1666/04/11 (Baines) BT only
Ba 1666/04/15 (Holt) BT only
Ba 1666/04/27 (Hurlboard) BT only
Ba 1666/05/06 (Stretton) BT only
Ba 1666/05/10 (Miller) BT only
Ba 1666/06/08 (Owen) BT only
Ba 1710/07/23 (Robinson) BT only
Ba 1710/09/25 (Greatoricks) BT only
Ba 1727/03/02 (Williamson) BT only
Ba 1727/03/07 (Hamnett) BT only
Ba 1731/03/30 (Hall) BT only
Ma 1664/01/15 (Peirson and Bredbury) BT only
Ma 1664/01/15 (Parsons and Bredbury) BT only
Ma 1666/04/18 (Boulton and Gee) BT only
Ma 1666/10/10 (Moores and Dickinson) BT only
Ma 1668/10/01 (Reeves and Mather) BT only
Ma 1668/12/29 (Lindall and Deane) BT only
Ma 1726/12/30 (Moores and Owen) BT only
Ma 1774/01/04 (Goodyear and Lingert) BT only
Ma 1789/12/04 (Moore and Kelall) BT only
Bu 1666/12/04 (Lindall) BT only
Bu 1671/11/17 (Thomason) BT only
Bu 1701/10/07 (Cheshire) BT only
Bu 1711/02/26 (Greatrakes) BT only
Bu 1711/05/21 (Aptinstall) BT only
Bu 1711/05/27 (Mosse) BT only
Bu 1714/04/03 (Dickanson) BT only
Bu 1714/04/03 (Hole) BT only
Bu 1714/04/29 (Deane) BT only
Bu 1716/03/25 (Barlow) BT only
Bu 1716/05/21 (Massie) BT only
Bu 1716/06/07 (Kay) BT only
Bu 1720/04/17 (Awores) BT only
Bu 1720/01/24 (Fisher) BT only
Bu 1723/03/28 (Chorlton) BT only
Bu 1724/05/19 (Astles) BT only
Bu 1725/01/00 (Owen) BT only
Bu 1728/12/06 (Davenporte) BT only


Parish register volume 1, folio 3r
Mr Jonnsonne was chosen minister of the word of God at Ashtonne super Mersey the 1 June
Freely received by the consent of all the people of the parish of Ashtonn and not by virtue of any prelate or their zzz and was possessed by the right worshipful and truly honoured Sir William Brereton patrone of the same. And soe he preached the first of June being the first day of z z z yeare oif our Lord one thousand six hundered and forty-two.'

folio 7r
Whereas it dulie appearth unto mee, that the inhabitants howseholders of the parish of Ashton upon Mersey Bankes of the Countie of Chester chargeable to the relief of the poore Did upon the one and twentieth daie of September 1653 at the publique meeting appointed for the choosing of a Person to be Register of the said parish (in pursuance of a late Act of Parliament made touching marriages and the registeringe of all and also touchinge Birthes and Burrialls, then made choice of William Key of Ashton upon Mersey Banckes aforesaid z to be the aforesaid Register and to have the keepinge the Booke by the said Act of Parliament appointed to be provided. Therefoe I doe appove of the said choice and election of the said William Key for the purpose aforesaid and the said William Key upon the day of the date hereof was sworne befour mee to bee Register of the said Parish according to the tenor of the said Act of Parliament for z Witness whereof I (being one of the Justices of the Peace within the said County of Chester) have hereunto set hands att Ashley in the same Countie the 15 daie of March 1654'
Sig. Tho. Brereton’

folio 12v
’A memorandum that upon the three and twentieth day of August 1663 being the next Suinday after his induxion, Hugh Hobson, rector of the parish church of Ashton super Mersey Banck in the county and Diocese of Chester and then and ther read openly publickly the morning and evening prayers Apointed to be read accordinge to the boock of Common praier etc and after such reading thereof did openly and publickly befor the Congragtion there assembled declare his unfained assent consent to the use of all things in the said boock contained in these words and no other viz I Hugh Hobson do declare my unfained asent and consent to all and sundry thing contained and prescribed in by the boock entitled the boock of Common praier and Administrations of z z and other rites cerymonyes of the Church according to the use of the Church of England together with the psalter or sallms of davids pointed as they are to be said or sung in churches and the former manner of making ordaining and consecrating of bishops priests and deackons z and also did then and there read a certificate under the hand and seal of George the bishop of Chester of his subscription to the declaration and Allso did then and ther openly read the declaration itself in these words
I Hugh hobson do declare that it is not lawfull upon pretence whatsoever to take up armes against the King and that I doe abore traitorous posishion of taking Armes by his Atority against his person against those that are comisynated by him and that I will conforme to the Litegy of the Church of England as it is by law estabileshed and I doe declare that there bee no obligation upon me or any other person from that othe commonly called the Solemne Leag and Covynant to z or any z or z of Covynant othes in Church or state and that the same in itself was an unlawfull othe and imposed upon the subjects of the Rellm against the known laws and liberty of this Kingdom and also did then and there openly and plainly read and protest his full assent unto the nine and thirty Articles of the Church of England Witnes to all we whose names are subscribed
Edward Woodall, James Chorlton, churchwardens, John barrat, Edward Greatricks, William Key, John Newton, John Moss, John Key, James Moss, Richard Barton.’

folio 13 r
List of births of children of William Woodall of Ashton super Mersey 1682-1694, also of family of Devis, also of family of Moore
Entry deleted after BAs 1657/12/26 ZZZZ, and 1662/07/14 Pearson

Parish register volume 2
1706-1731, notes of affidavits [of burial in wool] give name of deceased, not noted here.
After 1725/04/29 ’Mr Hooper Minister of [illegible] and Liberary Keeper at Manchester preached at Ashton his text ... ’.
After 1725/05/20 ’Mr Cattell Minister at Manchester new church preached at Ashton his text in the forenoon was Romans 13 verse 8 and in the afternoone Mathew 20 verse 5.’
On back of the register of this date is written ’here lieth the body of Jane Hall of Ashton senior who was interred September 11 1727’.

Parish register volume 3
Notes of dates of annual visitations 1736-1759 in the burial register.

Parish register volume 4, front end paper,
’The colours belonging to the late Ashton-upon-Mersey and Sale Volunteer Corps commanded by John Moore Esq were received into the Church on Sunday the 26th day of May 1811 escorted by a company of Col. Silvester’s Royal Manchester Local Militia.’
On flysheet: ’John darbushire of Ashton shopkeeper died on 24 day of June 1804 in consequence of mixing Cantharides in the ale of which nine other persons partook with him at the Alehouse, most of whom were very ill, and some thought dangerously so. The Coroner’s inquest pronounced him to be buried in the public high road two hours after it was taken’.

From 1793 to 1872 entries contain payments made for a burial place. The suggestion has been made that these are events of people not of the parish. However, it may be relevant that the parish archives contain records relating to the extension of the churchyard, consecrated on 16 August 1799.

Clergy to 1830 [In [ ] supplied from Ormerod]

1642 Mr Johnson
1663-[1679] Hugh Robinson
[1679 Robert Browne]
1706 Thomas Ellison] 1
[1717]- 1729 Massey Malyn, buried 1729/11/03
1731-1757 Thos Whitaker
1767-1773 John Green
1774-1818 R. P. Johnson
1833- C. B. Sowerby

Assistant and Occasional clergy
1630 Thomas Brooke, curatus
1724 Robert Cheshire, minister
1755 Jno Baxter Minister of Stretford
1758 John Foster curate
1761 John Dauntesy curate
1764 John Darby curate
1774 Henry Jackson curate
1794-1812 John Foster curate [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1795 -1812 J. Sutcliffe [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1795-1812 John . Darbey [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1795-1812 Thomas Bland [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1795-1812 Ch . W. Ethelston [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1795-1812 Jos Brookes [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1795-1812 S. Stephenson [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1795-1812 Chris Sykes [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1795-1812 C. Johnson [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1795-1812 Samuel Gardener [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1795-1812 Thos Maddock [precise dates not in notes between 1795 and 1812]
1813-14 J. J. Allen
1813-15 S. Stephenson curate of Flixton
1813-21 R. Ridley
1814-17 T Hodson or Hodgson
1814 G. Smith
1815-37 J. Hunter, as curate 1823-1856
1816 J. Baldwin
1816-1825 H. B. Worthington
1823-27 Wm Keeling
1822- W. B. Guest Incumbent of High Leigh
1823-1827 R. Esdale
1823-1828 W Radcliffe
1826 R Bradley

[The transcribers’ note sheets stated that there were three wardens, one chosen by the people of Ashton, one by the rector, and a third by the village of Sale. No source is given for this statement. Gastrell’s Notitia says for c. 1720 (p. 311) that ’Dr Maylin chooses one among his Tenants at Sale, the other part of Sale a second, and the Rectour a third for Ashton’. Three names were not always given.]

1630 John Renshaw, James Renshaw, James Hollinpriest
1635 John Moares the elder, James Harday, James Kellesalle
1636 and 1637 James Moores, Hugh Barlow, Thomas Taylier
1638 William Holland, John Davies, Thomas Barlow
1655 William Pollitt, William Hindel, William Hankyeson
1656 Richard Carlton, John More of the Wall Bank, James Ottywell
1657 Joseph Smith, Roger Mores, Wuilliam Jacson
1658 Joseph Corenes, Thomas Devis, Henerie Barnes
1659 Robert Hurleboote, Thos Moores, William Davenport
1660 William Williamson, Christopher Deane, and ZZZ
1662 Thomas Moores, Tho Henshall, Thos Partington
1662 Edward Mason Richard zzzz
1663 Hamnitt Chorton, James Coulton, Edward Woodall
1664 James Hulbert, James Moss, Thomas Barlow
1767 and 1768 William Williamson, William Roylance, Edward Marsland
1769 John Davenport William Williamson
1770 John Davenport, William Williamson
1771 Robert Cheshire, James Dean (MK), John Ashton
1772 and 1773 Edward Greatorix, James Dean (MK)
1813-1815 John Goodier
1816 William Owen, Thomas Edwards, Josh Heap
1818 A. Higson, Thos Edwards.

Editorial contribution (not in PR)

The ancient parish of Ashton on Mersey lay on the northern boundary of Cheshire at the river Mersey. The parish comprised two townships: Ashton on Mersey and Sale. The township of Ashton on Mersey was divided in a complex intermingling of detached portions between this parish and the ancient parish of Bowdon. To the east the parish of Ashton on Mersey bounded on the ancient parish of Northenden, while to the south and west lay the ancient parish of Bowdon. The new ecclesiastical parishes of Sale St Anne (1856), and, partly from Sale St Anne, of Baguley St John in Lancashire (1868) were created in our period.

The population of Ashton on Mersey ancient parish can be estimated by the number of households in ecclesiastical ’censuses’ of 1563 (90 households or families), c.1720 (153), and in 1778 (150 houses). The sum of the households in the parish in the hearth tax of 1664 was 136. The population of the ancient parish in 1801 was 1,597 people, and 6,628 in 1871 (figures which included residents of the parts of Ashton on Mersey township in Bowdon parish). Whereas in 1801 the population of each township was, roughly, equal, in 1871 5,573 people lived in Sale which was attracting new residents from Manchester.

Previous transcriptions and monumental inscriptions

None in Cheshire Record Office


Colin Phillips compiled these notes from the information collected by transcribers and recorded with each transcription pad. Further information about the make-up of the register volumes came from the list in the Cheshire Record Office, which also provided some details of the evolution of the ancient parish. Extra detail on rectors came from G. Ormerod, The history of the County Palatine and City of Chester, ed. T. Helsby (3 vols; London, 1882), I, p. 562.

The population estimates were gathered as follows 1563: The diocesan population returns for 1563 and 1603, ed. A. D. Dyer and D. M. Palliser (British Academy: records of social and economic history, new series, vol. XXXI, 2005), p. 83, count of households; 1664: The National Archive, Exchequer, E. 179/86/145 (on microfilm), hearth tax returns; c. 1720 F. Gastrell, Notitia Cestriensis, ed. F. R .Raines, vol. I (Chetham Society, old series, VIII, 1845), p. 310; and 1778: Cheshire RO, Diocese of Chester, EDV/7/1 (on microfilm). For 1801 and 1871 see VCH Cheshire, vol. II, p. 203.) Further details on the evolution of the parish came from Guide to the local administrative units of England, Vol. II Northern England, ed. F.A. Youngs, Jr (1991), pp. 6, 7, 33. For the geography of Ashton on Mersey township, see the base map in A.D.M. Phillips and C. B. Phillips, A new historical atlas of Cheshire (Chester, 2002).

C.B. Phillips, 4 May 2011
BMD, Jan 2012