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.

NESTON St Mary and St Helen, 1559-1871


Register missing: 1675-1700

Register mixed to 1752, then Ba and Bu mixed to 1812. See General Notes.

Register misordered/gaps: Ma 1563-72 precedes 1559-62; pages misordered 1622-24; no entries Ba 1562/05/17-563/09/14, 1566/01/06, similarly Bu Ma. Possibly missing pages.

Commonwealth period: in the following order; 1649 Jan-June only; 1650 none; 1651 Jan-August only; 1661 certain months Pott family and Cook family only; 1662 25 March onwards; 1663 complete; 1664 January-May only; 1656 complete; 1657 Feb-Nov most months; 1658 June-July only; 1659 Aug-Mar only; 1660 Mar-Dec most months; 1651 July; 1664 May-Dec only. 1650-1661 baptisms of two families only, probably inserted together and later.

Hereafter up to 1752 the register is occasionally misordered, either by dates not entered chronologically, or by pages (perhaps by mis-binding). Misordering by dates of single entries or several contiguous entries occurs occasionally and irregularly up to 1871.

BT lacking: Whole year or large part (with smaller gaps in other years, and particularly of marriages omitted in some years after 1812): 1559-80, 1582-1586, 1588-1592, 1594-1603, 1606, 1608, 1611, 1613, 1616, 1625, 1628, 1619, 1631, 1633, 1635, 1637, 1640, 1643-1665, (1668, 1670, 1670 part illegible), 1671, 1687-1693, 1696-1700, 1740, 1746, 1841-1870. Note that the year recorded in a BT is the twelve months preceding the date of the preparation of the BT.

Anomalous entries

Bu 1577/02/21 The Mannyshe woman = Manx (and later entries)
Bu/Ba 1583/07/07 (Urmston) illegible letters after name, Bu or Ba
Ba 1585/10/16 (Whyte) entry has daughter
Ba 1584/1/21 Danam, correct to Dana + abbreviation mark
Ba 1591/08/07 Longe Tome, perhaps a nickname
Ma 1594/08/06 Danso has contraction sign = Danson
Bu 1596/12/17 Prento has contraction sign = Prenton
Bu 1597/12/28 Burdema has constraction sign = Burdeman
Bu 1598/01/15 name Dann has contraction line over final n, later entries of name similar
Bu 1604/09/16 (Barrowe) illegible word at end ??dronde = ?? drowned
Bu 1615/03/24 Danam, appearing thus elsewhere, or as Danham, has an intermediate contraction line, = ? Davenham
Ma 1625/02/08 (Davie) bride’s forename given as Samuell
Ma 1626/02/00 (Rabonn) partly illegible date, entered between 20 and 26 February
Bu/Ba 1638/04/01 (Dinsterfield) Bu in BT, Ba in PR
Bu 1639/12/18 (Hynde) resembles 1640/01/22, therefore first perhaps a Ba
Bu 1642/05/09 PR ‘Edward mason’ BT ‘Edward Ward mason’
Bu 1644/06/10 (Bennet) almost illegible
Bu/Ba 1644/07/08 (Momeley) ? or Ba
Bu/Ba 1644/11/00 (Hyggins) ? or Ba
Bu/Ba 1645/09/27 (Darky) ? or Ba
Ba 1648/08/20 (Lee) reads de Holt
Ba 1656/01/27 (two entries) not stated Ba or Bu but twins, therefore most likely Ba
Ma 1661/02/03 (Charnock) ? 1661/2 or 1662/3
Bu 1661/03/05 ( - ) ‘the same day’ as baptism
Bu 1661/10/20 (Gomler) the year date hidden, preceded by 1658, followed by 1661
Ba/Bu 1665/08/17 (Burscoe) illegible signals, ? or Bu
Bu/Ba 1670/11/16 (Milner) ? Bu or Ba
Bu/Ba 1671/11/00 (Yoxson) ? Bu or Ba
Bu/Ba 1672/02/00 (Cooke) ? Bu or Ba
Bu/Ba 1672/02/17 (Carter) ? Bu or Ba
Ba 1672/08/11 (Bowers) entered as Bu in BT
Ba 1672/10/08 (Walley) ? ‘An infant’ or ‘An[ne,] infant’
Ba 1677/03/00 (Warton) still born ‘C’ = christened
Bu 1685/03/24 (Danan) with ‘C’ but already baptized 1683/08/15
Ba 1696/01/06 (Duke) Richard written over William crossed out
Bu 1700/08/27 (Langley) ADM added = ? administration
Bu 1700/10/09 (Hinks) ADM added = ? administration
Bu 1701/12/05 (Matthews) same details as 1701/12/22
Ba 1701/01/11 Hamond may include an abbreviation mark = Hammond
Ba 1701/06/29 (Cranshaw) In the PR the child’s name formed part of an erased and altered entry but was not itself erased - see 1701/06/30
Ba 1703/05/23 (Hughes) hereafter ‘PR’ (transcribed in AI) is regularly added = ? pauper
Ba 1707/02/14 (Lace) Hargreaves, a detached part of Little Neston, not Hargrave in Tarvin
Bu 1708/03/31 (Griffith) date given as ‘last day of March’
Bu 1708/03/26 (Worrall) same details as 1708/03/28
Bu/Ba 1708/04/28 (Worrall) ? Bu or Ba
Ba 1708/09/22-708/10/10 N.B. a damaged page, with forenames lost - in error inserted from an earlier transcript by B.H. Chorley, presumably made when the page was less damaged - accept with caution
Bu 1714/03/25 to 1714/04/26 all these entries appear twice in BT
Ba 1717/12/31 (Briscoe) at end of entry, added JAMES SON
Ba 1720/08/28 (Kemp) Bu in BT
Ba 1735/01/26 (Renshaw) Bu in BT
Ma 1738/08/01 deleted ‘John Lloyd Mariner, Anne [zz], both NESG, by Lycence’
Ma 1745/08/22 (Mealor) in PR. but not BT, Sidebottom inserted above Sidless
Ba 1750/09/02 (Yardsley) a later mark X perhaps indicating that this should be a Bu
Ma 1752/11/30 onwards ‘Banns according to Law’
Ba 1753/02/04 (Watson) Bu in BT

Bu 1753-1754 N.B. Occasional Bu entries give ‘&c’ in a surname cell which has been interpreted as ‘etc’ and therefore equivalent to ‘ditto’, hence, from a previous but not immediately previous entry giving the other relevant details the missing detail(s) has/have been inserted. This mostly occurs in a mixed register where e.g. the baptism and almost immediate burial of either the child or its mother has been entered in the register but with intervening entries.

Bu 1755/03/28 (Humphries) husband and wife in same entry
Ba 1756/09/18 (Briscoe) B for illegitimacy erased in BT
Ba 1756/10/09 (Sylwood) B for illegitimacy erased in BT
Bu 1760/02/05 (Okel[l]) the entry appears twice
Bu 1760/08/31 (Waring) Ba in BT
Bu 1761/05/04 (Norman) squeezed in
Bu 1761/12/27 (Downey) apparently duplicated in 1761/11/14
Bu 1762/01/13 (Rice) daughter and son in same entry
Bu 1768/09/18 (Anderton) not in PR, BT only
Ma 1771/05/14 (Glover) banns dated after marriage
Ma 1787/10/16 (Spence) in PR entry crossed out, partly illegible
Ba 1790/11/12 (Lee) the sign on left normally indicates a Bu
Bu 1791/01/19 (Browsworth) age given as 184
Bu 1794/12/14 (Templeton) blot over forename
Bu 1797/09/07 (Lightbord) inserted ‘Not only an honest miller but allowed to be so’
Bu 1809/08/01 (Latham) BT gives Ba
Ba 1825/08/12 (Larden) entry crossed out, added ‘Registered before when privately baptized’ = 1825/05/24
Bu 1834 vicar adds annual totals of burials
Ba 1834/03/30 (T. Jones) Esther ‘son of’ also in BT, repeated in Ba 1850/08/18
Ba 1835/02/12 (Wilkinson) entered within 1847 entries
Bu after 1845/01/17 ‘62 funerals in 1844’, corresponding calculation appears annually until 1852
Bu 1848/05/08 (Finney) margin of PR gives age as 90
Bu 1851/03/27 (Williams) ‘House of Industry’ overwritten by ‘Clatterbridge Workhouse’
Ba 1854/10/01 (Spikens) in pencil Piking
Ba 1860/12/06 (Josling?) entry in pencil, incomplete
Ba 1865/08/06 (Kendrick) this and next four entries inserted within December, and noted ‘Omitted in August’
Ba 1866/05/06 (Williams) long signed and witnessed statement to effect that ‘James Edgar was really baptized in the name of William Edgar’

Clergy and Churchwardens

Clergy 1559-1600 ‘Thomas Betson Clark’ i.e. Thomas Betson (signature on his annual totals Ba Bu Ma 1560-1600); during 1700 ‘Read [by] Peter Morrrey vicar’;

N.B. The following dates are given as regularly recorded on almost each page, and as transcribed, but are not necessarily the full period of service. The names of clergy serving on odd single occasions are not listed.

1722-3 J. Mapletoft vicar
1811-1832 Thomas Ward
1832-1837 Unwin Clarke
1847-1853 Robert Yarker
1853-1871 R.W. Gleadowe.

1724 Richard Hathornthwaite curate 1725-1760 John Urmson
1760-1773 Griffith Gardner
1779-1811 Richard Carter.

N.B. Hereafter curates tended to serve individually for only a few years each, and the listing of curates for the Parish Notes has been abandoned.

1722-3 Samuel Hayes, William Hayes;
1723 Thomas Phillips and William Davison;
1723 Henry Wolstenholm;
1724 Ralph Bellin;
1725 Thomas Bollard, William Willson;
1726 William Young, Theodore Cottingham;
1726-7 Samuel Betson, John Hudson;
1728 John Matthews, John Briscoe;
1729 Benjamin Norman, John Charnock;
1730 Joseph Pemberton, John Peel;
1731-2 Charles Elrington, William Robinson;
1733-4 John Evans, Hugh Bennett;
1734 John Jones, John Taylor;
1735 Thos Whitehead, Thomas Cross;
1736 James Wolstenholme, William Miller;
1737 Saml Ansdell, Thos Asbrook;
1738 Thos Whittell, Richard Vernon;
1738 Lemuel Gladwin, Jonathan Hill;
1740 Josh Ryland, John Wolstenholme;
1741 Percy Frimston, Saml Parry;
1742 Jno Brock, Samuel Ellaby;
1743 John Jones, William Vernon;
1744 Wm Clutton, John Hancock;
1745 John Caterer(?), John Woodcock;
1745-6 Thomas Lake, David Jackson;
1746-7 Joseph Johnson, Thos Moore;
1747-8 Saml Bradburn, Thos Briscoe;
1748-9 Timothy Cowler, Danial Briscoe;
1749 Joseph Hayes, Rob Prenton;
1750-1 Wm Davies, John Chalton;
1751-2 Willm Robinson, George Irlam;
1752-3 Thos Sands, Daniel Wilkinson;
1753 Roger Lloyd, Geo Bushell;
1754-5 Joseph Harrison, Ralph Hancock;
1755-6 Charles Howard, Thos Ashbrooke;
1756-7 Joseph Pemberton, John Jones;
1757-8 Thos Harrison, William Johnson;
1758-9 John Littler, Samuel Williamson jnr;
1759 John Edge, Edward Richardson;
1760-1 Willm Banks, Danl Barrow;
1761-2 Saml Jones, John Gentry;
1762 John Whitte, Willm Briscoe;
1763 John Dondall, John Parr;
1764-5 Edwd Bennett, John Hodgson;
1765-6 John Jones, Phineas Pearson;
1776-7 William Coventry, Samuel Ellaby;
1767-8 Thos Geartry, Wm Cook;
1768 Hugh Johnson, Wm Johnson;
1769-70 Thos Jones, Hugh Bennet;
1770-1 John Richards, William Sparks;
1771-3 John Hodson, John Bellin;
1779-80 John Hancock, Thomas Bennet;
1780-1 William Johnson, John Williams;
1781-2 Edward Lyon, Jonathan Bedson;
1782-3 Richard Jackson, Frans Sugars;
1783-4 John Watmough, Joseph Bushell;
1784-5 Jos Wheatley, William Lee;
1785-6 J. Whittle, John Leathem;
1786-7 Samuel Joynson [his mark], Joseph Mason;
1797-8 Thos Cottingham, Jonathan Bedson;
1788-9 Thos Jones, Thos Walker;
1789-90 Wm Johnson, Thos Johnson;
1790-1 John Kelsall, James Maddock;
1792 Joshua Small, Jonathan Bedson;
1792-4 John Williams, William Cooke;
1794-5 John Williams, Arthur Wilkinson;
1795 John Williams, Edward Kelly;
a gap with no names;
1811-2 Charles Hancock, Wm Huntington;
1812 Wm Harris.


1560-1600 annual totals inserted by minister

Bu c.1570 Ba inserted in left-hand margin of an undefined event probably = Bastard (e.g. Bu 1574/05/06, which would otherwise be a Ba), but when with named father probably = ‘Baptised’

Bu 1665/03/14 after entry, ‘The sicknes I trust in God is now of [illegible] stayed amongest us blessed be God’

Bu 1665/12/10 after entry, ‘The plague ceased thanks be unto God’

Mixed 1704/04/28, 1704/04/23, after entries ‘Tho Davies surveyor’, ‘Exd Tho Davies Surveyor’

Mixed 1706/05/02, after entry ‘Exd by H. Lockwood’

Surnames to 1752 often abbreviated and with an extension mark. N.B. 1730s-1750s the curate used a colon : as an extension mark, not transcribed. Thus Eliza (i.e. Eliza:) = Elizabeth.

Editorial contribution (not in PR): Neston parish history

Situated on Deeside, before the mid nineteenth century the largest parish in Wirral, its neighbours being to NW Heswall, to west Bebington, Bromborough, Eastham, to SE Burton. Parish church of St Mary and St Helen, recorded from 1170. Ancient townships of Great Neston, Little Neston, Willaston, Raby, Ness, Leighton, Thornton Hough, Ledsham. The ecclesiastical parish of Willaston (a separate entry in this database) was created out of Neston ancient parish in 1865 comprising parts of the townships of Willaston and Raby, an additional but unspecified part of the parish of Neston, and the township of Thornton Hough. When Willaston parish was reconstructed in 1869 at the creation of the parish of Thornton Hough, there was no further change to Neston. (Note that Raby contained three detached parts of the township of Little Neston cum Hargrave).

Population: 1563-1778 c.600 increasing to c.2,000 (deduced from hearth tax and ecclesiastical census returns: 1563 143, 1664 225, c.1720 299, 1778 400); census 1801 Neston town 1,500, the largest town in Wirral at that date. Growth as port after River Dee silts up below Chester, first located at Neston then at Parkgate from c.1600 to c.1850. Also market and coaching centre. Hence early registers note mariners, travellers and soldiers passing through to Ireland.

P.E.H. Hair, 22 Sep 2000
BMD, Sep 2009
BMD, May 2011
BMD, Jan 2012