Lancaster, Lancashire Genealogy

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Guide to Lancaster, Lancashire history, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Lancaster Town Hall.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

Lancashire Rose, the flag of Lancashire
Lancaster coat of arms
Location of Lancashire in England

Lancaster is an ancient city in Northwest England, and the County Town of the county of Lancashire. It is situated on the River Lune and has a population of almost 50,000. It was a settlement and town first recorded in the Domesday Book as "Loncastre" with the word Lon relating back to the River Lune on whose bank it is located. Castre is from the old English and Roman words referring to a fort.

Roman Era[edit | edit source]

During the Roman era of British history, the Romans built a fort on the hill where Lancaster Castle now stands. The fort was rebuilt in stone around 102 AD. The fort underwent a few more extensions, and at its largest area it was 9–10 acres (4–4 ha). The evidence suggests that the fort remained active into the early 5th century, which was the end of the Roman occupation of Britain.

Little is known about Lancaster between the end of Roman rule in Britain in the early 5th century and the Norman Conquest in the late 11th century. Despite a lack of documentation from this period, it is likely that Lancaster was still inhabited. Lancaster was on the fringes of the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria, and over time control may have changed from one to the other. Archaeological evidence suggests that there was a monastery on or near the site of today's Lancaster Priory by the 700s or 800s.

Medieval Lancaster[edit | edit source]

Following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Lancaster fell under the control of William I, as stated in the Domesday Book of 1086, which is the earliest known mention of Lancaster in any document. The founding charter of the Priory, dated 1094, is the first known document which is specific to Lancaster.

Lancaster became a borough in 1193 under King Richard I. Its first charter, dated 12 June 1193, was from John, Count of Mortain, who later became King of England.

Lancaster has several unique ties to the British monarchy; the House of Lancaster was a branch of the English royal family, whilst the Duchy of Lancaster holds large estates on behalf of Elizabeth II, who herself is also the Duke of Lancaster in her capacity as monarch. Lancaster was granted city status in 1937 for its "long association with the crown" and because it was "the county town of the King's Duchy of Lancaster".

Modern Lancaster[edit | edit source]

Because the River Lune is not a large or deep river, Lancaster was never able to build itself up as a maritime city, similar to Liverpool, Hull, or even London. As vessels grew in size, the river just could not accommodate them and consequently trade moved to other areas.

Thus Lancaster became primarily a service-oriented city. Products of Lancaster include animal feed, textiles, chemicals, livestock, paper, synthetic fibers, farm machinery, articulated trailers and mineral fibers. In recent years, a high technology sector has emerged, as a result of Information Technology and Communications companies investing in the city.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]

Below is the website that contains cemetery information for non-parish churches in Lancaster.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

The following website lists all the parishes for the Lancaster District, including contact persons, addresses, and phone numbers:

Nonconformists[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of other churches in Lancaster:

  • Baptist
  • Buddhist
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Evangelical Christian
  • Muslim
  • Moorland Christian church
  • Trinity Church

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Civil registration is the recording of births, marriages and deaths in England and began in 1837. Civil registration records were recorded at the local registration office and the National registration offices. If you cannot find the civil registration in one index, search the other index as they are different indexes.

Local History[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Occupations[edit | edit source]

Lancaster is not known as a major source for employment. The University and local and county councils provide a modicum of employment opportunities, but the area is known mainly as an agrarian locale. BAE, the UK military and Defense Corporation, does have a large facility here.

Societies[edit | edit source]

Lancaster and District Family History Group

Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society

Lancaster and Morecambe Branch Lothersdale Hotel
320 Marine Road Central

Archives[edit | edit source]

Lancashire Record Office PO Box 78,
County Hall,
Preston, Lancashire, PR1 8XJ

Lancaster Central office of the National Archives Market Square
Lancaster, England LA1 1HY

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia contributors, "Lancaster, Lancashire" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Lancashire accessed 23 - 29 August, 2016

Lancaster City Council, accessed 26 - 29 August, 2016