Manchester, Lancashire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Manchester

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

Welcome to the Manchester page
Manchester ship canal.jpg
Coat of arms of Manchester
Location of Manchester in England
Manchester Montage

HISTORY[edit | edit source]

While the locale of Manchester is quite old, its status as a city, and one of the premier cities of England at that, occurred relatively late in time.

The recorded history of Manchester began with the civilian settlement associated with the Roman fort of Mamucium. The Roman fort was established around AD 79 on a sandstone bluff near the confluence of the rivers Medlock and Irwell. This name has continued, with the local residents still being called Mancunians.

Throughout the Middle Ages Manchester remained a manorial township but began to expand "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century. Manchester's unplanned urbanization was brought on by a boom in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution, and resulted in it becoming the world's first industrialized city.

The Peterloo Massacre in 1819 and establishment of the Anti-Corn Law League in 1838 elevated Manchester's importance which eventually culminated in city status in 1853 – thus becoming the first new British city in over 300 years and cementing Manchester's position as the world's first industrial city.

During the same period, the building of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 (see the picture above) established Manchester as an inland port, and the building of world's first railway (from Liverpool to Manchester) resulted in rapid growth for the city itself, and its environs.

Manchester became the hub for the manufacturing region around, with cotton weaving being king.

LOCATION[edit | edit source]

Manchester lies in a bowl-shaped land area bordered to the north and east by the Pennines, a mountain chain that runs the length of northern England, and to the south by the Cheshire Plain.

Manchester is 35.0 miles (56.3 km) north-east of Liverpool and 35.0 miles (56.3 km) south-west of Sheffield, making the city the halfway point between the two. Much of the inner city, especially in the south, is flat, offering extensive views from many highrise buildings in the city of the foothills and moors of the Pennines. This feature of the terrain made for easy and rapid building as the city developed.

Manchester's geographic features were highly influential in its early development as the world's first industrial city

RELIGION[edit | edit source]

Manchester is not known for any outstanding activities relative to religion. Since the Norman conquest, the area has been considered basically Christian, and as such, initially followed the church of Rome until the dissolution initiated by Henry VIII.

Thomas de la Warre, lord of the manor, founded and constructed a collegiate church for the parish in 1421. The church has since been rebuilt, and is now Manchester Cathedral; the domestic premises of the college house Chetham's School of Music and Chetham's Library

INDUSTRY[edit | edit source]

On the canal's banks, just outside the borough, the world's first industrial estate was created at Trafford Park. Large quantities of machinery, including cotton processing plant, were exported around the world. All this was expedited by the construction of the ship canal and the railway.

Heavy industry suffered a downturn from the 1960s and was greatly reduced under the economic policies followed by Margaret Thatcher's government after 1979. Manchester lost 150,000 jobs in manufacturing between 1961 and 1983. However the city continued to develop, and new sources of revenue were found.

The first Trades Union Congress was held in Manchester (at the Mechanics' Institute, David Street), from 2 to 6 June 1868. Manchester was an important cradle of the Labour Party and the Suffragette Movement. In fact, Manchester, together with Liverpool, has always been a center for left wing politics, including a large communist leaning segment.

CEMETERIES[edit | edit source]

Greater Manchester cemeteries

St Joseph's cemetery

Southern Cemetery

Phillips Park

Gorton Cemetery

Mill Lane Cemetery


Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society

City of Manchester, Tracing your History

Manchester Genuki

Manchester Archives