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Preston St John, Lancashire Genealogy

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England go to Lancashire go to Lancashire Parishes

See a "Comprehensive List of Preston Parish's Chapelries"

Preston StJohnTheEvangelist Minster Church.JPG

Parish History[edit | edit source]

Preston St John the Evangelist is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Lancashire. Other places in the parish include: Elston, Fishwick, Ribbleton Moor, Preston St Andrew, Ribbleton, and Haighton.

The Minster church of St John the Evangelist was initially a Catholic church dedicated to St Wilfrid in the sixth century. The de Hoghtons added chantries to the church and it prospered. In October every year a statue of Saint Wilfrid was paraded round the town on horseback during the autumn festival. In 1502 the building was improved, and during Queen Mary's reign a great altarpiece was sent from the monarch. During the Reformation the chantries were done away with and the church was rededicated, to St. John the Evangelist; one reason for this was that St. Wilfrid had been close to the Pope of his day and the Anglican Church was in dispute with Rome during the Reformation; the other reason was that St. John the Divine the evangelist was closer, symbolically at any rate, to Our Lord.

In 1853 the church was demolished due to structural problems including rot, except for part of the tower, and the present building was completed in 1855 at a cost of £9,500. The present building was designed by the Manchester architect Edwin Shellard. It has a well proportioned spire, pinnacled roofs and decorated window tracery. Inside, the tradition is continued with division into nave and aisles by columns with floreated capitals. At the same time as the exterior was cleaned and the churchyard was lawned over for the 1972 Guild, the side galleries were taken down.

The church was the first in England to be lit by gas. 

The Diocese of Blackburn is a Church of England diocese, covering much of Lancashire, created in 1926 from part of the Diocese of Manchester. The Diocese includes the towns of Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, and the cities of Lancaster, and Preston, as well as a large part of the Ribble Valley.
Here is an important 1848 perspective on Preston that reveals all extant churches and chapelries lying within the boundary of the ancient parish of Preston St John (by topographer, Samuel A. Lewis):

"PRESTON St John, a parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Amounderness, N. division of the county of Lancaster; comprising the borough of Preston, which has a separate jurisdiction; the six townships of Barton, Elston, Fishwick, Haighton, Ribbleton, and Lea with Ashton, Ingol, and Cottam; and the chapelries of Broughton, and Grimsargh with Brockholes, 21 miles south by east of Lancaster.  Preston rose into consequence, and became the principal port of Lancashire; and it is supposed that, having been the abode of ecclesiastics as capital of the district of Amounderness, it obtained the appellation of Priest's town, of which the present name may be a contraction.
The original church was built in the first century after the general establishment of the Christian religion in this country. At Ashton upon Ribble, Barton, Broughton, and Grimsargh, are other additional churches.

St. George's district church, was built in 1723. The church of the Holy Trinity was erected in 1814. St. Paul's was erected in 1825, by the Parliamentary Commissioners. St. Peter's was built in 1826. Christ Church was consecrated October 11th, 1836. St. James's was also built in 1836. The church of St. Mary was built in 1837. St Thomas', consecrated 27th June, 1839. To view for research purposes, a complete list of Preston's churches and chapels of the Church of England, see a Comprehensive List of Preston Parish's Chapelries.

There are places of worship in the town for Independents, Baptists, the Society of Friends, Wesleyans, Primitive Methodists, Swedenborgians, and Unitarians; and also five Roman Catholic chapels. Of these chapels, St. Mary's, in Friargate, was erected about 1760; closed in 1793, on St. Wilfrid's being built (in 1794); St Mary's reopened in 1807, St. Wilfrid's being then too small for the congregation, was enlarged in 1839; and in 1847 a small but highly-decorated chapel in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary was completed, opening into it. The chapel of St Ignatius, opened in 1836St. Augustine's was opened in 1839. There are likewise several Roman Catholic chapels in the vicinity; and an hospital, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or otherwise known as the Mormons had its beginnings in England here in Preston. Almost immediately, upon arrival of its missionaries in July, 1837, the church was emplanted deep into Preston's rich and religiously diverse soil. Preston was the church's first foothold in England. It created a considerable stir among the township's religious population to which very nearly two thousand inhabitants were converted and baptised between July 1837 and the following April, 1838, most of whom later emigrated. Still more conversions followed in the 1840's out of this region, and likewise departed for America. By the 1870's, The Great Salt Lake Valley, the seat of the church in the mountain-west USA (then known as the Territory of Utah), by this point, was filled with tens of thousands of English immigrant converts, comprising a vast portion of the local English-speaking population--many of whom were of Preston, England origin.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

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.

Online index of Lancashire Births, Marriages and Deaths Lancashire BMD

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks[edit | edit source]

An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes

Church records[edit | edit source]

Online Records (Under Construction)[edit | edit source]

Preston St. John parish registers and those registers of all of its smaller chapelries lying within its boundaries have been mostly transcribed and are displayed online at the following web sites and ranges of years: 

LOPC =  Lancashire Online Parish Clerk project
AC =
FREG =FreeReg
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1611-1635, 1732, 1767-1792, 1795-1900 1611-1631, 1654-1704, 1729-1906 1731-1732, 1763-1792, 1795-1946
LOPC 1753-1770, 1776-1825, 1828-1861, 1863-1932 1611-1635, 1726-1839, 1841-1847, 1868-1902 1753-1770, 1775-1792, 1795-1827, 1858-1861, 1864-1872
1837-1990 1878-1903
FMP None 1609-1837 None
AC 1611-1635 1611-1635 1611-1635
PRESTON ALL SAINTS Chapelry  (1848) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS None None None
LOPC 1848-1900 1864-1900 None
PRESTON CHRIST CHURCH Chapelry  (1831) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1857-1900 1864-1897 None
LOPC None 1897-1900 1831-1896
PRESTON EMMANUEL Chapelry  (1870) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1885-1900 1887-1900 None
LOPC 1870-1900 1871-1900 None
PRESTON HOLY TRINITY Chapelry  (1815) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1815-1900 1863-1900 None
LOPC 1815-1900 1865-1900 1816-1855
PRESTON ST JAMES Chapelry  (1864) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS None None None
LOPC None None None
PRESTON ST LUKE Chapelry  (1859) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1859-1900 1864-1900 None
LOPC 1859-1900 1864-1900 None
PRESTON ST GEORGE Chapelry  (1869) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS None 1869-1900 1870-1871
LOPC None 1869-1900 None
PRESTON ST MARY Chapelry  (1833) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1833-1834 None None
LOPC None None None
PRESTON ST MATTHEW Chapelry  (1883) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1883-1900 1884-1900 None
LOPC 1883-1900 1884-1900 None
PRESTON ST PAUL Chapelry  (1864) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS None None None
LOPC None None None
PRESTON ST PETER Chapelry  (1862) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1862-1900 None None
LOPC 1862-1900 1864-1887, 1900 None
1864-1973 1878-1903
PRESTON ST SAVIOUR Chapelry  (1877) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS None None None
LOPC None None None
PRESTON ST THOMAS Chapelry  (1***) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials

LOPC 1864-1890 1864-1900 None
ASHTON-ON-RIBBLE ST ANDREW Chapelry  (1837) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS None None None
LOPC 1837-1900 1864-1900 None
BARTON ST LAWRENCE Chapelry  (1850) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1852-1900 1850-1901 1850-1869
LOPC 1850-1910 1850-1928 1850-1946
LBMD None 1850-2004 None
BROUGHTON ST JOHN THE BAPTIST Chapelry  (1653) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS 1653-1900 1654-1900 None
LOPC 1725-1900 1653-1900 1724-1848
LBMD 1837-1937 1837-1998 1837-1937
FMP None 1676-1837 None
AC 1653-1804 1653-1804 1653-1804
GRIMSARGH ST MICHAEL Chapelry  (1875) Indexes
Baptisms Marriages Burials
FS None 1875-1900 None
LOPC None 1875-1900 None
LBMD None 1875-1983 None
Original Records[edit | edit source]

The Lancashire Record Office at Bow Lane, Preston PR2 1RE, holds the original parish registers in its vast collections. Contact their website for contact information.

The Family History Library has microfilmed the parish registers and Bishop's transcripts of Preston St. John parish, including the years 1767-1906. These films are available for ordering/circulating and researching at any one of its satellite FamilySearch Centers worldwide.

Census records[edit | edit source]

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.

Poor Law Unions
[edit | edit source]

Preston Poor Law Union, Lancashire

Occupation records
[edit | edit source]

Preston Guild
[edit | edit source]

The right to hold a Guild Merchant was conferred upon the Burgesses of Preston by a charter of 1179; the associated Preston Guild is a civic celebration held every 20 years, with the next one due in 2012.

Before 1328 a celebration had been held on an irregular basis, but at the Guild of that year it was decreed that subsequent Guilds should be held every twenty years. After this there were breaks in the pattern for various reasons, but an unbroken series were held from 1542 to 1922. A full 400 year sequence was frustrated by the cancellation of the 1942 Guild due to World War II, but the cycle resumed in 1952. The expression '(Once) every Preston Guild', meaning 'very infrequently', has passed into fairly common use, especially in Lancashire.

Guild week is always started by the opening of the Guild Court, which since the Sixteenth century has traditionally been on the first Monday after the feast of the decollation (the beheading) of St John the Baptist celebrated on 29 August. As well as concerts and other exhibitions, the main events are a series of processions through the city. Numerous street parties are typically also held in the locality.

In 1952, the emphasis was on the bright new world emerging after World War II. The major event held in the city's Avenham Park had every school participating, and hundreds of children, from toddlers to teenagers, demonstrated different aspects of physical education in the natural amphitheatre of the park.

In 1972, participants at the Avenham Park celebrations were treated to a low level, low speed, flyby by Concorde.

Probate records
[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lancashire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers
[edit | edit source]

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

Web sites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]