GENUKI CHS is perhaps unique in having not one but two sets of church pages:
- the official set of church database (CHS CDB) pages, which act as normal, auto-importing links into relevant parish pages, and searchable online from the church database
- an earlier set of plain pages, built to a different format and naming convention, containing church history and church records information, much now captured in the relevant church nodes
A CHS Church Names Decoder facilitates mapping between the differing plain page and church database naming conventions.
The Cheshire Churches section of the website is intended to provide more in-depth information for family and local historians about churches in Cheshire and their records, however CHS Church Database pages should be used in preference as they contain more information.
It currently covers Church of England places of worship where baptisms, marriages and burials have been recorded, from the 16th century to the present day. Some Roman Catholic and non-conformist places of worship are also covered. This information is currently being incorporated into the main church database pages.
A very brief outline of the history of the church is provided, with a description of the area which it served. There were many different types of ecclesiastical districts, ranging from ancient parishes (i.e. those in existence before 1750), parochial chapelries, district chapelries, chapelry districts, and consolidated chapelries, many of which became "new parishes" in the twentieth century. These were all distinct from the civil parishes used for local government purposes after 1866, which evolved from the ancient townships (which themselves were smaller divisions of ancient parishes) and extra-parochial areas. For the sake of simplicity, the term "district" is used here to represent the geographical area served exclusively by an individual church. Boundaries of many districts were described in the London Gazette between 1830 and 1960, and these very detailed descriptions have been included where possible.
Much of the information concerning Church of England records is taken from Cheshire Parish Registers : A Summary Guide. 6th edition (2002). This publication is now out of print, and the current website is intended as an expanded and updated replacement for the printed version. For each church or chapel, the following information is given, where applicable:
- Original Registers — Most of the older parish registers have been deposited at the Cheshire Archives (CRO) in Chester, but some nineteenth-century and many twentieth-century records are still at the church. In some cases, the records are held at a neighbouring parish church. Covering dates are shown separately for registers of christenings (C), marriages (M) and burials (B). Please note that there may be gaps in the series of records between the covering dates shown, and those which have come to the attention of the compiler are mentioned in the Notes field..
- Microfilm Copies — An increasing number of parish registers have been microfilmed in recent years, and some of these copies have become available at local libraries. The CRO will not normally produce the original registers if there are microfilm copies available. In a few cases, the registers themselves remain at the church, but microfilm copies may be available at the CRO and elsewhere. As well as the locations shown in the text, most microfilms of registers could formerly be ordered through local LDS (Mormon) Family History Centres. This service ceased in September 2017, with images now digitized and available on-line.
- Bishop’s Transcripts — The years for any surviving bishop's transcripts (BTs) is shown for each parish, but note that these did not always follow the calendar year (January-December). All of these are at the CRO, and 95% of them have been microfilmed (with a few exceptions after 1900). As with the parish registers themselves, the original BTs will not be produced if they have been filmed.
- Copies & Indexes — Under this heading, are shown details of the various printed copies, transcripts and indexes which have been laboriously prepared over many years, and are accessible to the general public.
- Monumental Inscriptions — The gravestone inscriptions for many parishes have been recorded and published in recent years. In each case the names of the compiler/ publisher, and the date of recording are shown (where known).
All information shown is believed to be correct at the time of publication, but readers are always advised to check current holdings before visiting local archival repositories or churches. The compilers can accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions found on these pages.
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