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Help and advice for Owston

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

If you wish to report a problem, or contribute information, then do use the following form to tell us about it. We have a number of people each maintaining different sections of the web site, so it is important to submit information via a link on the relevant page otherwise it is likely to go to the wrong person and may not be acted upon.


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  • A cemetery of 1.5 acres was formed in 1881 and land purchased in 1883. It was under the control of the parish council.



  • Owston was the heart of the Owston sub-district in the Gainsborough Registration District.
  • Check our Census Resource page for county-wide resources.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841 H.O. 107 / 641
1861 R.G. 9 / 2405
1871 R.G. 10 / 3439
1891 R.G. 12 / 2631

Church History

  • The Anglican parish church is dedicated to Saint Martin.
  • The church building partly dates from the end of the 12th century.
  • The church was rebuilt in 1844.
  • The church seats 600.
  • There is a photograph of St. Martin's Church on the Wendy PARKINSON Church Photos web site.
  • Richard CROFT has a photograph of St. Martin's Church on Geo-graph, taken in 2005.
  • Here is a photo of St. Martin's Church taken by Ron COLE (who retains the copyright):

St. Martin's Church

Church Records

  • The Anglican parish register dates from 1603 as a collection of loose pages. The registers are continuous from 1709 on.
  • The churchwarden account books have survived from 1660 to 1684.
  • Check the Isle of Axholme Deanery to see which LFHS marriage indexes exist.
  • The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel was built in 1837. For information and assistance in researching this chapel, see our non-conformist religions page.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.

Civil Registration

  • The parish was in the Owston sub-district in the Gainsborough Registration District.
  • Check our Civil Registration page for sources and background on Civil Registration which began in July, 1837.

Description and Travel

Owston is a parish, a township and a large village on the west bank of the Trent River about 8 miles north of Gainsborough. The parish covers some 5,350 acres and includes the township of West Butterwick-with-Kelfied.

If you are planning a visit:

You can see pictures of Owston which are provided by:



Ask for a calculation of the distance from Owston to another place.

Click here for a list of nearby places.


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Owston has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



  • The MOWBRAY family had a fortified tower here, called Kinafare Castle, which commanded the passage of the River Trent. No traces remain of this tower.
  • See the history of Owston provided by the Isle of Axholme FHS.
  • Owston Ferry Smithy Heritage Centre & Village Museum has photos and old farm and boating tools, a working smithy, old relics that locals have found in their lofts. They've got copies of the Indexes for the Parish for visitors to consult. [Sheila Wilson]
  • Gas Works were built in the village in 1864.

Military History

  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the War Memorial at Owston Ferry on Geo-graph, taken in 2011.

Military Records

For a photograph of the Owston Ferry War Memorial and the list of names on it, see the Roll of Honour site.


Names, Geographical

  • This place was anciently called Kinaird Ferry.
  • The name Owston is from the Old Scandinavian austr+tun, meaning "east farmstead." In the 1086 Domesday Book it is rendered as Austhun.
    [A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991]

Politics and Government

  • The parish was in the ancient Manley Wapentake in the West Lindsey district in the parts of Lindsey.
  • In 1841, West Butterwick parish was formed from the northeast portion of Owston parish.
  • In the 1972 government redistricting, Owston became part of the Boothferry District, which is now in the County of Humberside (formerly Lindsey, Lincolnshire).
  • District governance is currently provided by the North Lincolnshire Council.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

  • The Common Land was enclosed here in 1803.
  • As a result of the 1843 Poor Law Amendment Act, the parish became part of the Gainsborough Poor Law Union.
  • Bastardy cases were heard in the Epworth petty session courts.
  • Miss Frances SAUNDERS had almshouses built in 1860 for six poor women.
  • Alan MURRAY-RUST has a photograph of the almshouses on Geo-graph, taken in 2011.


Year Inhabitants
1801 917
1831 1,409
1851 2,613
1861 2,520
1871 1,527
1881 1,322
1891 1,294
1901 1,204
1911 1,159


  • The village of Owston had a Public Elementary School that was built for 230 children.
  • The hamlet of Gunthorpe had a Public Elementary School that was built in 1910 for 40 children.
  • See our Schools page for more information on researching school records.


The local genealogical society is the Isle of Axholme FHS.