Preston, Lancashire Genealogy
To see the full listing of links for the ancient parish of Preston St John's, please view the Preston St John, Lancashire Genealogy page. To view and printout a more complete list of Preston St John's historical ecclesiastical parishes and chapelries, see the "Comprehensive List of Preston Parish's Chapelries" page.
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 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.
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; the whole containing, in the year 1841, 53,482 inhabitants, of whom 50,073 were in the borough, 21 miles (S. by E.) from Lancaster, and 217 (N. W. by N.) from London. For more information...
Preston is recorded in the Domesday Book as "Prestune" in 1086.
Preston is located on the coast of the North Sea, and in the center of what was originally the county of Lancashire. The River Ribble provides a southern border for the city. The Forest of Bowland forms a backdrop to Preston to the northeast while the Fylde lies to the west. The Ribble valley is a low-lying, fertile river valley, and has been farmed and grazed for centuries.
The Angles established Preston; its name is derived from the Old English meaning "priest's settlement"
During the Roman period, Roman roads passed close to what is now the centre of Preston. For example, the road from Luguvalium to Mamucium (now Carlisle to Manchester) crossed the River Ribble at Walton-le-Dale, 3⁄4 mile (1 km) southeast of the center of Preston, and a Roman camp or station may also have been here.
When first mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book, Preston was already the most important town in Amounderness (the area of Central Lancashire between the rivers Ribble and Cocker, including The Fylde and the Forest of Bowland). When assessed for tax purposes in 1218 – 19 it was the wealthiest town in the whole county.
The right to hold a Guild Merchant was conferred by King Henry II upon the Burgesses of Preston in a charter of 1179; the associated Preston Guild is a civic celebration held every 20 years and 2012 was the latest Guild year. It is the only Guild still celebrated in the UK and is thus unique.
Preston was a parish and township in the hundred of Amounderness and was granted a Guild Merchant charter in 1179, giving it the status of a market town. Textiles have been produced since the mid-13th century when locally produced wool was woven in people's houses. Flemish weavers who settled in the area in the 14th century helped develop the industry. In the early-18th century, Edmund Calamy described Preston as "a pretty town with an abundance of gentry in it, commonly called Proud Preston". Sir Richard Arkwright, inventor of the spinning frame, was born in the town. The most rapid period of growth and development coincided with the industrialization and expansion of textile manufacturing. Preston was a boom-town of the Industrial Revolution, becoming a densely populated engineering center, with large industrial plants. The town's textile sector fell into terminal decline from the mid-20th century. 
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.
Resources[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]
Church Records[edit | edit source]
Parishes[edit | edit source]
Preston, Lancashire, PR2 1ES
Christ Church, Fulwood
Preston, Lancashire, PR2 8NE
St. Cuthbert, Fulwood
Preston, Lancashire, PR2 3AR
St. George, the Martyr
Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2NP
Knowsley St, off Avenham Lane
Preston, Lancashire, PR1 3SA
St. John's Minster
Preston, Lancashire PR1 3BT
Ingol, Lancashire, PR2 3ZU
New Hall Lane
Preston, Lancashire, PR1 5XB
Preston All Saints
Elizabeth Street, (nr. Walker Street Carpark)
Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2RX
Non Conformists[edit | edit source]
- Calvary Christian Fellowship
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Full Life Church
- Roman Catholic
Non Christian groups that meet regularly in Preston include:
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.
- Lancashire BMD Org - more information
- Lancashire Genealogy
- UK BMD Parish Records
- Parish Clerks - An extremely useful resource for research in Lancashire Parishes
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]
- England Jurisdictions 1851
- Vision of Britain
- Street Map of Preston
- Old Maps of Lancashire
- Old Maps of the UK
- genuki gazetteer of Preston Lancashire
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Newspaper research can supplement or lead to records normally used by researchers to establish birth, marriage, death and addresses.
Occupations[edit | edit source]
Since the major overhaul of the English Counties in 1974, Preston was chosen as the seat of Government for Lancashire. The Lancashire County Council building is located on Fishergate. This change has provided many positions for employees within the new County Government.
Preston is a major center of the British defense aerospace industry with BAE Systems, the UK's principal military aircraft design, development and manufacture supplier, having its Military Aircraft headquarters located in nearby Warton. The company has two of its major facilities located some miles on either side of the city. BAE Warton is located to the western side of the city whilst BAE Samlesbury is located to the east, over the M6 motorway. BAE Systems also operate large office facilities at the Portway area within the city and at The Strand office complex.
The Westinghouse Electric Company (formerly BNFL) Springfields nuclear processing plant also lies to the west of the city boundary at Salwick.
The city is home to Alstom Transport's main UK spare parts distribution center (formerly GEC Traction Ltd). Matalan Retail Ltd was also founded in Preston under the name Matalan Cash and Carry. Although the head office of Matalan moved to Skelmersdale in 1998, the city still has the tax office for the company.
The financial sector also has a large presence in the city with a large selection of consultancies, insurance and law firms including national debt collection agency iQor Recovery Services Ltd.
Due to Preston's location as a transport hub, sitting between the M6, M55, M65, and M61 it is also home to several freight and haulage companies.
Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]
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.
Societies[edit | edit source]
- Preston Historical Society
- Preston Branch, Lancashire Historical Society
- Lancashire BMD organization
Archives[edit | edit source]
Lancashire Record Office
Preston PR1 2RE
Phone: +44 1772 533039
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia contributors,"Preston, Lancashire" in "Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston, Lancashire, accessed 16 May 2017.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Preston, Lancashire," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston, Lancashire, accessed 16 April, 2017.