This week I look at the records for the county in which I grew up and summarize what you can find on Deceased Online to aid your search for ancestors who died in Lancashire

Administrative map of the ancient county of Lancashire in 1832. Showing Hundreds, Parishes and Boroughs. Source data on parish boundaries - Kain, R.J.P., and Oliver, R.R. (2001) "Historic parishes of England and Wales: Electronic Map - Gazetteer - Metadata", Colchester: History Data Service. ISBN 0 9540032 0 9. Source data for Boroughs: H.M.S.O. Boundary Commission Report 1832 (courtesy of
Lancashire is a fairly young county in England, dating from 1182. Farming dominated life in the county in the medieval and early modern periods, although in 1612 the area became notorious for the trials of the Pendle witches, The trials of twelve women accused of witchcraft in the Pendle Hill region are well recorded. Eventually, the twelve were charged with the murder of ten people by witchcraft.
Bolton Civic Centre in 1994
 Lancashire grew significantly during the Industrial Revolution. Rich resources of coal and rain that powered mills, supported a major cotton industry. The towns (now cities) of Lancaster and Liverpool had been dominant trading ports in the Georgian era, with much of their magnificent 18th architecture being funded from slavery. In the 19th century, Liverpool grew larger still, exporting cotton and other products to the USA. Manchester grew dramatically, from just 89,000 around 1800 to 400,00 in 1851. Irish immigrants settled in the area during the Famine of the 1840s.
Gates of Blackburn Old Cemetery
In south Lancashire, much of the population worked in the cotton industry. It's estimated that by the 1830s, around 85% of the world's cotton was processed in the region, which included Accrington, Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, Bury, Chorley, Colne, Darwen, Manchester, Nelson, Oldham, Preston, Rochdale and Wigan. 

India Mill, Darwen is a reminder of the town's industrial past
Blackpool on the Fylde coast developed as a holiday destination for many of the county's industrial workers. Neighbouring Fleetwood sustained a busy fishing industry, besides being a popular seaside resort for the wealthy industrialists and landowners who visited the coast for their health.
The coastline of Fleetwood lies close to its main cemetery

Bench in Blackburn Cemetery
In 1974, boundary changes created the metropolitan counties of Merseyside (including Liverpool) and Greater Manchester (including the city of Manchester). The northern part of the county (including Furness and Cartmel) was transferred to the newly-formed county of Cumbria. This can be confusing for family historians trying to establish where and how to research their Lancashire forebears.

Luckily, you can search the Deceased Online database with a general name search, without having to worry about exact county boundaries. If you prefer a more targeted approach, searching for the nearest cemetery or church yard to your deceased ancestor's home or place of death, you may find it useful to check the list below of exactly what records Deceased Online has available currently for Lancashire. More records should be added to the Lancashire collections over time.

The full list of the Lancashire Collections is as follows:

Wyre Council Collection (in partnership with Wyre Council)
  • Fleetwood Cemetery, Beach Road, Fleetwood, opened 1841 (nearly 27,000 burials)
  • Poulton New Cemetery, Garstang Road, Poulton le Fylde, opened 1929 (2,552 burials)
  • Poulton Old Cemetery, Moorland Road, Poulton le Fylde, opened 1895 (3,660 burials)
  • Preesall Cemetery, Cemetery Lane, Preesall, opened 1856 (3,000+ burials)
This collection includes full burial register scans, grave details showing all occupants in each grave, and maps indicating the section in cemeteries for all graves.

Manchester and Lancashire FHS Collection/Bolton Monumental Inscription Records (in partnership with Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society)
  • St Peter, Belmont
  • St Katherine, Blackrod
  • St Peter, Bolton Le Moor
  • St Stephen, Lever Bridge
  • Emmanuel. Bolton
  • St Paul, Astley Bridge, Bolton
  • Wesleyan Chapel, Fletcher Street, Bolton
  •  Christ Church, Walmsley
  • Unitarian Chapel, Walmsley
  • Old Chapel, Walmsley
  • St James, Breightmet
  • St Maxentius, Bradshaw
  • St Mary Deane (Old and New)
  • St Michael, Bolton
  • St John, Farnworth
  • St Paul, Halliwell
  • Holy Trinity, Horwich
  • Lea Lane Chapel, Horwich
  • Congregational United Reform, Little Lever
  • St Bartholomew, Westhoughton
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Collection (digitized in partnership with Blackburn and Darwen Borough Council)
  • Blackburn Cemetery (aka Whalley New Road): 1859 - 1997 
  • Darwen Cemetery: 1861 - 1998
  • Pleasington Cemetery: 1969 - 2001 
  • Pleasington Crematorium: 1957 - 2003
Blackburn and Darwen's records includes scans of the burial registers, details of those buried in each grave, and some also have detailed sections maps showing locations of the graves. The total number of individuals recorded in the three cemeteries' burial registers is over 276,000, and there are details of more than 63,000 cremations.
Trafford Council Collection (in partnership with Trafford Council)
  • Dunham Lawn Cemetery
  • Hale Cemetery (Altrincham)
  • Sale Cemetery
  • Stretford Cemetery
  • Urmston Cemetery
  • Altrincham Crematorium
These records include burial register scans with up to 48 entries per scanned page, grave details providing information on all those buried in the grave as well as the grave reference and cemetery maps showing the section where the grave is located.

Bolton Council Collection (in partnership with Bolton Council)
  • Astley Bridge Cemetery, opened 1884
  • Blackrod Cemetery, opened 1887
  • Farnworth Cemetery, opened 1876
  • Heaton Cemetery, opened 1879
  • Horwich (Ridgemont) Cemetery, opened 1928
  • Tonge Cemetery, opened 1856
  • Westhaughton Cemetery, opened 1858
  • Overdale Crematorium, opened 1954
This collection includes burial records, register scans, and detailed maps of grave locations.

Lancashire (The National Archives)
Bethesda Congregational Churchyard, BlackpoolLancashireNorth West1844 to 1917
Congregational Church, SouthportLancashireNorth West1828 to 1885
Mount Street Burial Ground, BlackburnLancashireNorth West1813 to 1867
Old Church of St John, BuryLancashireNorth West1753 to 1880
Preston St Paul Churchyard, PrestonLancashireNorth West1810 to 1951
Redundant Church of St Johns, Silverdale, BlackburnLancashireNorth West1838 to 1915
Salford Northern Cemetery, SalfordLancashireNorth West1904 to 1973
St Bartholomew (Ewood), BlackburnLancashireNorth West1958 to 2003

Greater Manchester (The National Archives)
Ardwick Cemetery, ArdwickGreater ManchesterNorth West1750 to 1963
Burial Ground of St James Church, Birch in RusholmeGreater ManchesterNorth West1681 to 1980
Chorlton Green Graveyard, Chorlton-cum-HardyGreater ManchesterNorth West1708 to 1963
Dob Lane Chapel, FailsworthGreater ManchesterNorth West 
Platt Chapel Graveyard, RusholmeGreater ManchesterNorth West1746 to 1885
Rusholme Road Cemetery, Chorlton Upon MedlockGreater ManchesterNorth West1806 to 1949
Southern Cemetery, Chorlton-cum-HardyGreater ManchesterNorth West1868 to 1917
St Marys Graveyard, LeighGreater ManchesterNorth West1770 to 1965
St Peters Church Yard, OldhamGreater ManchesterNorth West1768 to 1876
Weaste Cemetery, City of SalfordGreater ManchesterNorth West1508 to 1969

Merseyside (The National Archives)
Christ Church Burial Ground, Hunter St, LiverpoolMerseysideNorth West1784 to 1877
Holy Trinity Churchyard, St Anne St, LiverpoolMerseysideNorth West1790 to 1887
St James Cemetery, LiverpoolMerseysideNorth West1756 to 1926
Wallasey Cemetery, WallaseyMerseysideNorth West1892 to 1955

These three sets of records were digitised in partnership with The National Archives (TNA) and come from the collection RG37 which comprises records from over 200 cemeteries across many parts of England and Wales. They are digital scan of original transcriptions, recorded over the period 1923-2007, from local authorities and Church Commissioners relating to burial ground removals. The lists above records each site by location and title, followed by the years covered by inscription on tombs and gravestones. The details of each record varies in content and range. 

Do you have ancestors from Lancashire? Please let us know if you have found any relatives in these collections. Drop us a note in the Comments Box below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. 
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