Monumental Inscriptions

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It has always been one of the aims of mine and several of my friends to compile lists of Memorial Inscriptions in and around the area of South Cheshire, North Staffordshire and North East Wales. We have given talks to many Local and Family History Societies on this subject. Many of these groups have set up transcription teams who take the time and trouble to record these Monumental Inscriptions, the reasons for this undertaking is very simple. If you look upon a gravestone as a single page in the historical record of events, this is all there may be to record someone's life and death and their relationships to other people. Before 1st July 1837, when Civil Registration came into effect, that is the issue of Birth, Marriage, and Death Certificates, the only possible record of some of these events was the church parish registers.      

A Mandate issued by Thomas Cromwell in 1538 stated that every Parish was to purchase a “sure coffer” or parish chest, one key to be held by the minister the other by the church warden, in this chest was to be kept a book into which the minister was to record every, baptism, marriage and burial at which he officiated, these entries to be completed after the service every Sunday, the Church warden was to witness the same, therefore a complete record of all of these events would exist. In a large amount of cases, many registers were not filled in on the Sunday, the person responsible for filling in the register just forgot to do it, therefore we have ended up with the dilemma of incomplete registers, so in some graveyards there are memorials on the gravestones to someone who has died, but there is no entry in the parish register to show that the person was ever buried at that Church, so the only record that is left is the Memorial Inscription. Although every care has been taken in the transcribing of the memorials, and the typing up of the same, some errors may occur. They have tried to record the inscription fully and exactly as it appears on the Memorials, care has been taken not to abbreviate anything, likewise not to expand abbreviation that are inscribed, nor to correct any apparent mistake or misspellings, anything that is unclear in the inscription appears here in square brackets [ ]. If there are any mistakes we apologise.

We have always stated that inscriptions must be fully and totally recorded, and not done as some transcriptions have recorded with lines missing; and of course the way that the Victorian recorders did, that is to record the Lord and Lady of the manor or the Gentry only, and then say that there were other memorials in the churchyard, but none were worthy of note, everyone must be recorded.

Although some of the stones are so eroded or worn, and some the front faces broken away completely, leaving only traces of what was once there. We as recorders have taken as much care as possible in compiling all the information that can be gleaned from the gravestone. The layout of the record of Memorials on this site has been made as simple as possible, but perhaps the following information may help the reader.

1/ Each grave has been given a unique number to identify it to the reader as many churches have no burial plan for the old graveyard. These numbers apply only to the grave plan in this publication, and they should not be used with any other book, plan or drawing. The numbers that are given in the square brackets [ ] in the new graveyard section are the numbers on the marker that are alongside some of the grave plots, these are the grave numbers in the burial book.

2/ The inscription is recorded as it appears on the gravestone this includes any mistakes that the stone contains, (some of the stones are now practically unreadable but if any errors are found we will try to correct these for future editions).

It must be accepted however that in order to present these inscriptions here in a standard format, upper and lower case lettering may not always conform to the actual inscription, equally punctuation may not always appear as in the inscription, care has been taken NOT to abbreviate anything and equally NOT to expand abbreviations that are inscribed on the stone, nor to correct any misspellings, the following applies to all the inscriptions.

Names of persons appear in UPPER CASE and BOLD.

Place names appear in UPPER CASE.

On these minor points we beg your indulgence

We hope that this work will help fellow family historians with their research, and also prove of interest to people who have no interest in their family history, but who go to, or have, a love of Churches and their Churchyards.