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Cheshire or Lancs using maps( Birkenhead)

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Alisoun Report 4 Nov 2012 10:24

Most of my mothers ancestors were born and lived in Birkenhead areas which is definitely Cheshire in 1891-1911 census but on a 1980 finding Lancs and on a town map these are no longer within Cheshire borders ! when did it change .
I though some relatives had moved much further afield untiI I learnt West Derby Kirby .New Brighton ,Everton and.Prescot are all names of areas quite near Birkenhead as well as being towns in their own rights in other regions with some spelling diffs .
This may explain some discrepencies in trees or BMD records .
an old OS street map helps find lived near which church/ workplace /relatives . This can be an extra boost when there are a large choice of people with same names . Good look all


Derek Report 4 Nov 2012 10:50

........and i sent for a Marriage Certificate, for a marriage in Birkenhead.......which turns out to be in Cheshire..this was 1919......



Flip Report 4 Nov 2012 10:54

Birkenhead/New Brighton have always been in Cheshire - they are on the Wirral, ie south of the Mersey. Liverpool, north of the river was in Lancashire.


Reggie Report 4 Nov 2012 10:59

The recent boundary changes took place in 1974

The places you list, apart from New Brighton, are north of the river, and are not part of Birkenhead.

So, if your post is intended to give advice, please check the accuracy of what you are telling people.

Liverpool has NEVER been in Cheshire..


Alisoun Report 4 Nov 2012 12:41

Reggie ; i've reworded my post ,hope it's not misleading now or offensive to any one with strong local affinities , as I said i don't know the area and as a child remembered some places as being ferry rides or walks away from my grandparents house in Wallesey .


lancashireAnn Report 4 Nov 2012 13:45

just to add that you are right in saying that Birkenhead is now not part of Cheshire.

It changed when the major boundary changes were done in 1974 and Liverpool became part of Merseyside county as did Birkenhead but Birkenhead is adminsistered by the borough of Wirral in the county of Merseyside.


Alisoun Report 5 Nov 2012 08:22

thanks for that ;I never know which is better for searches;
putting a general term like "Cheshire /lancs" which gives many results
,more specific like Birkenhead or a street or parish which is more likely to reveal an exact match but would eliminate chance of finding the right person if their family doesn't know their birthplace .with unusual names you don't have to worry about places so much but lots of my ancestors are jones roberts and smith


Alisoun Report 5 Nov 2012 08:27

ps lancashire Ann
so it does mean that people who are researching Birkenhead pre 1974 have to be careful to put "Cheshire" would the results still come up if they put "Lancs "?
I'll try Lancs on tree searches for the person I'm looking for .


Reggie Report 5 Nov 2012 11:23

Birkenhead has NEVER been in Lancashire

Please look at any road map, and understand that the Mersey comes between the counties...........and always did


mgnv Report 5 Nov 2012 12:23

Between 1837 and 1974, although there were several minor adjustments in English county boundaries, there were only 3 major changes, specifically:
1844 reassignment of the detached portion of Durham around Berwick-on-Tweed to Northumberland
1889 creation of the County of London, mainly out of Middlesex, but with bits of Surrey and Kent too
1965 abolition of the counties of London and Middlesex, mostly replaced by Greater London, including bits of Surrey, Kent and Essex too

If you're interested in the Wirral, see
This gives the subdistrict for Bs & Ds and the church for Ms.
(It also gives some mum's MSs for births pre-1912 - but retrofitting these is a work in progress - it also gives some age of deaths pre-1866)
For a more precise idea of what a particular subdistrict covered, see:


Alisoun Report 5 Nov 2012 14:40

sorry Reggie I assumed when it was removed from Cheshire it became lancs as thats the nearest county i could see and the one lots of people are putting on their research .I'm surely not the only one making this mistake'
. I had looked at a Cheshire town map but only saw that it was no longer Cheshire .my road Atlas doesnt show the county of Mersey very clearly .
I am appalled by my own lack of skills in map reading
My mother showed me this areas she lived and worked in wallesey.they rollerskated to seacomb walked or cycled to new Brighton .took the ferry to Liverpool and west derby .It's a lot clearer in my head now + it makes such a difference when looking through lists of records to have a person with local knowledge who can tell you which towns are train rides away on bus?tram routes +which walking distance
ps I don't understand whose mum's MSs you're referring to or what you mean by retrofitting . maybe it will come clear when I test that site .


lancashireAnn Report 5 Nov 2012 15:38


it just means that they are adding the mother's maiden name to records which are already available on the site but at present do not have the mmn

using lancashirebmd as an examples

Lancashire Birth indexes for the years: 1873
Surname Forename(s) Sub-District Registers At Mother's Maiden Name Reference
HAMPSON Ada Agnes Salford Regent Road Salford RR/93/53
HAMPSON Ada E Farnworth Bolton MILLS FTH/37/332

no mmn on Salford one but mmn of MILLS has been added to Bolton one


Alisoun Report 5 Nov 2012 18:12

ok thanks ;do you think I should edit my original post .I can't change title but feel like I've offended people by "putting" Birkenhead in the wrong county.but if I edit posts someone else may "Tell me off"


lancashireAnn Report 5 Nov 2012 20:05

I don't think that you will have offended people. We were all I think trying to explain where Birkenhead has fitted into a county over the years

in summary was Cheshire until 1974

now Merseyside

never Lancashire - you had to take a 'ferry across the Mersey' to get to Liverpool which WAS Lancs


Vicci Report 5 Nov 2012 23:36

Registration County : Cheshire (1861–1974), Merseyside (1974–98).
Created : 2.7.1861 (out of Wirral registration district).
Abolished : 1.4.1998 (to become part of Wirral registration district).
Sub-districts : Birkenhead, Birkenhead North, Birkenhead South, Clatterbridge, Tranmere, Wallasey.
GRO volumes : 8a (1861–1946), 10A (1946–74), 37 (1974–92).
Registers now held by : Wirral.

The district Birkenhead is an alternative name for Birkenhead and it spans the boundaries of the counties of Cheshire and Merseyside


Vicci Report 5 Nov 2012 23:38

this link is useful if you know the town and need to find the registration district


mgnv Report 6 Nov 2012 06:14

MS=Maiden Surname - this abbreviation appears on practically every Scottish BMD rego - e.g.,

Here we can see the mum's MS has been retrofitted to Birkenhead Sub-District regos 209-211, but rego 208 is still currently in its older form.

Cheshire Birth indexes for the years: 1901
Surname Forename(s) Sub-District Registers At Mother's Maiden Name Reference
ADAMS Edward Birkenhead Wirral BIR/208/75
ADAMS Emily Birkenhead Wirral MOORE BIR/209/88
ADAMS Frederick George Birkenhead Wirral DAVIES BIR/211/73
ADAMS Mary Ann Birkenhead Wirral HANNAN BIR/210/62


Alisoun Report 7 Mar 2013 19:38

Actually when looking for relatives from 1830-1970 I still find it useful to search Cheshire and Lancs as the families seemed to skip from 1 side of the Mersey to the other between censuses . I was missing out on finding traces of people's progress in life or their origins. because I'd narrowed search to the last county I had proof they were at . None of my "Liverpool " relatives seemed to travel abroad or anywhere exotic like the south ,wales or scotland until the 50's .
We always said we were going to see our grandparents in Liverpool so it was quite a shock to a midlander like myself to discover that Wallesey wasn't Liverpool