Genealogy

This page contains information and resources which may help you if you have a Family Tree interest in the parish. In addition to the pages in this section of the website the Local History section also contains information which may be useful. Many of the documents and articles feature the names of people who either lived here or were connected to the parish in some way.

If you are not familiar with the area it might not be obvious to you that Caverswall is the name of the village and also the name of the parish. You need to bear this in mind when looking at documents and records. Only a small proportion of the total population of the
parish actually lived in the village itself.

The Parish

The village of Caverswall and the Parish are certainly ancient, the settlement is listed in the Domesday Book and It seems likely that the parish would have been in existence by 1200. This original parish would have been the area served by the church at Caverswall. The concept of a civil parish was introduced in Tudor times to take responsibility for the upkeep of highways, care of the poor and dealing with minor law and order issues. The evidence suggests that two civil parishes or townships were established, one covering Caverswall Village and the surrounding area and a second to include Weston Coyney, Hulme and Werrington. The area served by the parish church, known as the ecclesiastical parish, encompassed both of the civil parishes or townships.

There have been several changes to the parish boundaries over the years and the parish that we see today is much smaller than it was originally. The Industrial Revolution and the development of the nearby Pottery Towns played a part in shaping the population, the landscape and the boundaries of the parish. By the 1870s the main centres of population within the ecclesiastical parish were Caverswall Village, Cookshill, Weston Coyney, Meir, East Vale, Adderley Green, Dividy Lane, Hulme and Werrington. In addition there were other homes and farms scattered across the parish. This map shows the probable line of the parish boundaries earlier in that century.

Significant changes to the boundaries of the civil parish started to take place in the 1880s. The pottery town of Longton annexed East Vale in 1883 acquiring 16 acres of land and with it some 1400 inhabitants. Then in the following year additional land was annexed in another Longton Borough Extension Scheme. The Local Government Act of 1894 created a revised structure of parishes across rural England and Wales which generally followed the boundaries of the old civil parishes. The civic affairs of each parish were put into the hands of an elected parish council. The Church of England retained its ecclesiastical parishes which today are governed by parochial church councils.

The City of Stoke on Trent acquired parts of the parish in the 1920s and the city boundaries were expanded again in the 1960s to include Weston Coyney. In 1987 the civil parish of Caverswall was sub-divided to create a separate parish for Werrington.

Churches and Chapels

This is a list of the churches and chapels that were built to serve the area.

Name
Location
Denomination
Founded
Extant
St. Peter`sCaverswall VillageC of E13cYes
ChapelCaverswall VillageWesleyan1809No
ChapelThe CastleR.C.1811No
ChapelFox EarthMethodist N.C.1811No
ChapelCaverswall VillageMethodist N.C.1812No
ChapelWerringtonMethodist N.C.1812No
St. FilumenaCaverswall VillageR.C.1864Yes
St. Andrews Mission ChurchEast ValeC of E1868No
Holy TrinityMeir C of E1894Yes
Ss. Mary and ChadAnchor Road, LongtonC of E1898Yes
St. PhillipWerringtonC of E1907Yes
St. AndrewWeston CoyneyC of E1984Yes

 St Peter`s Churchyard and the Parish Cemetery

St Peter`s Church was built in the 13th century and it may the case that the churchyard has been used for burials since that time. Some of the more wealthy and prominent members of the parish have taken the option of interment inside the church. Please see the links below for transcriptions of the MIs. As the population of the parish grew it must have been realised that the churchyard would not provide sufficient space and a separate cemetery was established in the village.

Entrance to CemeteryThe photograph on the right shows the entrance to the village cemetery. It is located on Blythe Bridge Road almost opposite to the entrance to St Peters Church.

The narrow single track road runs between the farmhouse and the cottages and leads to the cemetery. The parking area at the top of this road is only sufficient for a couple of vehicles. If you are visiting by car you may find it easier to park by the church and walk the short distance to the cemetery.

The cemetery is divided into two sections. The lower section is the original part of the cemetery and it is here where the oldest graves are located. At first glance it might appear that there are several areas where there are no graves, in fact some of the older graves are not marked with a headstone today. A possible explanation for some of
these situations is that the relatives could not afford the expense of a headstone and the grave may have been originally marked by a wooden cross.

Of those that do have a headstone some of the memorial inscriptions are badly weathered and difficult or even impossible to read. In places the vegetation, shrubs and trees have obscured the graves completely. Some of the headstones have been moved to positions away from the original grave location and to confuse the issue further a lay-out plan of the grave plots does not exist.

A stone wall separates the the lower and upper sections of the cemetery. Generally the oldest graves in the upper section are located closest to the wall and these date from the mid 1800s. The upper section is maintained in the style of a lawned cemetery. All areas are easily accessible and most of the memorial inscriptions can be read without
difficulty.

The cemetery is managed by the Parochial Church Council. For further information contact the Parish Office : St.Andrews Church and Centre, 375 Weston Road, Weston Coyney. Stoke on Trent. ST3 6HB. Tel : 01782 312570.

Memorial Inscriptions

Click here to see a transcription of the Memorial Inscriptions that can be found inside St Peter`s Church.

Click here to see a transcription of Memorial Inscriptions from the churchyard A – K.

Click here to see a transcription of Memorial Inscriptions from the churchyard L – Z.

Parish Registers

The requirement to keep a record of baptisms, marriages and burials goes back to the year 1538 when Thomas Cromwell ordered each parish to begin keeping a register. As with many parishes it seems that the early records for Caverswall have been lost. The records for St Peter`s that have survived begin in 1552. Some of the early records are illegible and there are gaps in later years. Copies of the entries in the registers known as Bishops Transcripts begin in 1663, again there are gaps in the later years.

Click here to see a surname index for the Parish Registers 1552 – 1703 published by the Staffordshire Parish Registers Society.

The FreeReg project has transcribed some of the records from the Caverswall Registers. Click here to visit their website.

St Peter`s registers prior to 2001 and the registers 1869~1966 from the Wesleyan Metodist Chapel at Caverwall have been deposited with the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service.  Click here to visit their website.

The Roman Catholic registers for Caverswall begin in 1811. The R.C. Diocesan Archives are located in Birmimgham. Click here to visit their website.

Click here to see the people listed in a Parish Survey which was carried out in 1839.

Click here to see information about Civil Registration Records for Caverswall.

Click here to see information about the National Census Records for Caverswall.