Place:Chester, Cheshire, England

Alt namesCaerleonsource: Blue Guide: England (1980) p 374
Castra Devanasource: Blue Guide: England (1980) p 374
Castra Legioniumsource: Blue Guide: England (1980) p 374
Ceastersource: Blue Guide: England (1980) p 374
Cestresource: Domesday Book (1985) p 52
Chestersource: Wikipedia
Clavertonsource: Family History Library Catalog
Devasource: Athena, Romano-British Sites [online] (2000); GRI Photo Archive, Authority File (1998) p 11346; Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 342
Deva Victrixsource: GRI Photo Archive, Authority File (1998) p 11346
Devana Castrasource: GRI Photo Archive, Authority File (1998) p 11346
Legaceastersource: Blue Guide: England (1980) p 374
TypeCity, Borough (county)
Coordinates53.2°N 2.9°W
Located inCheshire, England
See alsoCheshire West and Chester, Cheshire, Englandunitary authority of which it has been a part since 2009

source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Chester, is a city in Cheshire, England. Lying on the River Dee, close to the border with Wales, it is the largest and most populous settlement of the wider unitary authority area of Cheshire West and Chester, which had a population of 328,100 according to the 2001 Census. Chester was granted city status in 1541.

Chester was founded as a "castrum" or Roman fort with the name Deva Victrix in the year 79 by the Roman Legio II Adiutrix during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian. Chester's four main roads, Eastgate, Northgate, Watergate and Bridge, follow routes laid out at this time – almost 2,000 years ago. One of the three main Roman army bases, Deva later became a major settlement in the Roman province of Britannia.


Chester was one of the last towns in England to fall to the Normans in the Norman conquest of England. William the Conqueror ordered the construction of a castle, to dominate the town and the nearby Welsh border.

Chester has a number of medieval buildings, but some of the black-and-white buildings within the city centre are actually Victorian restorations. Chester is one of the best preserved walled cities in Britain. Apart from a 100-metre (330 ft) section, the listed Grade I walls are almost complete.

The Industrial Revolution brought railways, canals, and new roads to the city, which saw substantial expansion and development – Chester Town Hall and the Grosvenor Museum are examples of Victorian architecture from this period.


For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Chester. under the section "History"

History of Governance

Chester became a municipal borough in 1835 and a county borough in 1888. It included the following originally ecclesiastical parishes:

Chester Abbey Precincts
Chester Holy Trinity
Chester St. Bridget
Chester St. John The Baptist
Chester St. Martin
Chester St. Mary On The Hill
Chester St. Michael
Chester St. Olave
Chester St. Oswald
Chester St. Peter
Great Boughton
Spital Boughton

All of these became civil parishes when they were established in 1866 and most were "ancient parishes" or ecclesiastical parishes before that.

In 1936 Chester was expanded to include the outlying parishes of Blacon-cum-Crabwall, Claverton, Great Boughton, Little Saughall, Marlston cum Lache, and Newton-by-Chester, all of which had formerly been part of Chester Rural District. Another expansion occurred in 1954 with the absorption of Hoole Urban District. (Source: A Vision of Britain through Time)

In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, the existing city and county borough of Chester merged with the Chester Rural District and Tarvin Rural District. The district council used the name Chester City Council. (Source: Wikipedia)

In 2009 a wider unitary authority was formed under the name Cheshire West and Chester which also included the districts of Vale Royal and Ellesmere Port and Neston.

Research Tips

  • GENUKI and "UKBMD" references for Chester provide the boundary changes that have occurred since 1884 (when a number of the originally ecclesiastical parishes within the city were merged into one civil parish) and a list of the ancient churches of Chester, all of which had thier own registers of births, marriages and deaths which may be referred to in other volumes. Links lead to the existence and location of these registers. The boundaries of the church parishes and dates of mergers of parishes are also given.
  • An Ordnance Survey map of Cheshire circa 1944 supplied by A Vision of Britain through Time
  • FindMyPast's The Cheshire Collection includes the index for the Bishops Transcripts for Chester 1576-1906. The index is free-to-view, but inspecting the online microfilm entries is chargeable.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Chester. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.