Astley Family History Resources
The library resources listed here are at the two main repositories of data pertaining to Astley: Wigan History Shop and Leigh Library. Tyldesley Library has a selection of local-interest books, but does not keep church registers or census records.
The History Shop, operated by Wigan Heritage Services is on Library Street, Wigan, WN11NU; Tel: (01942) 828128. It's a fascinating place crammed full with a wide range of books, volumes and maps dealing with local and general Lancashire history. The film reader area is rather cramped, but the staff are friendly and helpful, it's best to book a film reader in advance.
Leigh Local History service is at Leigh Library, Leigh, WN71EB; Tel: (01942) 404559. It's at the Turnpike Centre just opposite the Parish Church. It's much smaller than Wigan History Shop, and with only one local history officer running the show, it can be a bit frustrating if he's off somewhere when you want something. Leigh does not have the wide range of material held in Wigan, but is the only repository for local newspaper archives and old photos covering Astley.
CHURCH REGISTERS (W- at Wigan History Shop, L= at Leigh Library)
Astley St Stephen's CofE
Baptisms 1760-1844 (W,L), 1845-1969 (W)
Marriages 1843-1956 (W)
Burials 1760-1841 (W,L) 1842-1926 (W)
Baptisms and burials for St Stephen's from 1724 to 1760 are recorded in LEIGH St Mary the Virgin registers, and these registers are available at Wigan and Leigh. Leigh Library also holds a hard copy of the monumental inscriptions for St Stephen's.
Baptisms 1825 - 1837 (W,L)
CEMETERY REGISTERS (W= at Wigan History Shop, L=at Leigh Library)
Although there are no urban district cemeteries within the Astley boundary, Astley is now considered part of Tyldesley. Both the Tyldesley urban district cemetery and the Leigh municipal borough cemetery are within a few hundred yards of the Astley boundary.
Tyldesley Urban District Cemetery Register 1878 – 1953 (W, L)
Leigh Municipal Borough Cemetery Register 1856 – 1980 (W, L)
Note: Information about burials and location of plots in both Cemetery can be obtained by email from Cemeteries at wlct.org The staff are extremely helpful, and if you want to locate a grave on the ground, give them a call; if it is convenient someone may meet you at the cemetery and show you the site, whether there is a monument there or not!
CEMETERY BURIAL INDEXES: LOOK-UP SERVICE
I have also transcribed the burial registers of Tyldesley Cemetery, 1878 to 1953, into a database, unfortunately at present I cannot post these onto this site due to administrative problems. If you require any name checking please send me an E-mail, as I also live close to Tyldesley cemetery, I can also check if there is a headstone for you.
ELECTORAL RECORDS (W= at Wigan History Shop, L=at Leigh Library)
Astley 1890-1900 (L), 1974-present (W, L)
Astley has not had its own newspaper, but local news was reported in the following papers published in:-
Leigh (available only at Leigh Library)
Leigh Advertiser: April-December 1848
Leigh Chronicle: January 1852-December 1963
Leigh Courier: January 1904-March 1906
Leigh Herald: September 1859-June 1869
Leigh Journal: March 1874-May 1997
Leigh Observer: December 1886-December 1899
CENSUS RETURNS FOR ASTLEY (W= at Wigan History Shop, L=at Leigh Library)
1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 (W, L)
John Lunn, History of Astley.
John & Sylvia Tonge, Pictorial Astley
John & Sylvia Tonge, Second Pictorial Astley
John & Sylvia Tonge, Astley and her neighbours
John & Sylvia Tonge, Astley Hall [Damhouse]
Unfortunately 'Pictorial Astley' is now out of print.