FIRST KNOWN BURIALS IN OLDHAM METROPOLITAN BOROUGH

 

            St Mary’s Church, Oldham was originally built as a chapel of ease for St Mary’s. Prestwich The original church is long gone and no records survive from that church.  The parish churches listed below all started as Chapel of Ease. St Chad’s Saddleworth is a chapel of ease from the Rochdale Parish.

I have listed the following churches in the order of first surviving records, please note that these are the earliest records I have been able to find.  I am sure that earlier burials took place in the area, but no records survive.

 

Oldham Parish Church (St Mary)

First known burial was on 6th January 1558 of James Wilkinson.

Saddleworth, St. Chad (Saddleworth Church)

The first known burial was of the wife of Oliver Broadbent, buried 30th day of May 1613.

(This record was extracted from diocesan records) 

Heyside Friends Meeting House (Quakers).

First known burial was on 17 August 1665 Sylvanus Sykes, son of James.

Holy Trinity Shaw

First known burial was on 20th November 1704 John Wilde Clarke.

St John Hey

First known burial was on 18th December 1744 of Betty Wright daughter of John Wright from Ashton.

St Paul Royton.

First known burial was on 21st February 1757 John Chadderton, the son of James an engineer and Mary his wife of Royton.

St Thomas Friarmere.

First known burial was on 5th May 1769 of Sarah Davies.

Greenacres, Congregational.

First known burial was of Sarah wife of Robert Winterbottom 7th May 1784, she was a spinner in the parish of Saddlewoth. 

Holy Trinity Dobcross.

First known burial was on 12th May 1790 of Elizabeth Lawton wife of Benjamin Lawton of Dobcross.

Oldham St Peter.

First known burial was on 17th October 1768 Catharon Jackson, daughter of Johnathon and Sarah.

Hollinwood, St Margaret.

First known burial was on 20th August 1769 Betty Mills, Daughter of Henry and Alice of Hollingwood.

Lydgate St Anne

First known burial was on 25th May 1790 John Buckley, son of Isaac Buckley and Sarah Hanson of Quickmere.

Failsworth, St John.

First known burial was on 6th December 1846 Ellen Priscilla Schofield of Failsworth.

Waterhead Holy Trinity.

First known burial was on 9th September 1847 Miles Cocker of Waterhead.

 

Leesfield, St Thomas.

First known burial was on 21st November 1848 of Ogden Halliwell of Nether Lees.

 

Friarmere, St Thomas.

First known burial was on 2nd of June 1850 of William Giddings of Heytop.

Denshaw, Christ Church.

First known burial was on 3rd of April 1864 of Joseph Booth of Wham aged 15.

Chadderton St Mathew. (Chadderton Church)

First known burial was on 4th December 1857 Samuel Duckworth of Lyon Dam, Oldham.

Moorside St Thomas.

First known burial was on 4th July 1873 James Brook of Sholver Lane.

Denshaw, Christ Church.

First known burial was on 3rd of April 1864 of Joseph Booth of Wham aged 15. 

Oldham, St James Barry St.

First known burial was in 1830

Bardsley, Holy Trinity.

First known burial was on 11th July 1855 of Walter Robinson of Oldham.

Although there are many other Churches in the borough who did not have a burial ground.

 

Greenacres, Congregational.

First known burial was of Sarah wife of Robert Winterbottom 7th May 1784, she was a spinner in the parish of Saddleworth.

 

Oldham, Hope Congregational.

First known burial was on 1st January 1828 of Abraham Crowder of Rhodes Field.

Failsworth, Dob Lane.

First known burial was in 1701.

 

 

There are no Roman Catholic churches with burial yards in Oldham.

 

It is difficult to establish the last burial in Oldham’s churchyards as the registers often record burial services conducted either in the church or at the crematorium, (or both) they also record the interment of ashes in existing graves. 

            The only church still burying within its own churchyard is St Mathews, Chadderton although burials are restricted to parishioners and members of the church, and interments in existing Graves. There is plenty of space available in the existing church land.

Public Cemeteries.

In the Oldham Chronicle of August 1st 1857 (Vol. 4--No 170) a notice was placed by Oldham Burial Board, outlining the Opening for Internments of the burial grounds at Chadderton and Greenacres on Saturday 1st August 1857

The Registrars will be in attendance at their temporary offices near the respective burial grounds on and after Monday 27th of July from ten a.m. to six p.m. for the purpose of affording information, receiving applications for Grave Spaces and notices of internments.

 

By Order of the Board July 23rd 1857.

 

In the Oldham Chronicle of August 1st 1857 a notice was placed by Oldham Burial Board giving notice that the ordinary hours of internment at the new Burial Grounds are appointed as follows:-

In the consecrated parts three p.m.

In the unconsecrated parts four p.m.

The hours are the same for Sundays and Week Days

          By Order of the Board July 29th 1857

 

Obviously these two notices had been posted at an earlier date.

            Also in the August 1st edition notices where posted referring to the official opening of the two cemeteries, it appears as though the Chapel at Chadderton was completed before these ceremonies as the notice mentions that the Greenacres service would be held in Greenacres Independent Chapel in case of inclement weather.

Hollinwood cemetery was opened in August 1857 the first burial was of John Doran of Back Hargeaves St, St Mary’s on 3rd August 1857, he died 1st August 1857.  Chadderton cemetery was also opened in August 1857 the first burial was of John Newton of George St, St Mary’s on the 5th August 1857, he died on the 1st August 1857.

 

            Found notices in Oldham Chronicle about the openings and dedications. Also found notice for Royton and Lees.

            The other cemeteries are escaping me so far, one problem is that the Oldham Chronicle was only published weekly at this time.

 

In 1851 due to the City of London’s churchyards becoming overcrowded and causing health problems for the population Legislation was passed to prevent the burial in churchyards and internment in Church Vaults. The Legislation also allowed the setting up of “Out of Town Burial grounds”.

The legislation was extended to the rest of the country in 1853.

In August of 1857 the “Oldham Burial Board” opened two public cemeteries, Greenacres and Chadderton.

John Doran of Back Hargreaves St., St Mary’s was buried in Greenacres Cemetery on the 3rd of August 1857 having died on the 1st of August 1857.

Chadderton’s first burial was on the 5th August 1857 of John Newton of George St., Oldham, having died on the 1st August 1857.

These where followed Lees in 1879 (first burial on 11th January 1879 of Seth Connor), by Royton in 1879 (first burial 4th October 1879 of Marth Fitton) Failsworth in 1887 (first burial was 14th June 1887 of Rober Wright), Hollinwood in1889 (first burial was 23rd November 1887 of Lewis Wrench 14th June 1887) and Crompton in 1891 (first burial was 14th October 1887 of Jabet Broadbent).

Oldham opened a Crematorium in 1953; this is still in use today.

All the records for Oldham Cemeteries are kept at Hollinwood Cemetery, Roman Rd., Oldham OL8 3LU Tel: ~0161 681 1312. E-Mail:~ env.cemetries@oldham.gov.uk

As consulting the records have become popular I suggest you make an appointment to view the records, also wearing older clothes as the ledgers can be quite grubby.

 

The records are also on line at https://www.familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A%2F%2Ffamilysearch.org%2Frecords%2Fcollection%2F1482833%2Fwaypoints

The Oldham Branch of the Society is involved in transcribing the churchyard burials in the Oldham Metropolitan Borough.

The society has published several CD’s containing these transcriptions, these are available from the society’s on-line bookshop.

Oldham Local Studies and Archives also have copies available for consultation.    

 

We are also looking to publish further transcriptions shortly.

 

Rod Melton

 


The first meeting of a group to address the problem of burial of the dead in the County Borough of Oldham was held at the Town Hall on January 11th 1854; those present where :-

            Mr James Lees of Greenbank,

            Mr. James Platt of Hartford House,

            Mr. John Bentley of Rushbank,

            Mr John Riley of Westhill,

            Mr Josiah Radcliffe of Werneth Park,

            Mr John Bentley of High St.,

            Mr John Duncuft of Westwood,

            Mr William Mason of Yorkshire St.,

            Mr George Bailon of Greenhill

And Mr James Lees mayor of Oldham.

 

 

This was followed by a communication to the Churchwardens of Oldham dated the 11th January 1854 signed by the following :-

            N. Worthington Hollinwood,

            John Earnshaw Mumps,

            William Bradley Bank,

            James Bailey High St,

            William Ascroft Queens Rd.,

            William Oakes High St.,

            William James Falcon House

            John Halliwell Greaves St

            John Schofield Manchester St

            Abraham Leach Waterhead Mill

            Abraham Clegg Mumps

            Joseph H Mellor High St

            William Henry Fletcher Back Chapel St

            Henry Lister Hargreaves High St

.