Photo-a-Day (Tuesday, 17th March, 2015)
Wigan Parish Church
Nice one David.The light has a feel of Spring. How many generations of our ancestors are buried under the grass?
Dont ask me Neil
It depends what you mean by 'ancestors', Neil. If you mean folk from whom you may be descended, if you look at the Burials here:
http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Wigan/Wigan/allsaints/index.html, you'll see the answer for yourself is 'None'. If you mean Wiganers in general, then I'd suggest the answer is probably 'not many' for most people, but 'unknown' for a relatively few. The records only go back to 1754 - so finding out if an ancestor was buried there before then is going to be difficult.
Wigan population grew by just 7,000 between the 17th and the 19th centuries, but grew by 50,000 in the 19th century itself.
Taking a generation as averaging 25 years, then, and noting that burials stopped in 1904, or 4 generations ago, the recorded burials cover 6 generations. However, as the vast majority of folk in Wigan by 1901 had only arrived during the previous century, the most generations anyone descended from someone buried there could claim would be 4 - for most people (i.e., those whose ancestors arrived between 1801 and 1904).
Back to gardening!
Where were the deceased residents of Ince and Wigan buried prior to the opening of the cemeteries at Lower Ince in 1856?
49,790 burial records transcribed from 1754 to 1904. My Gt gt gt gt grandmother was buried there in 1831, my gt gt gt gt grandfather in 1837.
Neil, I heard a lot of the deceased in the old graveyard were exhumed and re-interred in a mass grave at Gidlow, that would be when the war memorial was built after WW!.
A.W. That is interesting. Not heard that so obviously the flagged area south of the Church was once a burial place.
banksy - most would have gone to All Saints, but burials are also recorded at St John's RC and St Paul's Congregational in Standishgate - and at St Catharine's Scholes (for the Ince area) from 1841.
The website url I've given will give you all the burials recorded, and made available to the LOPC.
Most Wigan churches were built after 1856, after which town churches were usually built without graveyards.
Neil - I think you'll find many of the flags we walk on in that area are actually gravestones - this is quite customary in old churchyards - viz Winwick, for example.
My sister and brother and I would often walk around the area around the cenotaph reading the inscriptions on the grave/flagstones, many going back centuries, the ones at the back of the shops had worn down so much they were unreadable, anyone know if they were removed or were they covered over with the tarmac.
Seem to remember some of those paving stones are old grave stones.
Thanks everyone I'll have a toot
A very long time ago there was a landslide at Wigan Parish Church grounds when a lot of the graves moved , no idea of dates , I was told the graves were then moved elsewhere, not a pleasant site to see as i am led to believe ,