Stoke - Stoke-on-Trent

Stoke Crest

Notice that the town is correctly called Stoke-upon-Trent, as distinct from the city, which is Stoke-on-Trent. In practice, local people know the town of Stoke-upon-Trent by the simpler and shorter name of Stoke.

The towns of Stoke, Penkhull and Boothen were incorporated as the Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent in January, 1874.

Arnold Bennett referred to the ton of Stoke as Knype in his novels centred on the Potteries towns.



Also see: 'the Six Towns' -  Stoke
The resources and transcripts on this page are from GenUKI - the leading Internet genealogical resource in the UK

See: GenUKI on Staffordshire
see: GenUK on Staffordshire Towns and Parishes



History of Stoke


A surname index only of the 1851 census for the Stoke-upon-Trent area is included in the 1851 Staffordshire Census Surname Index, Vol 5, Parts 1 & 2, Stoke-upon-Trent, published by the Birmingham and Midland SGH.

Stoke-upon-Trent parish formed its own Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
Stoke Union had a total population of 47,925 in 1841.
The Workhouse, at the Spittal, in Penkhull, was built in 1833, and afterwards enlarged with accommodation for more than 600 paupers.

FROM PIGOT'S TYPOLOGY OF ENGLAND IN 1841 - Staffordshire and the Potteries

STOKE-UPON-TRENT is a market town, and by the reform bill created a borough, entitled to return two members to parliament, in the extensive parish of its name, about one mile and a half east from Newcastle-under-Lyme; situate, as it's name implies, upon the river Trent, and upon the banks of the Grand Trunk Canal. This parish, at present including a district of more than seventeen square miles, and originally of much greater extent, owes its increase in population and opulence to the establishment of numerous potteries, for which its situation, on a navigable river and a great canal, renders it favourable, and for which it has for many years been distinguished. The town contains many handsome houses, commodious wharfs and warehouse, and extensive china and earthenware manufactories, - and is deemed the parish town of the Potteries. The first steam-engine for grinding burnt flint, for the use of the potters, was erected in Stoke. The parish is within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates, and the police is under the superintendence of commissioners appointed by an act of parliament - under the provision of which, also, a chief bailiff is elected, who convenes and presides at all meetings of the inhabitants.


The old church, dedicated to St Peter, has given place to a handsome new one, erected in 1826; it is in the later style of English architecture, and contains one thousand six hundred sittings. The handsome monument erected in the old church to the memory of the highly respected Josiah Wedgwood, Esq., where he was interred in 1795, has been put up in the new church. The benefice is a rectory. Throughout the parish there are places of worship for the various classes of dissenters; and in the town is a handsome and commodious school, in which upwards of five hundred children are instructed upon the national plan. The market is held on Saturday, and an annual wake on the first Monday in August.


Data from Pigots supplied by: Dr David Alan Gatley (Staffs University)

From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851


"The parish of Stoke-upon-Trent comprises about two thirds of the populous district called the Staffordshire Potteries, including all the towns and villages lying south of Burslem and east of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Though now containing upwards of 55,000 inhabitants and about 12,000 acres of land, it was formerly of much greater extent, until it was reduced by an Act of Parliament, passed in 1807, entitled 'An Act for separating the Chapelries and Chapels of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Burslem, Whitmore, Bucknall-cum-Bagnall, and Norton-in-the-Moors from the Rectory and Parish Church of Stoke-upon-Trent, and for making them five distinct rectories'.
Stoke-upon-Trent, the capital, although not the largest town of the borough and parish to which it gives name, is pleasantly situated in the township or liberty of Penkhull-with-Boothen, in a picturesque valley, on the banks of the River Trent and the Trent & Mersey Canal, one and a half miles E of Newcastle-under-Lyme. 

What was properly called Stoke, until about 70 years ago, consisted of only five houses, but the name is now applied to the town, situate at a short distance to the west, under the lofty hill on which stands the large village of Penkhull, which appears to be one of the oldest seats of the earthenware manufacture, for it had three brown ware potteries in 1600. Here are several of the largest porcelain and earthenware manufacturies in the Potteries, and a commodious range of warehouses and wharfs on the Trent & Mersey Canal. Here also are the head offices and station of the North Staffordshire Railway

The other principal villages in the township of Penkhull-with-Boothen, and their distances from Stoke are:
Boothen, one mile S, belonging chiefly to Sir Thomas FF Boughey, Bart.
Basford, one mile NW where there are extensive brick and tile works.
Hartshill, one mile W where there is a handsome new church.
Oak Hill, one mile S, the seat of MD Hollins, Esq.
Trent Vale, one and a half miles S, which has several handsome villas, and extends to Hanford Bridge, and was formerly called Black Lion.
Cliffe Ville, half a mile W, the seat of FW Tomlinson, Esq.
Fenton, in the two manors and liberties of Fenton Culvert and Fenton Vivian, forms a populous suburb, extending from Stoke to Longton, with many neat houses and large china and earthenware manufactories, and the hamlets of Lane Delph, Foley, and Sideaway.
Botteslow, is a small liberty, about two miles SE of Hanley, with a number of scattered farmhouses and three collieries."


Church of England History

"The Parish Church, St Peter ad Vincula, is a large and handsome fabric in the modern ornamented Gothic style of architecture, It was built in 1829, near the site of the old church, which was a venerable fabric in the Saxon style. The rectory is in the patronage and incumbency of the Rev John Wickes Tomlinson, MA.

Penkhull Church, St Thomas, was erected in 1842, in the English style. The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of the Rev TW Minton, and incumbency of the Rev JCT Stretch, BA.

Hartshill Church, Trinity, is a small handsome fabric of Early English architecture, built in 1842 by Herbert Minton, Esq, the patron of the perpetual curacy, now held by the Rev FF Clark, BA.

Trent Vale Church is a neat plain structure, erected in 1843. The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of the rector or bishop, and incumbency of the Rev Henry Grey, MA.

Christ Church, Fenton, is a neat structure, erected in 1839. The perpetual curacy is in the patronage of the Bishop, and incumbency of the Rev William Sollis, MA.


Nonconformist Church History

"There are in Stoke and the suburbs several dissenting chapels:
A large Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Market Street, two small chapels belonging to the New Connexion Methodists, in Hill Street and Harpfield, built in 1815 and 1823, and one belonging to the Society of Friends, in Thomas Street, built in 1823 by the Independents, who now worship in the New Town Hall.
The Roman Catholics have a small place of worship in Back Glebe Street, and the Baptists and Unitarians have meeting rooms here.
In Fenton the Wesleyans have a chapel in Temple Street, built in 1831, and there is a New Connexion Methodist Chapel in Market Street, erected in 1811."

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851)

Church of England Records

The register of St Peter ad Vincula commences in 1629. The original registers for the period 1629-1770 & 1798-1927 (Bapts), 1629-1927 (Mar), and 1629-1773 & 1798-1955 (Bur) are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office.
Bishops Transcripts, 1679-1837 (with gaps 1679, 1755-58, 1766-70, 1832 & 1833-37) are deposited at Lichfield Joint Record Office.
A transcript of the registers of St Peter ad Vincula was published in four parts by the Staffordshire Parish Register Society as follows:
Part 1 1629-1688 (published 1914)
Part 2 1689-1734 (published 1918)
Part 3 1734-1753 (Mar) & 1735-1797 (Bapts & Bur) (published 1925)
Part 4 1754-1812 (Mar) & 1798-1812 (Bapts & Bur) (published 1926)
All four parts have been reprinted by the Birmingham & Midland SGH.

Nonconformist Church Records

The original registers are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office (SRO) or the Public Record Office (PRO) as indicated below:
Penkhull Primitive Methodist, Births & Baptisms 1832-1837 (PRO)
Epworth Street, Stoke, Methodist New Connexion, Baptisms 1813-1938 (SRO)
Fenton, Weslyan Methodist, Births & Baptisms 1799-1837 (PRO)
Wesley Chapel / Sedgley Chapel, Stoke, Wesleyan Methodist, Births & Baptisms 1813-1837 (PRO)
Hill Street, Stoke, Mount Zion, Methodist New Connexion, Baptisms 1813-1938, Marriages 1925-1936 (SRO)


'The Borough of Stoke-upon-Trent...'
by John Ward
Published 1843, by W Lewis & Son, London.
Republished 1969, by SR Publishers Ltd, Wakefield, Yorkshire.

'The History of the City of Stoke-on-Trent & the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme'
Compiled by Robert Nicholls from the history published by John Ward.
Published 1931, by Wood, Mitchell & Co, Hanley.

'A Sociological History of the City of Stoke-on-Trent'
by Ernest James Dalzell Warrillow
Published 1960, by Etruscan Publications, Stoke-on-Trent.
Silver Jubilee Edition published 1977, by Ironmarket, Newcastle.

'Stoke-on-Trent. Federation and After'
by John Gilbert Jenkins
Published 1985, by Staffordshire County Library, Stafford.

'Penkhull Memories'
by Elizabeth Fanshawe
Published 1983, by Staffordshire County Library, Stafford.

'The Church and Ancient Parish of Stoke-upon-Trent'
by Richard Talbot
Published 1969, by Richard Talbot, Stoke-on-Trent.

'The Methodists of Penkhull Village'
by H Eva Beech
Published 1986, by Penkhull Methodist Church, Stoke-on-Trent.

'The Archdeaconry of Stoke-on-Trent. Historical Notes, etc'
by Sanford William Hutchinson
Published 1893, by Bemrose & Sons, London.

'Hulton Abbey. Stoke-on-Trent's Cistercian Abbey'
by Thelma W Lancaster
Published 1981, 1984, by City Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.

'The Story of Christ Church, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, 1832-1982'
by John G Llewellyn
Published 1982, by JG Llewellyn, Tunstall.

'The Church on the Hill, or 100 Years in a Potteries' Parish.
A Short History of the Parish & Church of St John, Goldenhill, Stoke-on-Trent'

by Jack James.
Published 1944, Stoke-on-Trent.

'The Stoke to Market Drayton Line, & Associated Canals & Mineral Branches'
by CR Lester
Published 1983, by Oakwood, Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

'On the Mortality of the Parish of Stoke-upon-Trent, with reference to its causes,
and the ratio of deaths among children and potters'

by John Thomas Aldridge
Published 1864, by T Crewe, Newcastle.


Stoke-upon-Trent City Archives holds some records including:
Year Books, 1915-1921
Year Books and Diaries, 1922-1930
Minutes, 1876-1922

The Public Record Office holds:
Correspondence, 1834-1900 (Class MH12/11458-98)
Staff Registers, 1837-1921 (Class MH9/16)

Voting Registers

Stoke on Trent City Archive holds poll books for Stoke as follows:
1859, 1862, 1865 & 1868.

William Salt Library holds the Stoke pollbook for 1832.


[The history of the City of Stoke-on-Trent]

[Tunstall] [Burslem] [Hanley] [Fenton] [Longton] [Stoke]

Questions and comments to: Steve Birks: