Bardsley One-Name Study

Welcome to this site being developed to bring together all those interested in the ancestry of all people world-wide named Bardsley.

The Origins Of The Name

A place name origin from the village of Bardsley, lying between Ashton-under-Lyne and Oldham, in the County of Lancashire, England. There is no other origin, everyone worldwide with a blood descendant name of Bardsley comes from a family in that area at any time since the 14th century.

As a place name origin a number of families would have adopted the surname around the same time so there is no single family line. The historical records for this part of Lancashire are very good with Church records back to the 16th century. The earliest record of Bardsleys is a claim by a William de Bardsley against Sir John de Assheton in 1337 and then in the rentals of the Assheton family, 1379 to 1422, which list some ten Bardsleys.

There are a number of variants such as Barsley and Bardesley and these are also being researched. The surname Beardsley may also be a variant but is now well established in its own right in parts of the UK and very much in the United States. It is being researched by Tony Beardsley, who is also a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies

How many Bardsleys are there?

Based on the count of Bardsleys alive in 1851 and using population growth records there have been about 25,000 Bardsley births worldwide of all time. About 10,000 were born after 1900 and some 7,000 are still alive today.

Research work to date

The project has been running since 1973 and the main records on the database consist of the UK International Genealogical Index (IGI) and Vital Records Index of some 15,000 records, the UK 1851 census, parts of the UK 1841, 1861, 1871 census, the complete UK 1881 census and index of the UK 1901 census. The UK marriage indexes from 1837. In addition, the Australian Vital Records Index, the complete US 1880 census, the North America Vital Records Index and the Mormon Immigration Index. Of these records 5,500 individuals have been linked into family groups with Worldwide links.

There is some evidence of emigration around 1815 but the majority is after the 1840s so most early research work is done from the UK 1851 and 1841 census and the earlier Church records. It is relatively easy to trace back to the mid 19th century records but fraught with false trails before that. Please be very cautious at accepting any family lines you are given that are earlier than 1800 without very good proof.

How Can I Take Part

There are no fees or charges or commercial interests involved and this project is registered with the UK Guild of One-Name Studies. We now have over 250 corespondents worldwide with Bardsley gatherings being held in the US and Australia. Please send any data you have, particularly birth, marriage and death dates and places, and these will be added to the database and in return any links and suggested further research lines will be sent back. The records in use are mainly about dead people but if anyone living is sensitive about disclosing any data please omit it. Data can be submitted by mail or e-mail or disc, most formats can be accepted but best to check before sending large amounts. Volunteers to help to transcribe records are always needed!

Other Web Sites You May Find Of Interest

The Guild of One-Name Studies brings together all those working worldwide on various surnames, you will find a useful list of the names being researched and the charter of membership.

The Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society and The Family History Society of Cheshire cover the geographical areas of most interest to English Bardsleys.

A useful site covering a lot of the history of where Bardsleys lived and still mainly live, in what is now called Tameside, can be found at Tameside Local History.

For genealogical information on the whole of the United Kingdom and Ireland visit Genuki

How To Make Contact

E-mail me now or write/phone

Alan Bardsley, Roseland, Woodhouse Lane, Gawsworth, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 9QQ, UK; +44 (0)1625 422382

Important announcement, 2021

After over 40 years research my Bardsley One Name study is slowing down in its work.

You will find all the current records at

Public access to these records excludes details of anyone less that 100 years old.

If you have any links to Bardsleys I'll still be pleased to receive information on them.

It has been an exciting and interesting chase following the fortunes and misfortunes of Bardsleys worldwide.

I have made many life long friends and been pleased to entertain many on visits to my local Bardsley birth places.

Likewise I have been most graciously welcomed as a guest in many of our "colonies" abroad.

Updated March 2021