Information in this record includes (for both Leah and Rachel, 2nd and 3rd entries from the bottom):
* Christening date: 25 December 1821
* Child's Christian Name: Leah; Rachel, dau. of
* Parent's Christian/Surname: Jane Morley
* Abode: Little Bolton
* Quality, Trade or Profession: Widow
* By Whom the ceremony was performed: H.Richardson, Lecturer
Note that no father is named, only that Jane Morley was a widow. There is no clear indication of illegitimacy here.
2) The christening of Alexander Whittle (the future husband of Rachel Morley) was found in the Parish Registers for St. Laurence's Church, Chorley, 1653-1947; Births, baptisms, marriages, burials, 1653-1921; Baptisms, 1813-1827, FHL BRITISH Film 0,093,703, Page 178:
The information in this record includes (second from bottom of image above):
* When baptized: 4 January 1818
* Number: 1422
* Child's Christian Name: Alexander, son of
* Parent's Christian/Surname: Alexander and Margaret Whittle
* Abode: unreadable, looks like Wheldon or similar
* Quality, Trade or Profession: Labourer
* By Whom the ceremony was performed: R.H.
3) The christening of Alexander Whittle (the future father of Alexander Whittle) was found in the Parish Registers for St. Laurence's Church, Chorley, 1653-1947; Births, baptisms, marriages, burials, 1653-1921; Mixed Records, 1694-1812, FHL BRITISH Film 0,093,703, no page number (Births and Christenings, and Burials, are in approximate calendar order):
Near the bottom of the page, the third line below "Christenings, 1774") is the notation for:
* Jan[uary]y 7, Alexander, s.[on] of John and Mary Whittle
4) The christening of Margaret Mansley (the future mother of Alexander Whittle) was found in the Parish Registers for St. Laurence's Church, Chorley, 1653-1947; Births, baptisms, marriages, burials, 1653-1921; Mixed Records, 1694-1812, FHL BRITISH Film 0,093,703, no page number (Births and Christenings, and Burials, are in approximate calendar order):
* Oct[obe]r 5, Margaret, D[aughter]. Robert & Ann Mansley
I gathered a few more christenings of these families, and a few burials, but no marriages were on these two microfilms for this date range. I will follow up on this later.
I easily found these records because other researchers have indexed the names, places and dates for researchers like me, and have put those indexes in the LDS International Genealogical Index (on microfiche, then on www.familysearch.org, and now on the FamilySearch Beta website), then on the Internet at Lancashire Online Parish Clerks website.
The volume of records on all of the parish registers (Christenings, Marriages, Burials) of England is enormous - tens of millions of entries from 1538 to 1837, and many parishes have records extending into the 20th century despite Civil Registration, which started in July, 1837. There are often typewritten transcripts or abstracts of these records in local English libraries, and some of these are available on FHL microfilm also.
The handwriting for the records before the standard forms were mandated in about 1813 is often unreadable, or in Latin, the register pages are often damaged or missing, and yet there is this rich treasury of parish records. They are not perfect or complete, but they are what is available.
Every researcher with English ancestry before 1837 needs to learn to use these records either in the online indexes or the microfilm images of the original records. In the future (hopefully within five more years), the FamilySearch Imaging and Indexing project will bring these page images to the Internet so that researchers can search them from home or at the FamilySearch Centers around the world.