A member of The Federation of Family History Societies
St James' Church, Haslingden
St John's Church, Bacup
St Mary's, Church Rawtenstall


Rossendale Branch Newsletter August 2002

Programme 2002

Tonight - Research Evening

4th September The other 1851 - Rossendale Census. John Dunleavy will talk about the Ecclesiastical Census of 1851.

2nd October Members’ Miscellany. Members are invited to talk for for about 10 minutes on a subject of their choice. Have you undertaken an interesting piece of research? Have you found an unusual source? Or maybe, you would like to tell us what prompted you to start researching your family in the first place.

Coming Events

Friday 4th October -

LFHHS Annual Dinner hosted by Pendle and Burnley Group, at the Bay Horse Inn, Blacko Bar Road, Roughlee. £17.00 per head. Please book early. There are limited places available. Full details are in the August magazine.

Sunday 27th October -

This year the annual Family History Fair hosted by the N.W. Group of Family History Societies will be held at Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester. 10.30am - 4.30pm

There will be the usual variety of stalls.

Also Refreshments and Free street parking. Admission £2 - children free.

Did you miss.... our visit to Rochdale Town Hall?

The weather was dreadful when we made our visit to Rochdale but it was worth the journey. If you didn’t come, you missed a treat. Rochdale Town Hall is worthy of its designation as a Grade 1 listed building.

The foundation stone was laid by John Bright in 1866. The finished building was opened by the mayor George Leach Ashworth in 1871. It cost more than eight times the original estimate of £20,000. Councillor Ashworth was responsible for obtaining the funding. He said "We can not have beauty without paying for it."

It is an outstanding example of a Victorian Gothic building. The hand painted stained glass windows alone, are insured for £2 million pounds. In the entrance hall the heraldic tiles are valued at £2,000 per coat of arms. It is a heraldist’s dream palace.

The Grand Staircase has a wealth of heraldic stained glass. The side windows contain the arms of the major textile manufacturing towns of Lancahire and Yorkshire. The top lights of the east and west windows represent the technological developments of the day which made possible the trade and development of Victorian Rochdale.

Arguably the most memorable room is the Great Hall which dipicts in its windows the Kings and Queens of England. At one end is a mural of King John signing the Magna Carta at the other end is the superb Binns organ. The roof is painted with heraldic devices. Its most splendid feature is is the series of angels which terminate the hammer beams and which originally held chandeliers from their hands.

This is very much a working building but if you missed our visit. You can join one of the guided tours which take place every Friday at 2.15pm.

1901 Census

The PRO is still unable to give a firm date for the 1901 census being accessible online. A move to test the online service by public users is planned. Details will be available shortly. Check: www.pro.gov.uk/census/online.htm

Civil Registration Indexes

Bury Reference Library has now acquired the Civil Registration Indexes - Births, Deaths and Marriages.

These are available from 1837 - 1865 on microfiche and 1865 - 1900 is available on microfilm.

Remember to book the appropriate micro-reader before visiting the library. Tel. 0161 253 5857

Rossendale Ancestry:


Tom Wood of Pittsburgh, PA USA writes: I am presently having difficulty tracking down the family of my 2xG.Grandfather Henry Ramsbottom.

He married at Blackburn on 22 May 1847. His father was given as John Ramsbottom, labourer. On later census returns he gives his place of birth variously as Haslingden, Rossendale and Crawshawbooth. He was born about 1823. I have tried to find a christening for Henry in the local churches. I have also had checked the 1841 census for Higher and Lower Booths, Haslingden and Blackburn without any success. Any help in finding Henry would be much appreciated. email: ttwood49@hotmail.com


Don Green writing from Yorkshire says:

"Sorry to report there has been no response to my offer to return the ribbon recording the death of Tom INGHAM of the East Lancs Regiment".

Mary LUTY was a friend of Don’s aunt Sarah HEYS. She travelled around the world between the wars and published an account of her travels in a book entitled 2A Penniless Globe Trotter". I has an original of that book with a dedication inside and would consider passing it on to any descendants of Mary Luty if they do not already have a copy.

Don is also researching his own GREEN family. Edward Green, a railway porter, and his wife Ellen came to Rawtenstall about 1876. The family had lived at Snailwell, Cambridge and Exning, Suffolk.

email. dando.green@virgin.net

Don is planning to be at our August Meeting so please make him welcome and give him what help and information you can.


Helen Ashworth is interested in the family of Christopher George Rothwell Ashworth, a member of the New Jerusalem Church in Haslingden. His son Alfred married Margaret Ann Bailey (born 1861), daughter of Robert Bailey, waste merchant of Haslingden c1888. His daughter Emily Ashworth (born 1870) married Albert Bailey son of Robert Bailey. The Baileys were members of Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, Haslingden. The Ashworths originated in Bacup, C.R.G. Ashworth was son of Miles Ashworth, corn dealer and his wife Elizabeth. He was baptised 27th June 1837. Miles married Elizabeth Rothwell at Rochdale 29 July 1830.

Email lorainehelen@ntlworld.com


Richard Gill was pleased to find his great grand- parents’ grave featuring in our gravestone of the month in October 2001. They were Mary Elizabeth nee Parkinson 1864 -1946 (sister of H.W.W. Parkinson, editor of the Rossendale Free Press) and James Whalley, Town Clerk of Rawtenstall. He is a descendant via the female lines. The couple had three daughters, including his grandmother Edith Margaret Davies. Her daughter is Richard’s mother Eluned M. Gill. email Richard.Gill@jet.uk

Book Review

The Laws of Rossendale and the Upper Calder Valley, 1500 - 1750/1800,

by Milton Ormerod, and Frank T. Haylett.

Published by the L.F.H.H.S. December 2001

This book is similar in format to Milton Ormerod’s earlier book which dealt with the Ormerod Family and its growth within the Rossendale Valley.

The book has two preliminary sections

1. Background to the Account of Rossendale Families: Historical, Geographical and Social.

2. Sources of genealogical information in the Honor of Clitheroe. Several 16th and 17th century sources have been evaluated:

Rentals, 1507,1527,1539,1608.1662; Court Rolls from 1504; the Act book of Whalley Abbey 1510 -1538; Wills from 1570; Parish Registers, earliest Whalley 1538, latest Newchurch in Rossendale 1653; legal records, taxation lists.

The bulk of the book deals with the genealogy of the Law family of Rossendale. They were not among the original settlers in the valley but it is known that a John Law acquired land at Wolfenden in 1514. Milton Ormerod judges this man to be the ancestor of the majority of Laws in this area. He and Frank Haylett have endeavoured to trace the descendants of John Law’s family down to 1750. They have taken the better documented lines as far as 1800.

If you do have Law ancestors then the book may serve as a guide for your own researches. There is a very useful bibliography and several maps and drawings.

The pedigree charts cover:

The Laws of Tunstead; The descendants of Gilbert Law of Bury; The Law Ancestry of the Ormerods of Cowpe; The earliest Laws of Wolfenden; The Family of James Law of Heald; The Family of George Law of Constable Lee; The Family of John Law of Holmes in Bacup; The early Laws of the Upper Calder Valley.

Copies may be purchased from the LFHHS Publications Officer, Terry Walsh, "Strathmore" 57 Bury New Road, Ramsbottom, Lancs. BL0 0BZ