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 2010

Programme: 2010

Wednesday 4th August

Out Visit. To Helmshore Museum.

Please arrive by 7.00 pm Free Car Parking. £4.50 per person.

Wednesday 1st September

Research Evening.

Terry Walsh will be here with a selection of books from the Family History Partnership. His catalogue of titles is available for consultation..

Wednesday 6th October

Missing believed dead - Bill Taylor

Wednesday 3rd November

10 minute talks by our members.

Research and Advice Sessions:

at Rawtenstall Library every Tuesday 1.30 – 3.30 pm and every Monday at Haslingden Library 5.30 – 7.30 pm

Rossendale Branch has a group of members who are on hand every and Monday Tuesday to assist members of the public with their Family History enquiries. You will find us upstairs at Rawtenstall or Haslingden on the appropriate days as indicated above. When contacting us with an enquiry, please include your membership number.

Not a member? Then see the Benefits of Joining on our Home Page.

Subscriptions June to December

Please note that at this time of the year you can take out a subscription for half the usual price. This is a marvellous offer. You will receive 2 copies of our magazine and all the benefits of the society until January 2011.


News Notes and Queries

Book Review

Edenfield Through Time, by John Simpson

Everyone with an interest in Edenfield will be fascinated by "Edenfield Through Time", John Simpson’s new book illustrates the history of the village, through a collection of old postcards and modern photographs. The book uses the simple format of showing a street, building or group as it used to be, on the same page as a contemporary view. John is a well known local historian, a fact that is revealed by the very knowledgeable information given with each picture. The cover shows two pictures of Market Street, as it was then and is now. There are toll bars and factories, schools, and celebrations, throughout time and throughout the area, from Stubbins to Ewood Bridge; from Irwell Vale to Turn.

The book is available from local shops and on-line bookstores. It retails at £14.99. It is published as a paperback by Amberley Publicating, Chalford Stroud, Gloucestershire. June 2010. There are 96 pages, and 180 illustrations.

Warburton One Name Study

Ray Warburton - Member No. 9699 a new member writing from Wales says:

As part of my Warburton One-Name Study I am currently researching Warburtons in Haslingden, where parish records suggest a Warburton presence from the early 1700s if not earlier. I'm looking to share information with anyone who has links with, or knowledge of them. Also anyone who is interested in Warburtons, and the One-Name Project please visit my website at: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~warburton

There will be an article by Ray in next month’s newsletter.

Am I right?

Beryl Venables - member No. 8038 has sent this query.

I was very lucky when I started this family history hobby that I had some names and dates that were certainties. My Grandfather, Samuel Jackson b 1874, had bought a family bible and filled in his wife's details and their children.

One such was my Mother's Mother. I know she is my Grandmother but as I never met her she is now more a person to me as her born name, Emily Hetty Mawdsley b 1876, 35 Industrial Street, Bacup. Emily's parents, James and Mary Ann lived in various houses in Bacup, but the 1881 census saw them at 13 Dale Street. There was no Emily – then aged about 4 –entered. Was she staying elsewhere? Seemingly, no.

I have found no entry for her anywhere. But …..there is an entry for Thomas E. age 4. I have found no further evidence that he was a member of this family. Emily is entered on other census returns as expected.

Several years have gone by since I gave up looking for Thomas, and I have much information on Emily and her family. I must add that I do not live in Lancashire, so nearly all my work has been done online.

I started to look at the siblings of my direct ancestors, and, like most of you, there are many.

Emily's mother, was Mary Ann nee Pilling. Mary Ann had a sister Elizabeth Ellen who was married to John Percival.

John and Elizabeth, in 1881, were living at 128 Newchurch Road, Bacup. They had 4 children at this time – one called Thomas, age 2.

Could Elizabeth have been visiting her sister, Mary Ann, when the enumerator called? If she was, there would have been many children in the house and the man just got confused as to who was resident.

Am I right to think this way?

Do I add it to my list of never to be answered questions?



Susannah McKernan An Ausse-Lancastrian by Kay Swindale membership No. 8879: knswin@gil.com.au

I don’t know much about my ancestor’s early life and I certainly know less about the area she called home. I have penned her story from information I have researched and memories my mother had as a young person.

Susannah McKernan was born in Bacup on 21 January 1857. She was the youngest child and only daughter of John McKernan, a policeman, and his wife, Mary nee Farnworth. Her two elder brothers Thomas and Enoch had been born at Goodshaw. Susannah was almost a year old when her mother died. on 4th January 1858. Her father remarried in the December quarter 1858 to Ann Bancroft. They had no children.

According to the 1861 census they lived at Lord Street, Rawtenstall. They were still in Rawtenstall in 1865 as an article in the Leeds Mercury reveals that on Wednesday afternoon 12th April 1865:

"Bacup and Rossendale District was visited by a stormstorm of hail and thunder of no ordinary character. At Rawtenstall the electric fluid entered the home of a man named John McKernan by a side chamber window and broke nine panes of glass, destroyed the window sash, stripped the wall of a quantity of plaster, and proceeding between two beds, which are uninjured, tore up a portion of the chamber floor: then following the direction of the gas fittings entered the room over where Mrs McKernan and her children were taking tea. A little girl had her hand scorched, but the rest escaped without injury."

That little girl was my great grandmother, Susannah McKernan.

According to the 1871 Census, Susannah and her older brothers were working as "Cotton Power Loom Weavers" in Accrington. Their father was working as a Calico Block Printer.

John McKernan left the police force in March 1859.

Susannah married John Williams on 20 July 1878 at St James Church, Accrington. John was the youngest child and only son of John Williams and Laura nee Owen.

Susannah and John emigrated on the barque "Scottish Knight" sailing from Gravesend on 5 April 1879 for Townsville Queensland arriving 22 July 1879.

Their seven children, six girls and one boy, were born in Queensland, three in Croydon in the Gulf Country where the girls attended school. The boy and youngest girl died in infancy. John Williams carried on business in Croydon as a music warehouseman and agencies.

Several years later they moved to Cairns where Susannah lived until her death on Thursday 9 July 1942 at the age of 85 years. She had lived in Cairns for over 40 years.

Susannah was a member of the Cairns Methodist Church as well as a member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). During World War 1, she became involved in the Belgian Appeal.

The WCTU Cairns Branch started an appeal with a benefit concert in the Oddfellows’ Hall on 24 February 1915 "in aid of Distressed Belgian Mothers".

Susannah became the Superintendent of the Belgium Mothers’ Fund and collected money and dozens of cases of warm clothing. Regularly, she acknowledged donations of money and clothing in the local newspaper "Cairns Post".

Susannah received letters of thanks from the Belgian Consul in Sydney and also a beautifully framed embossed testimonial from the members of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

For her 80th birthday a daughter held at her home a musical evening with vocal, instrumental and community singing to celebrate Susannah’s birthday. Susannah had just returned from a holiday in Rockhampton spending a week with another daughter.

At the time of her death Susannah was survived by five daughters, 19 grandchildren and nine great grand children, most living in Queensland and some in the ‘fighting forces’.