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 December 2007


Programme: 2007 - 2008

Wednesday 5th December

Christmas Festivities

Wednesday 2nd January 2008

Stage and Mail Coaches.

Gerrald Schofield.

Wednesday 6th February

Research Evening.

Wednesday 5th March

Heraldry for the Family Historian.

John Mackie

Straits Resource Centre
2 The Straits,

Opening hours:
1.00pm to 5.00pm
Thursday 6th December 2007
Thursday 13th December 2007

Closed during Christmas and New Year Re-opens Thursday 10th January 2008

Walking Days

Kaleigh Wiggins has contacted us from Oxford University to ask for your memories of Walking Days. She says "I am working on a dissertation about Walking Day in the north-west (mainly focussing on the period 1950-1980). I'm very keen to include some oral testimony in my dissertation, so I would like to interview some people about their memories of Walking Day during this period, either individually or as a group (I'm from Southport, so I'll be back in the north-west over the Christmas holiday).

I'm sure many of your members are interested in local history and remember taking part in Walking Day; would it be possible for you to put me in contact with some people who might be willing to be interviewed, or even to help arrange a group session where people could reminisce together about their memories of Walking Day and what it meant to them? I will be back home on 5th December until 6th January, so any time within these dates would be convenient for me. I would really appreciate any help you could give me".

kayleigh.wiggins@hertford.ox.ac.uk My mobile phone number: 07752 710166

The Military Collection at Aldershot

If you have ancestors who served in the British Army you may be interested to know that the Military Collection at Aldershot Public Library numbers nearly 20,000 books, of which approximately 18,500 are available for loan, either directly from the library itself or through the inter-library loan system at your local public library.

The Collection includes a run of Army Lists, the earliest of which dates back to 1740, and several regimental histories giving a wealth of detail about the regiment's service, particularly during periods of conflict.

They also have the facility to search the 'Soldiers Died in the Great War' and the 'Army Roll of Honour - World War II' databases and print out the Scrolls of Remembrance for individual soldiers who died in either of those wars. Simply e-mail as many details as you have of the person you are researching (name, regiment, date of death, service number), and they can send you a facsimile reprint of the appropriate Scroll, printed on quality paper. There is a charge of £1.50 per printed Scroll.

They will be pleased to assist with any military-based enquiries. Contact the. Military Librarian, Aldershot Library Military Collection email: aldershot.library@hants.gov.uk

Rossendale Miscellany:

News, notes and queries

At our last meeting three of us gave a short talk. Jean Harrison told us about her project on the men of Stonefold church who died during WW!. She has gathered information, photographs of the men and of their gravestones or memorials. She has found details of their inter linked family and their friendships and neighbours.

Mary Davison’s. described how a chance meeting with a Russian woman, in a park in Kazakhstan led by a series of coincidences to our own Chairman, John Dalton.

My story was sub- titled a "Family History too far – back" It was about family naming patterns and relationships in the last days of the Roman Republic and early days of the Empire. I explained, how serial divorces and adoptions, led subsequently to the Emperor Nero, who was actually born Lucius Domitiius Ahenobarbus.

Following the talks, Michael Hiluta read us two monumental inscriptions, one was from St. James’s Churchyard, Haslingden. He said he had always wanted to go on University Challenge, so that he could say he was "Reading Monumental Inscriptions"

Reading Monumental Inscriptions

Michael, when you were naught but a lad, with better things to do, we were just a hundred yards from your house, doing the first transcription work undertaken by this Society.

In 1976, Frank Fell, founder of the embryo Rossendale Society for Genealogy and Heraldry, (now the LFH HS) came to a meeting and said "We are going to elect a committee and everyone here will be on it". I came home having been appointed not only Society Librarian but also, I was now the Monumental Inscription Organiser.

I chose to start with St. James’s Churchyard in Haslingden, (the nearest to my house) undaunted by the fact that this was the largest and oldest churchyard in the Borough.

Rita & St James monument

John Mackie drew up a grave plan. No easy task as it had been snowing! We were inexperienced but it was fun. We chalked numbers on the stones, copied data on to slips, cleared away grass, fought with holly bushes, cursed the weather and welded many friendships. I wrote a letter to the "Rossendale Free Press", explaining our activities. Several people came to see what we were doing, one of these was Mary Davison, who decided to join the gang another was Valerie Maxwell. She showed me all the graves belonging to her family "That’s one of mine and that’s one of mine" We later learnt that Valerie (or so it seems) is related to the entire town.

It took three years to complete our task by then, we had hundreds of slips in shoe boxes. We sat in Mary’s sitting room and started another pile of index slips, one for each name. Then one kind person volunteered to type everything up for us.. No computers then folks!

Rita Hirst - St. James Churchyard Haslingden 1978


Place Names at Newchurch

Craig Thornber has now reached the stage where he is indexing his LPRS volume from 1723 -1773. He sent a list of place names to me and to Wilf Day saying that as far as possible he wanted to use the modern place name first e.g. Rawtenstall, then the variants Ratenstal, Rattenstall, Rawtenstal. He had used a large scale map but some of the places could not be identified

I spent the whole of one Saturday poring over maps, old and new and checking census lists. When I ran out of steam, I contacted Wilf for advice and he provided some more information. Many of the places we identified were outside Newchurch, some were elsewhere in Rossendale, many were in the Rochdale area and in Edenfield, one or two were in Bury.

The list contained some weird and wonderful place names Mucky Earth, Whorley Tong, Sodhall, Cock Hall, Mettle Coat, Ugshutt, Pis Gate, etc.

Quite a few we didn’t find and I must admit that I am curious about some of them. Did your ancestors live at any of the following places:

Bengh-Clough, Boughclough or Booclough, Cant Kiln, Croo, Harrest Hills many variants on this, Hob Hall, Howyate, Lomaxes Lumaxes Lumoxes, Moad Coat; Neixley; Oldmotherbarn; Sadcol; Sander Clough; Simme Hey; Sleighwood; and Whinhile;

If you have any ideas regarding the location of these places, do let me have them. I know that there is a Lomax at Heywood and there was a Cant in the Castleton area of Rochdale but these seem rather a long way out.

Remember too, that I am willing to check the Baptisms 1723-1772, for Newchurch in Rossendale Parish for any member, providing you send your membership number.

Lancashire Record Office

Bow Lane, Preston. Saturday opening dates – 2008 from 10 am. to 4 pm: