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 2009

Programme: 2009 - 2010

Wednesday 2nd December

Christmas Festivities.

Wednesday 6th January 2010

Commemorating the Ancestors -

an archaeologist's view. Ben Edwards

Wednesday 3rd February

Research Evening

Wednesday 3rd March

A deeper look at Civil Registration

Tony Foster

Research and Advice Sessions:

at Rawtenstall library every Tuesday 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Rossendale Branch has a group of members who are on hand very Tuesday, to assist members of the public with their Family History enquiries. You will find us upstairs at the library adjacent to the new Community History facilities. When contacting us with an enquiry, please include your membership number.

Please note: Veronica Slater and her team of helpers have elected not to have a break over the holiday period. There will be research sessions on Tuesdays 22nd December & 29th December.

1911 Census available at The Straits

Members can now access the 1911 census free at the Society's Research & Resource Centre, 2 Straits Oswaldtwistle BB5 3LU. (250 yards from Oswaldtwistle Mills).

If you are uncertain on how to search the census you will find volunteers will to help so why not come along we are open each Thursday 1pm-5pm. You can contact us by Answer phone at 01254 239919.

For a full listing of our resources see the Society's website: www.lfhhs.org.uk/society/resource.htm

We look forward to seeing you. Tony Foster. President LFHHS


News Notes and Queries

Did you miss our last meeting? Several people said that they always find our members 10 minute talks very enjoyable. A synopsis of the talks is given below.

Leo Turner told us about his wife’s Radcliffe relations and their trek to Utah.

In Search of a Mormon by Leo Turner

In the early 1970s, before she passed away, my mother-in-law said that some relatives were on the Trek to Salt Lake City. Over my many years of research I bore this in mind but could never find any trace of the Allen Family going on the Trek. I eventually dismissed it as a family story that never happened.

Moving on. In 2009 my wife’s Auntie died age 98. I had previously asked her about the family and she didn’t want to know, dismissing it as ’all in the past’. As she was called Walker and I had Walkers in my wife’s side of the family tree that had been absorbed into the Allen tree. I did think they could be connected so I started from there to try to find a link. This lead me to a family called Lord who had joined the Allens and then to a family called Holt, again absorbed into the Allens Lo and Behold, there the trekkers were. Hannah Holt nee Lord who’s mother was nee Allen and buried in Sweetwater in September 1865.

It appears that a whole group of several families of the Allen’s set off together from Radcliffe on the trek to Salt Lake City in the late 1850s or early 1860s. I found, on the internet, an account of one Pioneer, as they were called, who had recorded her experiences on the crossing. Not everybody went on a Wagon Train, many had hand carts and walked the whole distance, some 1500 miles from New York or Boston, pulling these carts laden with 400lbs of supplies and personal goods, taking as long as 4 months . A late start in the year was always risky, for if winter came early then the Trekkers had to contend with snow and icy river crossings. This apparently happened to ‘my party’ as Mary Lord is recorded as dying at Crossing Plains, Sweetwater. As I couldn’t find a place called Crossing Plains I can only assume that it was ‘crossing the plains’ near Sweetwater which is at the foot of the Rockies. So poor Mary never made it the Promised Land dying on the way there. Many hundreds didn’t make it and died on the journey. As many as 15 per night were found frozen to death in the morning, both adults and children. Burials had to take place every morning before the journey could continue, further delaying the arrival. Rescue parties were sent out from Salt Lake City to find these pioneers halted for days due to the blizzards and deep snow. These rescue parties themselves were often delayed and only able to encourage the weary travellers on to the next staging post where food and warm clothing were waiting. So the story I dismissed as ’just a story’ turned out to be true. I have found some 4th cousins of my wife’s, still in Utah. I hope these pioneers got what they were promised for undertaking such a perilous journey.

email Leo Turner: ellandpt@talktalk.net

Battlefield Connections

(or how to find your Ashworths without really trying) by Jean Harrison

Earlier this year I was going on a trip to the Battlefields of France & Flanders, with Mary Davison. The week before I went, I gave Lorna Riley (who I have known for c.40 years) a lift to a meeting of our German Circle. On the way she asked me if I would be visiting any of the Memorials with lists of soldiers’ names on them. I told her I was going to Thiepval and Menin Gate, I asked her whether she would like me to look up someone for her.. "Yes", she said, "his name is Fred Draper". Quite taken aback I said "you don’t mean Fred Ashworth Draper do you?"

Lorna equally amazed asked "Yes, how do you know of him?" I told her that he was a relative of my great, great grandfather, Henry Ashworth. But he’s also related to my great grandmother, she replied. "Then – we must be related!"

It turned out that Lorna and I were 3rd cousins once removed. Later that week I went to see her and we compared our Ashworth Family Trees. Lorna’s grandmother Annis Ashworth and my great, great grandfather were brother and sister. They had a younger brother, William Nuttall Ashworth, whose grandson was Fred Ashworth Draper. I hadn’t been able to trace any details about Annis Ashworth, the reason being, as Lorna was able to point out, was that on Annis’s marriage certificate to Christopher Riley, Annis’s name had been written down as Alice. Lorna of course has been looking for the marriage certificate of Christopher Riley whereas I had been looking for it under the name of Annis Ashworth. She gave me a copy of her Riley family tree, which provided me with a whole new line on my Ashworth Tree. I had already got a photograph of Fred Ashworth Draper from the Haslingden Guardian of which I was able to let Lorna have a copy. When I went to Thiepval I was able to place the photo of Fred along with a cross with his name on at the foot of the column where he is commemorated. He was in the 1/4th Battalion, The Loyal North Lancashire Regt. and was listed as missing, presumed dead, on 9th September 1916, aged 18. It just goes to show that you should never give up on your Ashworths.

email jeanharrison18@yahoo.co.uk

Liverpool to Haslingden: a Life Time’s Journey

by Rita Hirst

My talk was about my Great Grandmother, Ellen Murray who was born in Toxteth Park in 1854. She died in Haslingden in 1909, having lived in Bacup, Burnley and Rawtenstall. She had two husbands, Owen McCoy and Jesse Wakefield and nine children. I discussed the social and economic conditions in these various towns and pointed out the problems I had encountered when every document I had acquired had incorrect information

Family History and Heraldry in the North of England by Jeanette Edwards.

Our 4th talk was from Dr. Jeanette Edwards, a Professor of Social Anthropology. She told us that she is interested, not in Family History but in Family Historians! She is carrying out a study of family history research in the North of England. She is interested in why family history and genealogy are so popular at the beginning of the 21st century. She asks Why do people trace their family trees? What gets them started? What do they do with the information they collect?

She is interested in family history societies, not only in their role in promoting family history research but also their place in the community, where members know each other and meet regularly She asks about the significance of the internet, what makes an expert family historian, are some people better at reading clues than others? What part does serendipity play in our research? Do we become attached to certain ancestors and have an empathy with them? When we find living kin, do we create new family relationships?.

Is there any truth in the hypothesis that more people are doing family history research as their lives become fragmented, they do not know their neighbours and families are dispersed etc.

An Obituary

Milton Ormerod 1922 - 2009

Dr. Milton Ormerod died on the 4th November aged 87. He was born in Stacksteads in 1922 and attended Bacup and Rossendale Grammar School. He went on to Manchester University where in 1942, he obtained his degree in Chemistry. After war work in the CWS Science department, he returned to his old school in Rossendale, where he became senior science master. In 1967 he was appointed as a lecturer at Brunel University, Uxbridge and was awarded a PhD. He retired to Whalley before coming back to Rossendale in 1992.

Milton was an early member of this Society and had an even earlier passion for family history. In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s he made hand written copies of the Newchurch in Rossendale parish registers. Photocopies of his transcripts were donated to the Lancashire Parish Register Society and were used as a basis for the recently published volumes transcribed by Craig Thornber.

He also did a detailed study of all the Ormerods and Laws in the Rossendale area. These have been published by the Society and are essential reading for anyone researching these two names.