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 2010

Programme: 2010 - 2011

Wednesday 1st December

Christmas Social.

Wednesday 5th January 2011

Research & Advice

Wednesday 2nd February

Where does time go - Peter Watson

Wedenesday 2nd March.

Stick Around - Brian White.

Programme 2010

Wednesday 1st December.

Christmas Social

If you don’t have tickets for our Christmas party tonight. They may be purchased at the door Cost £3.50 per head. It will once again by a potato pie and peas supper with mince pies etc., and whatever entertainment Leo, our programme organiser has devised for the night.

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 Tuesday and Monday, 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. We may be able to do simple look-ups fodistant members.When contacting us with an enquiry, please include your membership number.

Remember that your subscriptions for 2011 will be due at the end of this month. Details are in your November copy of "Lancashire".

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

Bolton History Centre

Due to the refurbishment of the archive strongroom it will not be possible to produce any original archives or local studies reserve stock material from Monday 29th November 2010 to 14th March 2011. However, The Bolton History Centre will remain open and the sources available in there will be accessible as usual. This includes access to Ancestry, census records, microfilmed parish registers, newspapers and many other resources. Much of the local studies stock of printed publications, pamphlets and books will also remain available.

Anyone planning a visit is recommended to telephone or email in advance to ascertain what is available. Telephone 01204 332185 or 01204 332179

Email archives@bolton.gov.uk

Rossendale: News Notes and Queries

Last month our members’ short talks, once again, proved popular. By co-incidence the main theme of the evening proved to be warfare. Mary Davison drew analogies between the war in Afghanistan and similar conflicts fought in the same area since the 19th century, when the British called it "The Great Game". and Jean Harrison described her search for the location of a World War I grave.

Reg Postlethwaite described how he had set out to discover the allegiance of his ancestors during the English Civil War. He subsequently published a book on his findings entitled "Captain Paulden - A Family Historian’s Dream Fulfilled", which is available from Parish Chest price £9.95. Thomas Paulden was a Royalist secret agent during the interregnum. Reg could not tell us the full story of Paulden’s exploits in just ten minutes but he has deposited a copy of his book in the branch library. He has recently contacted me to say that his book has been reviewed in the Federation of Family History Societies newsletter. Well Done Reg.

Members Enquiries

I had an enquiry from Penny Minikin about the Brandwood District of Rossendale and in particular about her Hardman family. Penny wrote:

Robert Hardman

In April 1875 when Robert Hardman of Sheephouse, Stacksteads, died aged 82 he owned a farm of 12 acres.

He married Betty Turner 18th February 1822 at Rochdale St. Chads. Both were listed as "of Greens". They had six children: James, 1822; Elizabeth, 1824; Henry, 1826; Alice, 1828; Judith,1830: and Richard 1833: James (1822) also had six children. James, Henry, Betty, Alice and Sarah.

Richard (1833) had two sons: James Ashworth and George Ashworth. In his will Robert called them the "natural sons" of Richard. Can anyone identify these two Ashworths? I would like to know their mother’s name and abode. Alice (1828) married Henry Taylor in 1856 and had three daughters, Alice, Julia and Betsy, my grandmother, who was orphaned at the age of four when her mother died in 1873.

I cannot find the date of Alice’s birth but Julia married Sam Sam Dearden in 1881 and in later years either she or Alice moved to Penistone, so the family story goes.

Betsy born 1869 married John Pennington in 1899 and moved to Oldham.

Robert Hardman was born at Sheephouse but from about 1830 – 1853 his family lived at Brandwood House. At that time he was a weaver. His brothers James and John ran Sheephouse farm and a quarry until after 1851. I believe that Robert moved back to occupy Sheephouse after his brothers died but more research is needed on this.

If anyone can connect with this family I would be very pleased to hear from them.

Penny Minikin of Cleveleys, member number 8713

email:- minikin@talktalk.net

The fascinating thing about Penny’s enquiry, is that although the linkage, is not quite established, her Hardmans are known to have lived in the Brandwood area for more than 300 years.

BRANDWOOD in the Forest of Rossendale

The historic geography of the Forest of Rossendale is quite complex. Whereas most of the Forest was in the ancient parish of Whalley, some areas in the south, lay within the Bury and Rochdale parishes. These were the Deer Park of Musbury and Cowpe Lenches which came within Bury Parish, and Brandwood which came within the Parish of Rochdale, at the northern and north western end of the Township of Spotland.

Towards the end of the 12th century Roger deLacy gave to the monks of Stanlawe, the pasture called "Brandwod" to feed their animals, By 1626 Theophilus Holt held 2,382 acres in Brandwood he was the only freeholder. There were also 6 copyholders who held between them circa 300 acres.

At the Lancashire assizes in 1833 a trial took place which caused much interest at the time.

The plaintiff was James Dearden Esq. Lord of the Manor of Rochdale , the defendants were James Maden of Greens and other free-holders. The question at issue was whether Brandwood formed part of the Manor of Rochdale. After a trial of almost 3 days the jury brought in a verdict for the defendants...

Hardmans of Greens and Sheephouse


Greens is a hamlet lying south of the River Irwell, a mile or so below Stacksteads, Sheephouse lies just beyond Greens but is essentially part of the same development on Greens Moor.

Henry Fishwick in his History of Rochdale,1899, writing about Marcroft Gate (in Wolstenholme) says:

"This is the place where sprang the very extensive family of Hardmans. Thomas Hardman of Marcroft Yate, Yeoman, died in 1594 [will proved at Chester] and from him descended it is supposed the Hardmans of Greens in Brandwood who are still owners of that property".

There was another interesting piece of information in Newbigging's History of the Forest of Rossendale. "Lawrence the father of John and James Hardman was born at Greens near Acre Mill, in the year 1664. At 17 years of age he moved to Rochdale. and shortly became established as a wool-stapler in that town. At his death which occurred in the year 1715 at Toad Lane, Rochdale, his two sons John and James succeeded to the business and carried it on in partnership. After being in the trade for some time, John the eldest, moved to Liverpool in order to devote attention to the concerns of the firm, while James continued to reside at Rochdale. They were successful in their undertakings and became wealthy merchants, owning their own trading ships. The following additional information is taken from Gregson's Fragments of Lancashire... (details of John's marriage & mention of litigation due to James' children all having died young) James Hardman surviving his brother John died Nov. 22 1759. It is said that Lawrence Hardman literally had Spotland covered with Sheep to further his business".

The LPRS volume shows a baptism 27 March1664 for Lawrence son of Robert Hardman of Greens.

Sale by Auction of the Brandwood Quarries

Since writing her initial enquiry Penny Minikin has obtained a copy of the Catalogue of the above Sale. from Sandra Cruise at Rossendale Museum. It is dated 29th September 1915. On that date Richard Siddall, quarry owner of Brandwood put up for auction a great deal of property on Greens Moor. Amongst these was Lot III, which dealt with the Bunker Hill and Sheephouse Estates.

Sheephouse was described as a, Freehold Farm-house and Tenement with the fields and pasture totalling 18 acres or thereabouts… mention is also made of the mines and minerals therein or thereunder.

The Sheep House Estate had been conveyed to the Richard Siddall by an Indenture dated the 30th April 1890, and made between James Hardman and Benjamin Holt of the one part, and the Richard Siddall of the other part, and was subject to an Indenture of Demise dated the 1st January 1874, made between Robert Hardman of the one part, and James Hardman and Henry Hardman of the other part, whereby a portion thereof containing 290 square yards or thereabouts, was demised [leased] unto the said James and Henry Hardman for the term of 999 years, but with the benefit of the Yearly Rent of £3 12s. 6d, thereby reserved and of the covenants on the part of the lessees and conditions therein contained.

Robert Hardman above was Penny’s ancestor. He died in 1875. The James and Henry mentioned in the 1874 indenture were probably his grandsons.

For more information on Richard Siddall and the Brandwood Quarries visit the bacuptimes website


Well that’s it for this year.

Happy Christmas Everyone, from the Rossendale Committee