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 2011

Programme: 2011

Wenesday 7th December

Christmas Social

Wednesday 4th January 2012

Research Evening

Wednesday 1st February

Village signs

A talk by Shirley Addy.

Wednesday 1st March

A talk by Norman Hindley

Research and Advice Sessions at

Haslingden Library every Monday 5.30 – 8.30 pm

Note: the doors to Haslingden Library close at 7.30.

and at Rawtenstall Library every Tuesday 1.30 – 3.30 pm

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

The LFHHS Resource Centre

The Society’s Resource and Research Centre at 2 Straits, Oswaldtwistle, BB5 3LU is open every Thursday from 1.00pm – 5.00pm and 1st Saturday of each month 1.00pm.

Coming Events

February 24th - 26th 2012

Who Do You Think You Are Live 2012 Olympia National Hall, Hammersmith Road’ London. W14 4BUX
Exhibits, Workshops and Expert Advice.

Sunday 4th March

Merseyside and Cheshire Family History Fair at Hulme Hall, 23 Bolton Rd., Port Sunlight, Wirral, Merseyside, CH62 5DH 10.00 am -5.00 pm.

British Newspaper Archive

Following the launch of the British Newspaper Archive, why not take this opportunity to search this amazing resource? New pages are being added daily. To read more about the launch and how to get the most from this resource, visit www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk


The Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society now has a page on Facebook.

Go to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lancashire-Family-History-Heraldry-Society/202353503175155

Rossendale News, Notes and Queries

At our last meeting we had a talk by William Taylor entitled “Lost on the Lusitania”. Bill told us about his mother’s relative who had died when the ship was sunk during WWI and also showed us some interesting photographs of bombed out Liverpool, during WWII; when his mother used to take him to see the memorial book in Liverpool Cathedral.

My thanks to Beryl Venables for this month’s article.

James Mawdsley

James was born on 1st January 1852 at Edgeside Holme, Newchurch parish, the son of Rothwell Mawdsley and Alice nee Ogden. James started work as a Loom Jobber then Weaver at Irwell Mill, Bacup, before going to work for Mr Ralph Tattersall, a Wine and Spirit Merchant with a shop occupying the site that became the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank, Bacup. After the retirement of Mr Tattersall, James took over the business.

James married Mary-Ann Pilling at St John’s Church, Bacup on 30th January 1870. They started their married life with Mary- Ann’s parents in Co-operation Street, Bacup.

They then lived at various other addresses in Bacup, mostly in Dale Street.

One of his daughters, Emily Hetty is my grandmother. I have records of twelve children. Luckily I was able to obtain lots of information from my Mother and her elder sister several years ago so looking for James and Mary-Ann’s children was a fairly straightforward task.

James moved his business as he later had shops at the Market Hall in Bacup. I gather not in the Hall itself but under the Hall in Lord Street. Though they are in a sorry state these days, I am sure the shop fronts were very smart when new.

James was obviously a man who wanted to help his community and was elected as a Town Councillor in November 1900. He was on committees for Waterworks, Health and Baths, Electricity and Tramways. From the time he entered the council he never fought an election, being returned unopposed in 1903, 1906 and 1909.

His obituary in the Bacup Times states he was a very regular attendee at council meetings.

James was a Freemason and held offices within his Lodge and Regionally.

James was fond of Brass Band Music. In his youth he was a non- playing member of the Bacup Band, while in later years he played euphonium with the Wellington Band.

James’ greatest hobby was hunting – a regular follower of the Rossendale Hounds. James suffered a serious accident about five years before he died, when he was thrown out of a horse and trap. He received serious injuries to his head and never fully recovered. He found any slight cold caused severe pain, even after having his hair cut. The Friday lunchtime of 26th November 1909 James made sure he was on his own at the shop. He wrote a note on the shop message slate, “My head is bad, dear wife”. Then he took his own life by hanging himself. His eldest son James Edward, found him on returning from his lunch break. The Saturday edition of the Bacup Times started its report –“A sensation was created in Bacup yesterday afternoon when the news spread that Councillor James Mawdsley, the well know Wine and Spirit Merchant, of Lord Street, had committed suicide.” James’ funeral procession from St John’s Church to Bacup Cemetery ‘was of an imposing character’ - Councillors, Masonic Brethren, family and friends, Members of the Corporation and the Mayor’s private carriage. As was the custom shop blinds were lowered along the route. James left ten living children and their families, most of whom I have been able to trace. One phrase that I appreciate from the reports in the Bacup Times is the quote - ….he was a man to make no enemies. I wish I had known him.

Haslingden’s Population Figures

1841 8063 born in Ireland 90
1851 9030 born in Ireland 434
1861 10,109 born in Ireland 701
1871 14,298 born in Ireland 1,236
1881 16,030 born in Ireland 705

Ireland’s Population

The arrival in 1845 of the American potato blight in Ireland caused one of the worst famines to strike the Western world in modern times. Between 1845 and 1850, about one million people died and another million emigrated. Movement of starving people in search of food encouraged the rapid spread of disease, including dysentery and typhus. There was a 20% fall in Ireland's population between 1841 and 1851. Every area except for Dublin and Belfast lost population; Ulster was less deeply ravaged than other parts.

1845 -1855

Ireland’s Population fell from 8.5 million to 6 million By 1861 it was down to 5.8 million.

The population of Ireland is currently 6.1 million with 4.35 living in the Republic and 1.7 million in N. Ireland.