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 January 2006

A Happy and Healthy New Year to you all.

Programme: 2006

Wednesday 4th January

Enquiry and research evening

Wednesday 1st February

Ten Minute Talk by the members

Wednesday 1st March

Girl with no name. Tony Foster

Wednesday 5th April

AGM - Followed by a short talk by Mary Davison on her early days in the Police Force.

John Amos Taylor

In early December 2005. we heard of the death of Amos Taylor, aged 94. Amos lived in the Edenfield area all his life and although a Methodist, he was buried appropriately in Edenfield churchyard. He and his son Derek were responsible for indexing all the baptisms, burials and marriages at Edenfield Parish Church. These together with Edenfield MIs have been issued by the society on microfilm; a lasting memorial to a fine man.

Burials at Bacup

Cemetery Our new project for this year entails indexing the burials for Bacup cemetery. Further details will be announced at Branch meetings and in our upcoming newsletters.

Coming Events

Who do you think you are?

I have now received details of the new series of "Who do you think you are?" produced for the BBC by Wall to Wall Television. The series is due to commence on Wednesday 10th January 2006. It will be shown on successive Wednesday evenings at 9.00 pm Six celebrities, Jeremy Paxman, Sheila Hancock, Stephen Fry, Julian Clary, Jane Horrocks and Gurinda Chadra will trace their family trees, to reveal the often moving stories of their ancestors and major themes in social history.

The story of Jane Horrocks and her Rossendale connections, will hit our screens on 8th February. You won't want to miss your secretary making a fool of herself in a coffee shop, in Bank Street, Rawtenstall, Jackie Ramsbottom handing out census returns in Rawtenstall library, and the Rev. Roy Nicholls supplying information to Jane at our group meeting place, Longholme Methodist Church.

Family History Open Day at Whitaker Park

On the 18th February there is a Family History Open Day at Whitaker Park Museum, Haslingden Road, Rawtenstall. Members of our group will be there from 1pm - 4pm to give general advice and help, supported by the Irish Ancestry Group, who will be there to give more specialised advise on Irish Ancestry. The museum has borrowed our exhibition on the Irish in Haslingden, this will be on display from February 1st to February 26th. After which, in March it will revert to Haslingden library for the Michael Davitt commemorative events.

Bethseda Chapel, Newchuch

In the July 2005 newsletter, Peter Hanley said he had a copy of a "History of Bethseda Chapel, Newchurch" by William Stout Broadley which he offered to check for any members interested.

He has now sent me a copy of this index, in case it can be of assistance at our Research Evening tonight. Peter can be contacted by email at

peterhanl@aol.com or at his postal address

4 Ashleigh Close, Culverstone, Meopham, Kent, DA13 OTS

Bethlehem Unitarian Church, Newchurch

Rawtenstall library has recently received a "Book of Remembrance for Bethlehem Unitarian Church, Newchurch in Rossendale". It contains the names, ages and dates of death of members of the church from c1920 until c2000. The arrangement is rather odd as the names are listed under their month of death and then roughly chronologically..

Rossendale Ancestry

The TAYLORS of Rossendale. Part 2.

Last month we printed a memoir of the Taylor family, written by Grace Hines born 1888 and based on an oral tradition, regarding her Rossendale ancestors.

Rich (Great) Uncle James

James can be identified as James Taylor of Warth House, Waterfoot, who was one of the Rossendale men involved in the development of St. Anne's on Sea (Newsletter January 2005). In 1881 James Taylor, a retired woollen manufacturer aged 78 was visiting a Nutter family at St. Anne's, with his second wife Sarah Ann (54) and his sister Helen Lomax, a 62 year old widow.

James died in 1883. The printed synopsis of his will states "The will of James Taylor of Holmefield, Rawtenstall, Gentleman was proved at the principal Registry by Sarah Ann Taylor, widow, -the Relict; James Ross of Manchester, MD;. James Arthur Lomax of Heaton, Stockport, Artist -the Nephew and Rathbone Hartley of Simpson Hill in Heywood, Gentleman". His personal estate was £18, 808 13s 6d (16th June 1883). In her memoir Grace (who was descended from his brother Ingham) says "I got the last of the money from it in 1930, which I put into $20.00 gold pieces".

It seems likely that James married his servant at Ormskirk in June 1872. The 1871 census shows him, living at Warth, Waterfoot with his first wife Betty. He was aged 68, a woollen manufacturer employing 90 hands. Betty was also 68. They had 2 servants. Sarah Ann Ormerod aged 42 and Jane Ormerod aged 33. In 1861 he was already living at Warth aged 58, listed as a Woollen Manufacturer, with his wife Betty (58) and Sarah Ann Ormerod servant (32).

Grace says "James - the rich one - had two daughters; one married a Walton, one a Whitworth"

The 1851 census shows us that James was not yet quite "the rich one" He and Betty were living at Burnley Road, Rawtenstall, although she was entered as Elizabeth, it was clearly the right family. They were both 48. James was employing 3 persons in his capacity as Woollen Manufacturer. Living with them was a 2 year old grandchild, Elizabeth Whitworth. In 1841 the enumerator neglected to give James's profession. He was listed as living in Rawtenstall aged 35. With him and Betty was 15 year old Jane Taylor. She married William Whitworth at Clitheroe in the December quarter 1847. I have no information on his other daughter.

Hurst and Waingate.

James was born at Heathhall, Rawtenstall in 1802. He was the son of John Taylor of Hurst who had married Sally Ingham of (Hall) Carr at Newchurch, 22 March 1799. Hurst is situated just south of Rawtenstall cemetery and is very near to Waingate. As indicated by the births of their various children John and Sally had moved around Rawtenstall and New Hall Hey but in 1841, they were back at Hurst Farm living adjacent to their son Ingham. By 1851 they had moved to Laund and Ingham was living at Holmefield. According to the oral history, John was son of Richard, who died at 'Hearse' in 1823, and his wife, Nelly Ingham of Tunstead. They married in 1771. At which time Richard was living at Newchurch. I have a baptism for John son of Richard and Nelly of Bridleway 10th October 1773. The only other child, I can find for these two is Richard born at Waingate in 1783.

The Memorable Lawrence

According to the history, Richard was the son of the "memorable Lawrence", so named on the same gravestone as Richard. Lawrence was baptised 12 June 1735 son of John and Jennet of Newchurch.. He died 24th July 1814. Grace's father Jackson Taylor called him "The Old Soldier" but no one can now remember why he was so memorable, or in which war he fought, possibly it was the American War of Independent. I can find no evidence that he was Richard's father. There was a Lawrence Taylor who died at Waingate in 1803 and another in 1835.

Oral history can be very helpful, but it isn't necessarily totally reliable. If you can help untangle these Taylors please email Gwenne Fabeck at gtf730@dc.rr.com or you can contact Rita Hirst at the Rossendale Branch email address.

Do you have Rossendale ancestors? Are you a member of the Society? If so, please let me have your story, or queries for this section of the newsletter.

Wills for the Rossendale and Ramsbottom Area

Trish Barnfield (Rossendale Library Reference Assistant) has abstracted all the local wills from the indexes of "The Wills at Chester" published by the Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire. The index covers the period 1487 - 1837.

The original wills are kept at the Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane , Preston. An index of wills is held at Preston covering the period up to 1858.