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 2009

Programme: 2009

Wednesday 7th January

Women in the Mines.

Graham Stirrup.

Wednesday 4th February

Research & Enquiries Evening.

Wednesday 4th March

Stage and Mail Coaches.

Gerard Schofield

Wednesday 1st April

Anaual General Meeting

Coming Events

Irish Ancestry Group

The IAG meeting on 14th February 2009 will be a talk on Exploring Your Irish Ancestry.

The BBC magazine 'Who Do You Think You Are' is listing this meeting in their Events section, so, places in the Straits, Oswaldtwistle will be limited for this talk.

As it is only right that members who wish to attend should have the first chance, would you please ask anyone who intends to come, to get in touch with me as soon as possible and book a seat.

Margaret Purcell

Tel 01253 353909

e-mail mpurcell@redbankmp.fsnet.co.uk

128 Red Bank Road, Bispham, Blackpool, FY2 9DZ

The Family History Society of Cheshire

10th Annual Family History Day

Saturday 21st February 2009

10am - 4pm at the Memorial Hall, Chester Way, Northwich

Admission £1 Refreshments Available Free Car parking adjacent to venue.

Rossendale Miscellany:

News, notes and queries

Unfortunately we had to cancel our Christmas Party on the 2nd December. There had already been a snow fall on the Monday, and Wednesday night's forecast was for a heavy snow and blizzards throughout the area. We had to make a quick decision so that we could cancel the huge meat and potato pie we had ordered for thirty people. I tried to contact as many members as possible to make them aware of the situation and as far as I am know, no one showed up. All those who bought tickets for the party can have their money refunded on presentation of their tickets to our treasurer.

Black Holes & Brick Walls

I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year and hope you will manage to circumnavigate all the black holes and brick walls that obstruct your progress. There are several black holes (missing records) in Rossendale and I have been in correspondence for more than a decade with members unable to negotiate their way round them. One of these is Ron Hayhurst,

Eleazer Hayhurst

He says "in the past you have helped with my research into the Hayhurst family. Eleazer and wife Alice (nee Pilling) were living in Tanpits, Musbury at the time of the 1841 census. I am surprised in now checking my files that I learned all of this some 10 years ago. How time flies!

I drew a blank, despite considerable effort, when it came to searching Parish Records for his baptism. Requests for help from anyone finding this unusual name have been made on the net and in our newsletter. I see that it was in November 2000 that the name Hayhurst was last mentioned. This was at the time when I had received some help from Wilf Day. My email address has now changed. Please could I have a note in the next newsletter to the effect that:

If anyone has any baptism details of Eleazer Hayhurst (b about 1816), or any marriage details of his parents Henry and Eleanor Hayhurst (m about 1807), please could they contact me. ronhayhurst@blueyonder.co.uk

James Rawstron & Nathaniel Rawstron

Another member with a similar problem is Peter Rowstron. His ancestor Nathaniel Rowstron was born in Warwickshire in 1824. Nathaniel's father James was born in Rossendale c1800. In the 1851 census for Rawtenstall, Nathaniel is given as the nephew of Nathaniel Rawstron born c1802 in Lower Booths. Nathaniel the elder was married to Mary Lord at Haslingden St. James in 1832. His address was given as Rawtenstall. There are several James' born in1800 but none with a brother Nathaniel. It was 1998 when Peter first contacted me with his problem. I have trawled all the local churches with no success. There is some reason to believe that they may have been connected to Rawtenstall Unitarian Church. This cannot be verified as the registers for this church are missing before 1824. However, if you do come across a Nathaniel Rawstron, Rostron or Rowstron will you please contact Peter at p.rowstron@virgin.net

Family history research can be frustrating I can't proceed any further than 1806 with my father's Banks line. My black hole is a big one, called Glasgow!

Yet, there are also those moments of serendipity. Like when Judith Wheatley and Gillian Mackillop contacted me recently. Both were enquiring about families in the Lumb area of Rossendale and I quickly became aware that they shared a common ancestor, John Brown of Higher Clough Bottom Farm. I put the two ladies in touch and have been rewarded by two articles for my newsletter. Judith's article appeared last month and Gillian's is given below.


by Gillian Mackillop

Methuselah Yates - The Huntsman

Old Thu In Newchurch graveyard there is a tomb with the stone figure of a hound on top of it. The inscription reads:"Sacred to the Memory of Old Thu (Methuselah) Yates died 27th February 1864, aged 78. He was huntsman of Harriers for 50 years. Five and twenty of them were with the Rossendale Hunt"[On the Back] Erected by Rossendale Hunt. I wonder who would tempt fate by naming their baby Methuselah. I haven't yet discovered his parentage.

Methuselah Yates was born in Darwen, but by 1861 was living at 38 Back Street, Newchurch in Rossendale.. He was a widower and lived with his 2 daughters, Martha, 34, and Ellen, 31 who were both born in Burnley.


James Lord - The Lamplighter

In 1863 Ellen Yates married James Lord, 28, born in Higher Booths, and by the 1871 census they were living in Newchurch with their 3 children, Hannah 7, Thomas 4,and Martha Ann 2. Also in the house was Ellen's unmarried sister, Martha Yates, who was their Housekeeper. Ellen was working as a weaver, and James was a winder-on. By 1891 the family had moved to 3 Burnley Road, Newchurch. James Lord is now a Lamplighter, age 57, and his 2 daughters Hannah and Martha Ann are cotton weavers. There is no mention of Thomas.

John Brown Snr of Higher Clough Bottom

Also in 1891, John Brown, 67, a Farmer of Higher Clough Bottom Farm, Lumb, lived with his wife, Ann, 67, and their unmarried children, Margaret, 42, Mary Ann, 35, John, 28, a cotton weaver, and Mary E., 25. The Brown Family had to leave Clough Bottom when the reservoir was built in 1898. Branch Newsletter December 2008

John Brown Jnr and two Lord Sisters

John Brown son of James meets Hannah Lord , they get married in 1892, and have 2 children, Ethel, b. 1894, and James b. 1897. Sadly, Hannah dies, and in 1899 John takes a second wife, Hannah's sister Martha Ann Lord. Marriage to a deceased wife's sister was not permissible under Canon Law until 1907, but such marriages did take place quite frequently.John and Martha Ann have 3 children, Hannah Lord b. 1900, Ellen b. 1902 and Lucy. In 1901 the Brown Family live at Lower Whams Farm, Rawtenstall. John Brown Jnr was a Journeyman Stonemason, employed by Mitchell, Ashworth and Stansfield (later Gaskells of Bacup Felt Manufacturers). His employers owned many hillside farms for water rights. I understand that John Brown did the stonework for many farms in the area, as well as general maintenance. Small farmers of this era were part-time, and had other jobs Next door in 1901, at Top o'th'Heights Farm, we find James Lord, John Brown's father-in-law, now a 68 year old widower. Sharing the farm with him are Martha Yates his sister-in-law, a general servant, and William Yates, an 80 year-old widower and Boarder.

( How did James Lord go from a Lamplighter in 1891 to a Farmer in 1901?- possibly he was both)

The Hamer and Hey Families of Lumb

The Lords, Browns and Hamers must have been close friends and neighbours, for the most part they attended Lumb Baptist Church and they certainly liked to keep things in the family!!The witnesses at the wedding of John Brown and Martha Ann Lord in 1899 were John James Hamer b. 1879, and Elizabeth E. Hamer (nee Lord, who married in 1895).

Ellen Brown, daughter of John Brown and his second wife Martha Ann Lord was my grandmother.

John James Hamer the witness at Ellen's parents' wedding had a sister, Ruth b.1880. In 1901 she married Clement Hey of Spring Gardens, Lumb. He was a 28 year-old Cotton weaver born in Rawtenstall. Living with him was his widowed mother Sarah, 66.They had 2 sons, Harold and Fred Hey.Harold Hey meets Ellen Brown, possibly through the Hamer connection, and they get married in 1928. They have 1 son, James Terence my father, who has just celebrated his 80th birthday.

email Gillian at mackiross@aol.com