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 July 2004

Programme: 2004

Wednesday 7th July

Research Evening

Wednesday 4th August

A visit to Rossendale Museum.

Whittaker Park, Rawtenstall

Meet 7-00pm at Musuem

Wednesday 1st September

The Civil War in Lancashire.

Fred Holcroft

Wednesday 6th October

Slides of old Rossendale.

Harry O’Neil

Coming Events

Friday 1st October - LFHHS - Annual Dinner.

Whalley Abbey. Hosted by Ribble Valley Branch. £16.00.

Details in "Lancashire" May 2004.

Saturday 2nd October - NW Family History Fair. Manchester Veladrome.

Did you miss.....

our talk on Myles Standish by the Rev.. Dr. John Cree, Vicar of St. Laurence’s Church, Chorley. This well organised talk certainly sparked our imagination and we all felt eager to start researching Myles Standish for ourselves.

Myles Standish is famous as one of the Pilgrim Fathers who set sail for America in 1642. He is truly a man of many mysteries.

Born c1584 his parentage is unknown. He first came to prominence in Holland where he met up with the Pilgrims.

It has long believed that he originated from the Standish Family of Duxbury Hall but nowadays it is claimed that Myles Standish was actually a Manxman. He died 3 October 1656. Previous to this he had made a will dated 7th March 1655 (old calendar). It was in this will that Myles mentions the Isle of Man.

The Rev. Dr. Cree was determined to reclaim Myles for Chorley. He considers it significant that his property in New Plymouth was named Duxbury.

Working with the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, he is appealing for people with the surname Standish and a straight male line back to the original Standish family to help with his research by being tested for a DNA match.

There is a Standish Crypt at the church where the family are buried. It might be possible to gain permission to have the crypt opened, the remains tested and compared with modern DNA samples.

It is hoped that this mystery can be solved soon as in 2005, there are plans to celebrate Myles Standish’s links to the Chorley area; by marking the 350th anniversary of the signing of his will.

The Way Forward

It is proposed to form a small Group to study the future progress of the Society.

Do you have an axe to grind? Do you have any bright ideas regarding the general management structure, our publications, publicity, magazine, website, projects, or other activities? Now is your opportunity to participate. If you would like to join "The Way Forward Group." or receive more information

email Jim@Lancaster@zen.co.uk

Rossendale Ancestry


Sylvia Walsh from our Rochdale Branch wonders if anyone can help with an Ashworth Family she is researching. I have explained the problems for anyone looking for Ashworths but maybe someone can help.

Sylvia saw an appeal in the May 2004 "Lancashire" magazine and she thinks there could be a connection with her daughter- in- law’s Ogden line. She wants to obtain more information before replying.

She says "can you help by telling me if there is anyone at your branch who has researched the family of James Ashworth and Mary Nuttall.

According to the IGI they married 23 April 1810 and had a son Nathaniel Nuttall Ashworth b. Newchurch in Rossendale 10 October 1824. Can anyone tell me was James Ashworth a gardener ?"

Sylvia has a marriage at The Parish Church Mottram in Lonsdale, County of Chester 19 August 1844 for
Nathaniel Nuttall Ashworth, 20, Bach, Butcher,
of Newton, father James Ashworth, Gardener.
to Abe Vernal, 21, Sp, Weaver, (Hebe ?)
of Newton, father John Vernal, Overlooker
bride and groom made their mark.

In the 1861 census for Middleton there is an entry: Nathaniel Ashworth Head Marr. 38 Butcher born Rossendale. His wife Hebe is 39, there are children

Sarah Ann Ashworth 15;
Alfred Ashworth 13;
Edward Ashworth 11;
Selina Ashworth 8
all born Ashton under Lyne

She also has a possible second marriage for Nathaniel at St. Leonard’s Middleton: 28 Oct 1862. Nathaniel Nuttall Ashworth and Alice Howard.

The big question is... does all this link
with Marriage 19 October 1862 at The Register Office, Church Lane Oldham?
George Ogden, widower, 27, Grocer Rhodes Middleton - father Thomas Ogden, Silk weaver.
to Sarah Ann Ashworth, Spinster, 29 Rhodes Middleton father Nathaniel Ashworth, Butcher.
witnesses William and Elizabeth Howard. (possibly connected to Nathaniel's second wife Alice Howard from Hebers)

She has not found this couple, as yet, on any census entry.

You will see that Sarah Ann, the butchers daughter, is 15 in 1861 and the bride in 1862 is 29 (from the marriage certificate). Could there be two Sarah Ann Ashworths, daughters of 2 Nathaniel Ashworths, butchers at Rhodes? Their son George Edward Odgen and daughter Hebe Ann Ogden both married and lived in Heywood.

Email: sylvia@sylvia80.freeserve.co.uk

Methodism in Haslingden

Taken from Notices of Methodism in Haslingden by John Stott:

It will be interesting to keep in view the condition of this part of the country in the early part of the 18th century and to remember the almost universal blindness of the people with regard to religion. Vice in the form of intemperancy, lying, swearing, revelling, gambling, fighting and other kinds of evil commonly prevailed.

Mr Wesley says in his journal "We left the mountains and came down to the fruitful valley of Rossendale. Here I preached to a large congregation of wild men; but it pleased God to hold them in chains, so that even when I had done none of them offered any rudeness, but went quietly away".

In the month of August 1748 being again in Rossendale, Mr Wesley speaks of meeting "a mob of savage beasts who undeterred by authority proceeded to every extremity of persecution short of murder."

Dr. Whittaker (a local historian) says "the inhabitants of Rossendale at that time were probably more degraded than in any other part of the island".

Bull baiting, bear baiting, dog fighting, were the Sunday amusements in those days when William DARNEY, Paul GREENWOOD and the Rev. William GRIMSHAW first carried the torch of Divine light into the Forest of Rossendale.


Astley Hall Research & Resource Centre, Astley Hall Park, Chorley

Do you fancy a day out, away from the rain? Then why not drop in on our Chorley colleagues at Astley Hall Museum. Thanks to the National Lottery "Awards for All" scheme our Chorley Branch has acquired a research room at the Hall. It is provided with all the LFHHS projects, including census CDs, British Vital Records Index, trade directories in hard copy etc. Rita Platt tells me that they have indexes to a lot of censuses, also Lancashire Parish Register Society volumes, 4 computers, and 3 microfiche readers.

The Hall (and the Centre) is open Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays from 12 noon - 4.30 pm and the Research Centre is also open on Mondays, by appointment only. Ring Sheila Williams on 01257 262068.

Astley Hall was built by the Charnock Family in Elizabethan times. Although there have been many changes to the building since then, a large part of the timber frame is still showing. In the 1820s The Townley Parkers added a new west wing, overlooking the lake and in 1922, Reginald Tatton donated the Hall to the people of Chorley for a museum.