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 2011

Programme: 2011

Wednesday 6th July

Rationing in World War II

Norman Hindley

Wednesday 3rd August

Out Visit to the

Lancashire Fusiliers Museum in Bury*

Wednesday 7th September

Advice & Research Evening

Wednesday October 5th

Members’ Short Talks.

* Anyone wishing to go on the Out Visit should give their names to Maureen Hodginson. The price is £5.00 per head. if you want to book refreshmnts (tea and biscuits) it's £1.95 per head.

Research and Advice Sessions

at Haslingden Library every Monday

5.30 – 7.30 p

and Rawtenstall Library every Tuesday

1.30 – 3.30 pm

You will find us upstairs at Haslingden or Rawtenstall on the appropriate days, as indicated above. 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 on the 1st Saturday of each month at 1.00pm.

Coming Events

Sunday 25th September

The Society’s Annual Dinner

Hosted by the Chorley Branch the dinner will be held at Farington Lodge, Stanifield Lane, Farington, Preston, PR25 4QR.

It will be a Luncheon commencing at 1.00pm, followed by Sid Calderbank and Friends with "The Lancashire Cotton Famine in songs, stories and verse".

Full details and booking form were inserted into your May "Lancashire" Journal..

Domesday Reloaded

The BBC is asking people to take a walk down memory lane back to 1986 – when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, mullets were the craze, Maradona's "Hand of God" destroyed a nation's World Cup dreams, the first Japanese car manufacturing plant opened in the UK and the ZX Spectrum was the game console of choice.

One of the most comprehensive digital time capsules has been unearthed through BBC Domesday Reloaded, providing a rarely-seen snapshot of what local areas looked like 25 years ago. The public is being asked to explore and, more importantly, update previously unseen images and articles from their local area by going onto the dedicated Domesday website.

The campaign, led by BBC Learning, runs throughout the summer of 2011 and invites you to participate by updating local photos and text which were submitted in 1986.

To Participate in BBC Domesday Reloaded

The map on the website - www.bbc.co.uk/domesday - is divided into D-blocks and you can find yours by typing in your postcode. When you click on your local D-block you may find photos and text from 1986, but please note not all D-blocks had submissions. If there are photos and text on your local or neighbouring D-blocks we would like you to add your 2011 updates.

The map covers the whole of the UK. I have checked out the Haslingden area and found that the chief changes lie in the areas of Local Employment, Leisure and Eating Out. The photographs of the town are rather dull, consisting of a very dark picture of the landscape, the Haslingden By-Pass and the Industrial Estate.

For more information contact;

Linda Kaye | CSV Outreach Manager BBC North West | New Broadcasting House, Oxford Road, Manchester, M60 1SD Tel: 0161 244 3060 | Mobile: 07851 626 023 | E-mail: linda.kaye@bbc.co.uk

Lancashire Record Office Closure Updated details.

Lancashire Archives will be closed to the public from 4 July until mid- October 2011. This is due to essential plant replacement and the installation of energy-efficient lighting throughout the Record Office building.

There will be no direct public access to archives or local studies material during this period, but we will continue as far as possible to answer postal and emailed enquiries and to supply copies of documents. There may be some unavoidable delays in responding to enquiries as strong rooms and documents may be inaccessible for brief periods.

As soon as we have a firm date for re-opening we will post the information on the website.

You can get in touch with us by email at record.office@lancashire.gov.uk; by post at Lancashire Archives, Lancashire Record office, Bow Lane, Preston PR1 2RE; or through our website www.archives.lancashire.gov.uk

David Tilsley, Archivist at Lancashire Archives

Rossendale News, Notes and Queries

In June Elvira Wilmott gave us an excellent talk, illustrating how we might be able to trace our ancestors through the available Poor Law records. She brought a selection of books and abstracts from settlement certificates and settlement examinations. She also described the history of the workhouses and what could be learnt from the surviving documentation.

This month’s article by Chris Rostron Pickup gives us some hints on how to research a localized surname..


Keith Fielden introduced me to creating family trees by top-down research. Keith built up the Fielden/Fielding tree in West Yorkshire and his work prompted me several years ago to try the approach in Rossendale. I created trees for most of the Rostrons that lived in the eastern end of the Rossendale valley from Waterfoot to Bacup. They were generally C of E but I have recently created a tree for a branch of the Nuttalls that were Baptists attending the chapels at Goodshaw and Lumb. Provided the surname is not too common it’s a practicable approach enabling one to trace early ancestors with confidence having joined up one’s traditional bottom-up research to a comprehensive top-down tree for your surname. The methodology is simple.

To create a top-down tree one extracts, in detail, all the marriage, baptism and burial entries from the registers for your chosen surname starting with the earliest marriage record one can find and continuing to say the 1850s when the first two detailed censuses are available. With a name like Rostron, one has to be careful to ensure that all the entries are found because the spelling by the clerks was inconsistent. Even in the 19th century the surname at the baptisms of one couple’s children at St. Nicholas, Newchurch was recorded as Rawsthron, Rawsthrone, Rostron and Rawstron! Take no notice of the spelling when you find such differences - record them all in your computer as Rostron so that they are sorted by Christian name and date of birth in the index created by your family history software.

In Rossendale one has to extract marriages not only at St. Nicholas, Newchurch but also at St. Chad, Rochdale and at St. Mary, Bury in order to find the marriages of those that lived on the east side of Bacup or south of the river Irwell in the parishes of Rochdale and Bury. But it’s not normally necessary to extract baptisms or even burials outside the chapels of Newchurch, Bacup and Goodshaw for families that were C of E.

One then starts with the earliest marriage. For the Rostrons there are odd records at Newchurch in the 1600s but the first marriage with obvious male issue was in 1736. The paper register (used to record the payments received) records that Edmund Rawstorne of Pendle and Lydia Smith of Rossendale were married on 18 Sep. The abodes of Edmund and Lydia before their marriage are not recorded in the official parchment marriage register in which Edmund's surname is changed to Ramsbottom! The entry in the Bishop’s transcript is different again. Edmund's surname is recorded as Rawsthorne and Lydia's abode before marriage as Brigg Clough [Bridge Clough]. Do not be put off! It is easy now to check all of the St. Nicholas and Bacup St. John’s registers and BTs from the detailed transcriptions by Craig Thornber published on CDs by the LPRS. Craig has even produced tables for each surname of marriages, baptisms and burials in chronological order so most of the time consuming extraction is done for you!

One then turns to the baptism and burial registers to reconstruct the family of Edmund and Lydia and determine the children that survived. Most of those that survived will have married, sometimes more than once, and it’s not difficult from the details of abode/occupation and the names of any family witnesses recorded in the marriage register to decide on the probable marriages of the surviving children. One then turns to the baptism and burial registers to reconstruct the family of Edmund and Lydia and determine the children that survived. Most of those that survived will have married, sometimes more than once, and it’s not difficult from the details of abode/occupation and the names of any family witnesses recorded in the marriage register to decide on the probable marriages of the surviving children.  One then reconstructs all the second generation Rostron families and so on until families alive at the 1841 and 1851 censuses are reached. It is then possible to “prove” that the earlier reconstructions from parish records are correct when families that agree with the census records are found.

Once you have names and dates of burial do check for wills – an invaluable source for "proving" one’s reconstruction. Indeed a will may reveal "missing" baptisms - it did with the Rostrons.

Finally be prepared for migration into the area. When you find records for people that were not descendants of your initial couple you have to start a new tree to accommodate them so you are likely to finish up with several trees not just one. That’s the case with the Rostrons but many of the inhabitants in the early 1800s are the descendants of just two couples Edmund Rostron and Lydia of Foxhill married in 1736 and John Rostron the elder and Sarah of Brex married in 1762.

Chris Pickup Email c.pickup@ntlworld.com