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 June 2006

Programme: 2006

Wednesday 7th June

Out-Visit: Internet Evening.

Jackie Ramsbottom will demonstrate how you can research your family tree on the net. At Accrington and Rossendale College, Accrington.

Wednsday 5th July

What you didn’t see on TV.

Following a number of enquiries Rita Hirst and Jackie Ramsbottom will talk about the background research involved in the production of the Jane Horrocks episode of "Who do you think you are".

Wednesday 2nd August

Research and Enquiries Evening

Non members welcome.

Wednesday 6th September

The Witches of Pendle.

A talk by Mrs. M. Stopworth.

Coming Events

Saturday 1st July - "Rossendale on the Up"

a day of celebration at Alder Grange Community & Technical School 10.00am - 3.30am Free Admission.

The Rossendale Group has agreed to take a stand at this event. which is being hosted by the Rossendale Community Network in order to showcase the work of local community and voluntary groups

Sunday 8th October

Society Dinner To be hosted by Blackburn & Darwen Branch Whitehall Hotel, Darwen
4.00 "Welcome" & Drink Speaker: Peter Park- "A different look at the Records".
6.00 - Dinner or Buffet

Quarter Sessions Records

I have had an enquiry from a member in New Zealand, about Hearth Tax records for Rossendale. Most of the early civil records including QS records are arranged by Hundred, so it is necessary to know which Hundred a place is in before searching these records. Rossendale is part of the Blackburn Hundred which covered:

Blackburn, Chipping, Ribchester, and Whalley- (includes) Burnley, Church, Clitheroe, Colne, Downham, Haslingden, Newchurch in Rossendale.

The Quarter Sessions records are held at the Lancashire Record Office. Few counties have earlier QS records than Lancashire. The earliest is a Sessions Roll of 1550 and there are more types of documents than exist elsewhere. The LRO has an extensive index to many of these records.

Hearth Tax. QS records. This tax was levied from 1662 - 1689, but the names of taxpayers survive only until 1673 in Lancashire. Exempt were houses less than 20/- per annum, as were those receiving poor relief.

Nominal returns exist as follows: 1662, West Derby (part) 1663 Salford, Leyland, West Derby and Blackburn. 1671 (the whole County); 1673 Lonsdale, Amounderness, Blackburn, Leyland, West Derby and Salford.

Land Tax. QS records. Filed by year and by Hundred at the LRO. They list owners and tenants of houses and land. The bulk of the records are for the period 1781-1831/32.

Jurors’ Lists QS record. Returns held at the LRO. From 1696 constables made an annual list of men between 21 and 70, township by township, who were qualified to serve on juries. Acts of 1730 and 1825 altered the qualifications. The later lists gave men’s ages, occupations and places of abode. Under the Act of 1696 - the LRO has Amounderness and Blackburn only.

Under the Act of 1790 (almost complete) 1776, 1778, 1781; 1784, 1792, 1814 - 1824.

Under the Act of 1825 (complete) 1825 - 1832.

Abstracted from Basic Facts about... Family History Research in Lancashire by Rita Hirst FFHS pubs. 1997

Jurors’ Lists - transcripts

I have some transcripts for 1800 and 1810 e.g. Higher Booths A - M

1800 Ashworth, Richard Windy Bank Farmer/Yeoman 28.
1810 Ashworth, Richard, Windy Bank Farmer 37
1800 Binns, David, Crawshawbooth, Clogger 62
1810 Binns, John, Crawshawbooth, Factoryman 39
1800 Hargreaves, George, Rakefoot Gent 64
1810 Hargreaves, George, Rakefoot, Gent 69
1800 Haworth, James, Crawshawbooth Gent 33
1810 Haworth, James, Crawshawbooth, Gent 41
1800 Haworth, John, Edge End, Greave 28
1810 Haworth, John, Edge End, Farmer 44
1800 Haworth, Richard, Reeds, Farmer, 56
1800 Haworth, Thomas, Edge End, Yeoman 66
1810 Haworth, Thomas, Edge End, Yeoman 34
1800 Hayworth, ? , Cross Gambleside, Surveyor 52
1810 Heap, James, Goodshaw Hill, Housekeeper 51
1800 Holt, John, Loveclough, Gent 58
1810 Law, George Gambleside, Gent 46
1800 Marriott ? Springside Gent 54
------------------------------- the rest - next month.

Did you miss.......

Society AGM & Mini-Conference?

I know that most of you missed it because there were only two or three members there from Rossendale.

The Mini-Conference -

The Future of Family History.

The conference on Saturday 27th May commenced with a thought provoking talk by Geoff Riggs, the new Chairman of the Federation of Family History Societies. Using the acronym SWOT He asked us to think about the future of family history societies, our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. He said our chief weaknesses were low attendance at meetings, an ageing membership and fewer volunteers The threats were largely from outside, the internet, books, CDs, even archival services and the LDS. Our strengths lie in encouraging our own communities to participate. Help desks in libraries, stalls at venues beyond FH Fairs e.g. Hobby Fairs. We should ask our members what they want from their FH Society. He told us about the work done by the Federation to further the interests of the individual societies and family historian in general. They have been instrumental in advising the government on proposed legislation regarding the registration of births, deaths and marriages. They issue guidance notes for beginners and others on specialized subjects and they liase with Archive Groups. He thought that TV programmes gave the wrong impression, making family research look just too easy.

Geoff Riggs was followed be two excellent talks.

"The Shrigley Abduction".

Audrey Jones and Abbey Ashby brought us a story on the same theme as our talk last month by Barabara Riding, although from a different perspective. However you look at it, had it been fiction this would have been a rattling good tale, It could have been written by Georgette Heyer or Jane Austen, but this was the true story of an heiress abducted from her boarding school by a man she had never met before. Ellen Turner, a 15 year old girl, was deceived into an elopement to Gretna Green by Edward Gibbon Wakefield. The marriage was subsequently annulled and Ellen went on to marry the owner of Lyme Hall, the house known to us all as Pemberley from the TV production of Pride and Prejudice. Ellen died in childbirth, three years later Wakefield, after a period in prison became an important personage in the founding of the Colony of New Zealand.

"Where strumpets meet to be brought to bed"

Melvyn Hirst (remember him from the AGM held at Rawtenstall?) continued his talk about James Greenaway, Calico Printer of Over Darwen. James Greenaway was determined that no one would ever know his ancestry. He even sent his wife out of the bedroom before he died, in case he should reveal his secret in a moment of weakness. He was no match for Melvyn, who traced his birth back to a lying-in house, where the Greenway family had lived for generations and then he turned his attention to finding James’ father. He came up with an intriguing story....

Report from the AGM

Printed reports were presented from the Secretary, Membership Secretary, Treasurer, Editor, Publications Sub Committee, Books and Fiche and Book Sales Officers, the Website Master and the Helping Hands Service and from all the various branches, illustrating the diversity of the work done by the LFHHS.

There was a long discussion on the future of the society. We have been asked to consult our branch members for their ideas; What do you want? Would you like to represent us on a working party to map out the way forward?

Tony Foster has finished his six years as Chairman of the Society and Stephen Williams was voted in as the new Chairman. Similarly Derrick Walkden stepped down as President. Tony was voted in to be the new President. Three members have been made Vice Presidents for long service to the Society. These are Derrick Walkden, Peter Joslin and Rita Hirst, Derrick will still be on the executive committee next year as Heraldry representative, Tony will be the rep for Blackburn and I will be Minute Secretary.