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 2009

Programme: 2009

Wednesday 3rd June

Curiouser and Curiouser

Margaret Curry.

Wednesday 1st July

The Odd Women & other early Women’s Societies.

Dr. Chris Topping.

Wednesday 5th August

Advice and Research Evening.

Wednesday 2nd September

Out Visit to

Bacup Natural History Society

Coming Events

13th June 2009. Griffiths Valuation, a talk by Margaret Pursell. Irish Ancestry Group. 1.00pm to 4.30pm at the LFHHS Resource Centre, 2 Staits, Oswaldtwistle. Enquiries Miss M. Purcell, 128 Red Bank Road, Bispham FY3 9DC

Email. mpurcell@redbankmp.fsnet.co.uk

27th June 2009. Yorkshire Family History Fair

Knavesmire Exhibition Centre. York Racecourse.

10am – 4,30pm. Free car parking. There will be a LFHHS stall

Saturday 20th June.

Chorley branch will hold their annual 'Meet our Experts' event will be on the 4.30pm at St Laurence Church, Union Street, Chorley. PR7 1QW

Getting to Know the Lancashire Record Office

If you are a new user of the LRO or have not visited for quite a long time, the following sessions may be helpful to you (they are all at 3.00pm on Thursday afternoons): 4 June; 2nd July; 6 August; 3 September; 1 October; 5 November; 3 December.

Each session will last 1 1/2 - 2 hours

Places are limited so advance booking is essential.
To book a place phone o1772 533 039 or email the Record Office at: recordoffice@lancashire.gov.uk


News Notes and Queries

Research and Advice Sessions: at Rawtenstall library every Tuesday 1.30 – 3.30

Rossendale Branch has a group of members who are on hand very Tuesday, to assist members of the public with their Family History enquiries. You will find us upstairs at the library adjacent to the new Community History facilities. Please note we do not have library access to the 1911 census.

Haslingden Roots has now reconvened. For the time being the group is meeting upstairs at Haslingden library, each Monday except Bank holidays from 6.00pm – 7.30pm.

The Odd Women and Other Friendly Societies

Last year I contacted the Society’s Discussion Forum regarding an article in the Bolton Chronicle for 1834 entitled "Burial of an Odd Woman." I was told this was one of a number of Friendly Societies which flourished at that time. It was suggested that I contact Dr. Chris Topping of Lancaster University, an expert on this subject. Following this enquiry Dr. Topping has agreed to come and give a talk to the branch. This has been arranged for our 1st July meeting.

Dr. Topping told me that in the second-half of the 18th century and the early part of the 19th century (up until the enactment of the new poor law) there were a number of small independent societies which did not belong to any sort of branch network. He will give us a short introduction on friendly societies in Lancashire during this period, and then tell us more about societies in the Rossendale area, including female societies such as the Odd Women or Oddesses. . I am sure you will agree that this should be a very interesting evening. I am hoping that as many of you as possible will attend.

Burial of an Odd Woman

Bolton Chronicle February 22nd 1834

The first funeral by the Society of Independent Odd Women at J. Hargreaves, the Golden Cup Inn, Haslingden, and which has been founded four years, took place on Wednesday the 12th Inst.

The procession headed by the Rev. W. Gray and a band of music and consisting of 140 sisters presented the most solemn scene that has ever been witnessed in the town. ---- The regularity and decorum observed both by the procession and the bystanders reflected the greatest credit on them: but for the inclemency of the weather the attendance would have been far more numerous.

Ann Pilkington – the Odd Woman

This little article captured my imagination. Curiously, they neglected to give the name of the Odd Woman. I have checked the parish register and found that she was Ann Pilkington, age 57, wife of Thomas Pilkington of Haslingden, a timber merchant of Gregory Fold, Helmshore.

Ann Nightingale married Thomas Pilkington in 1795. She seems to have had a sad life.

Her gravestone lies at the back of the St. James graveyard it reads;

In Memory of Thomas Pilkington of Haslingden, who died March 18th 1835 aged 60 years. Also Ann Pilkington, the wife of Thomas Pilkington, who died January 17th 1834 aged 57 years. Also Thomas Pilkington, son of Thomas & Ann Pilkington, Timber Merchant who died Jany. 3rd 1804, in the 6th year of his age. Also their other children, William Pilkington, died Jany 15th 1805 aged 11 weeks, James Pilkington who died Aug. 4th 1815 in his 5th year. Ann Pilkington died Sept. 6th 1816 aged 8 months. John Pilkington died 7th May 1818 in his 22nd year. Mary Nightingale Pilkington died 22nd August 1818 in her 17th year.

Ellen Heys their daughter who died July 27th 1823 aged 25 years, William Pilkington died March 15th 1824 aged 15 years.

The eldest two children were baptised at Sr. James. One other at Deardengate Congregational. I can not find the others. So have not been able to ascertain whether any survived to marry and have children of their own.

The Stansfield Family

Eleanor Carney (member 9140) has contacted me from Western Australia. She tells me that her great great grandfather John Stansfield moved to Rossendale from Radcliffe about 1849. He was an inn keeper first at the Duke of Buccleugh and then at the Royal Inn both in Waterfoot.

John died age 57 years on 14th September 1864, at Rose Cottage, Waterfoot. Eleanor is not sure when his wife Alice nee Emmett died (possibly in April 1881 just before the census was taken) but would very much like to find their burial places.

Finding Connections

Eleanor contacted me again after I suggested that she read Valerie Maxwell’s article on her ancestor William Taylor, whose Father-in-Law Richard Taylor had also been at the Duke of Buccleugh.

She says "I was so excited to read about William Taylor, in the February newsletter,  because he married into my family! Mary Pilling is my Great great grandmother and her daughter Elizabeth nee Pilling, married Joseph Stansfield who was the son of John the Inn Keeper. I visited Waterfoot last year and the Royal was very close to the Duke. Both have been refurbished so it was hard for me to imagine what they were like in the 1850's.

I also looked at the John Davies book on Public Houses and Mills in Rawtenstall library and was able to confirm a story my mother told about the Stansfield mill being burned down in an article "The Great Fire at Scout Bottom". I went for a walk and was able to find Shawclough House where my Grandfather was born and wandered around the old mill sites so had a wonderful day in Waterfoot"

The Great Fire at Scout Bottom

"My mother never knew her Stansfield Grandparents as they both died before she was born and I don’t think she ever visited Newchurch. Anyway this is how I remember her telling us about the day the mill burned down and her grandfather was ruined.

Joseph Stansfield was a felt carpet manufacturer with mills at Hollin Bank and Bridge Clough, Newchurch. He was one of the toughest and hardest knit men on earth and on both sides he was 100% Lancastrian. In 1881 he was living with his wife Elizabeth Pilling and family of ten children at Shawclough House in Waterfoot. One cold and frosty morning in December the night watchman accidentally let a lamp fall and started fire which burned down the mill. Joseph's hair turned white overnight because although the insurance premium was due he had argued about cost and refused to pay it and so the insurance company declined liability.

Forced into liquidation he sold up and left the district with most of his family and migrated to America never to return. He and his sons set up in business as a wool brokers in Philadelphia and New York and he settled in Amsterdam, Montgomery County, New York State, where he lived with his wife and 4 daughters. Joseph died in 1904 and his wife Elizabeth died the following year and they were both buried at Green Hill cemetery.

At first his eldest son John remained in Waterfoot as manager of a carpet factory (1891 census) and then moved to Leeds as the assistant manager of a Woollen Mill (1901 census). He eventually went to the US in 1904.

I've only managed to track three of the 6 sons of John Stansfield (abt.1806-1864), the Inn keeper and his wife Alice Emmett (abt. 1806 - ?1881): My great grandfather Joseph (1842-1928), James Edward (1847-1883) a wool sorter and William Stansfield (1852-1908) a felt manufacturer who died at Mytholme House. Richard(1837), George (1838) and John (1840) have eluded me.

Email: eleanorcarney@westnet.com.au