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 March 2006

Programme: 2006

Wednesday 1st March

Girl with no name.

Tony Foster

Wednesday 5th April

AGM - Followed by a short talk by Mary Davison on her early days in the Police Force.

Wednesday 3rd May

Alms Houses and Abductions:

The Turner Family

A talk by Barbara Riding.

Wednesday 7th June

To Be Arranged

See first article below

Who do you think you are?

Jackie Ramsbottom and I would like to thank everyone for their kind comments since the programme on 8th February. Following the many enquiries and questions we have had regarding the background research involved in this programme, we are proposing to give a talk to the branch entitled "What you didn’t see" This will be at either our June or July meeting, depending on arrangements for our out-visit which are still being finalised.

Rossendale Branch AGM

Anyone wishing to be considered for the committee or wishing to put forward any items for the agenda should contact the Chairman John Dalton. All nominations will be welcome.

At our last AGM Kathleen Ashburner stated that she would not be standing as Programme Secretary this year. I would like you to consider long and hard whether you could undertake this vital task. Also Kathleen would like to relinquish her position as Branch representative on the Society’s Executive Committee. This involves travelling to Preston 4 times a year and reporting back to the branch.

Coming Events

Tuesday 21st March

User Consultation Open Meeting

Lancashire Record Office at 2.00 pm

Your views are wanted regarding various aspects of the service, particularly recent developments in the public searchroom. Also the new electronic catalogue will be launched and demonstrated.

Friday 24th March and Monday 27th; 7.30pm

Davitt, Exile and Exiles a talk by Dr John Dunleavy at Haslingden Library, Higher Deardengate Tel. 01706 215690

Sunday 2nd April Guided Walk - ‘Little Ireland’

1.30pm A three-mile walk through Haslingden, describing the colourful history of the Irish immigration and the Michael Davitt story. Meet guide Arthur Baldwin at the Haslingden Library car park. Strong footwear essential - a gentle walk with some sloping sections. Tel. 01706 211421.

Saturday 27th May Society’s AGM and mini conference

10.00am - 5.00pm at the Foster Theatre, University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

Programme: Registration and Coffee.

Two talks in the morning: Melvyn Hirst (remember him from the AGM held at Rawtenstall?) continues his talk about James Greenaway, Calico Printer of Over Darwen; part 2. entitled - "Where strumpets meet to be brought to bed". If you don’t remember the original talk he will refresh your memory. Audry Jones and Abbey Ashby will tell a tale of anguish. deceit, and violation at the domestic hearth under the title of "The Shrigley Abduction".

1.00pm Lunch. Followed by the AGM. There is an application form in your January magazinr. Please complete before 6th May.

Friday 1st September to Tuesday 5th September International Conference Putting Flesh on the Bones: a study of the Common Man. University of Northampton, Full details on the notice board.

Note: If you have not received your January magazine you may not have paid your subscription for 2006

News from the Executive Committee


After trying to find a successor for more than 2 years. Carole Walker is determined to quite her post as treasurer, at the Society’s AGM on 27th May. We have to have a treasurer, so if you feel able to undertake this position, please contact Carole for further information. The address is in the journal.


Hazel Johnson has enough material for the next two issues but she would like more educational items for the journal. Unusual sources or helpful hints etc.


Stephen will be attending the following Fairs this year.

Pudsey 11th March

Sheffield 1st April

York 24th June

Southport 23rd September (the NW Group Meeting)

Aintree - probably in November

Anyone who would like to assist Stephen on the LFHHS should email Stephen for more information. sjward.highhouse@bt.internet.com

SOCIETY DINNER It was decided to ask Blackburn Branch to host a Sunday Lunch this year.

News from the Federation of Family History Societies

A message from Tony Foster Society Chairman.

The Federation of Family History Societies is undertaking a survey of member societies and we need to make a response to the questionnaire as mentioned below. You can download a copy of the website as listed below and I have attached a copy of the questionnaire to this e-mail. We need to respond to this survey by 1st August. Please discuss this with your Branch and ensure your Rep brings the respond to the next Executive meeting. The Society will then formulate a response www.ffhs.org.uk/Societies/Reference/Future.shtm

The questionaire will be discussed at our upcoming committee meeting. If you have any comments please pass them to Rita Hirst.

Do you have Rossendale ancestors?

Are you a member of the Society?

If so, please let me have your story, or queries for the Rossendale Ancestry section of the newsletter

Rossendale Ancestry

Tracing my family history in Lancashire, I am trying to find a few pieces of information. If anyone can be of assistance, please forward your comments to J_J_Brennan@MSN.com

My Great Grand Father James Raynerd (approx. 1865 to August 9, 1928.) Lived most of his married life at 5 Bowker St., Irwell Vale. The 1881 census gives him as born in Bury but I do not know where his family originated from in Ireland. He is buried somewhere in the Edenfield churchyard. He was a Sergeant Major in the British Army (possibly the Lancashire Fusiliers?) I would love to find out more about his military service. I have been told that somewhere in the Rossendale area there is a pub that has a picture of him hanging on a wall in his military uniform? That may be even a bigger stretch to find, but would mean the world to me if it could be found. Other details on James include: He married Catherine Monaghan in 1884 in the Bury Registration District. I might have found the record in the GRO for that one. On my last visit to the area, I visited the home on Bowker St., reviewed the burial records at the Edenfield church, and tried about 5 pubs in the area looking for his picture. The family currently has no pictures of James in its possession.

James Raynerd also had a son James born about 1885 who was in World War I. He would be my grandmother, Maria Raynerd's brother. He is said to have died on return after the war from mustard gas. I do not have any information on him either.. Other brothers and sisters included Jane 1890?, Helen 19__?, and Alfred 19__?. Helen married Vincent Cleary. Jane married George Howard. That is about as much detail that I have right now.

My grandfather John Brennan came from Ireland to England in about 1910 at the age of 13 and according to his marriage certificate lived at the "Crown Farm" in Crawshawbooth. He was a farm laborer, and did work for the farmer there. The owner or foreman that he worked for was a Mister Briggs. John was married July 7, 1923 at St. James RC church in Rawtenstall to Maria Raynerd, daughter of James above. I believe he lived at the farm the whole 13 years. After the wedding, John and Maria came to the States. Through the Crawshawbooth Library, I learned the farm still exists. I would be interested if anyone knows of the history of the farm? or If there may be a picture of the farm posted on the internet somewhere? On my next trip over, I hope to visit it.

Any help on the above will be most appreciative.

Kind regards, Jim Brennan Atlanta, GA USA