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 2007

Programme: 2007

Wednesday 7th March

Disease and Medicine in the

18th & 19th Centuries.

Craig Thornber

Wednesday 4th April


then - A Mysterious Bible -

a short talk by Rita Hirst

Wenesday 2nd May

Rediscovered archives of Manchester Cathedral

Chris Hunwick

Wednesday 6th June

A peep into a Diary

Babara Riding

Coming Events

Tuesday 20th March 2007 at 2.00

Lancashire Record Office User Consultation Open Meeting.

The LRO staff would like to tell you about their ideas for developing the service and the building, and would like to hear your views. There will be a tour of the Local Studies Library Room at 1.30pm – please book this in advance.

Phone Sandra Porter 01772 533027 or email record.office@ed.lancscc.gov.uk

Saturday 12th May

The NW Group of Family History Societies

Annual Conference 2007

hosted by the Family History Society of Cheshire at the Memorial Hall, Chester Way, Northwich

9.30am – 16pm

Guest Speakers on a theme of Working Lives

Chehire Cheese & Farming – Charles Foster

Mill on the Trent & Mersey Canal – Michael Walton

The Life and Times of Railway Workers 1830 -1948 – Dr. Diane Drummond

FHS Displays and Bookstall. Free Parking. Entrance fee £9 with buffet lunch £18. Early booking essentail, further information  www.fhsc.org.uk

Facts from the Federation


DOVE - the Digitisation of Vital Events project:

Representatives of the Federation of FHS, recently met with the General Register office management team to discuss the progress of this project. A system is being developed, which will allow the indexes to these records, to be searched via the internet. These should start to be available in April 2008. Work is well advanced on digitising the historic birth records from 1937 – 1934. 40 million of the 70 million records have already been processed.

EAGLE - (Electronic Access to GRO Legal Events) The DoVe records have already been loaded on to the EAGLE database. This project will introduce a more efficient system of recording and tracking customer orders within the GRO at Southport, and its implementation is imminent.

MAGPIE - (Multi Access to GRO Published Index of Events) is being used. This will provide online indexes to the newly digitised records, and will be accessible via the internet, hopefully by April 2008. The FFHS has accepted the GRO's invitation to take part in user testing this new internet facility.

This is very much an ongoing and complicated series of projects.

I will keep you informed as the situation develops. R.H.

BBC Radio 4 Request

The BBC are making a radio programme about the impact of the "Roots" TV series. They are looking for people who were inspired by "Roots" to look into their own family trees. The programme will be broadcast on March 24th at 10.30 am.

If you remember watching the series and it had an impact on you, please contact the producer Richard Vadon via e-mail on richard.vadon@bbc.co.uk

Rossendale Miscellany

News, Notes and Queries

Newchurch in Rossendale – Registers. Craig Thornber is here tonight giving us a talk on another subject but I am sure that he will be happy to answer any enquiries or comments, you might like to make regarding his Newchurch in Rossendale transcriptions, for the Lancashire Parish Register Society.

Craig’s latest update arrived at the beginning of February when he told me "I have been to Preston for three days in January and am within a day or so of completing the BTs from 1606 to 1641. There are some really hard ones with holes, tears and some are badly faded so that they are legible only with the UV lamp. I hope to finish next time then to start checking the BTs from 1723 to 1762. I have photographed the marriages from 1754 to 1762 at Manchester Central Library and started to use these instead of Milton Ormerod's transcript as they have more information. This register has the dates of the banns and the signatures of all the parties so I can report who signed their names etc. The register is not a printed one but lines have been ruled on blank pages and similar wording is used".

Horatio Nelson Ashworth and the Registers of St. John the Evangelist, Bacup

Last month I asked for a volunteer to check the Bacup (St. John’s) registers for the baptism of Horatio Nelson Ashworth on 2nd February 1809. Beatrice Stocks very kindly made this check and found that Nelson’s parents were William and Susan of Bacup. It is fortunate that Beatrice was so thorough as I had wrongly transcribed (from the IGI) his mother as being Alice. Beatrice could not find any other children of William and Susan in this register. Rawtenstall library only has the microfilm from 1788 – 1812.

Anyone wishing to search beyond this date has to go into Manchester Central. Library, where the registers are held in the archives from 1788 – 1950, or to the Lancashire Record Office which holds the Bishops’ Transcripts from 1793 -1846. The LRO also has the BTs of marriages from 1793 -1837 and burials 1793 – 1846.

Rossendale Ancestry

’Er’ - A Most Unusual Christian Name Barlow/ Sutcliffe/ Tattersall/ Holt

Dorothy Barlow and I were married in St James the Great on April 14th 1945. Dorothy was the only daughter of Henry Barlow and Dorothy Sutcliffe of 12 Dale St. Haslingden. Her father was the manager of Thomas Tattersall, joiners and builders, having succeeded his father-in-law Nathan Sutcliffe on the latter’s death in 1933. In 1925, Nathan had been responsible for the removal of St Stephen’s Church from Grane to its present position opposite Holden Hall cemetery.

Nathan Sutcliffe was the fourth generation in my records so named, the first having married Alice Taylor at Manchester Cathedral on January 26th 1789. They had seven children, the first three were boys who followed their father’s trade of cordwainer or shoemaker. They were named Er, James and Nathan.

James’ youngest child was also given the name Er. He became a joiner and cabinet maker with premises at the southern corner of Park St. and Manchester Road, where his monogram can still be seen. Nathan’s eldest daughter, Hannah, married James Barlow and their son was also named Er. I have not come across the name Er anywhere other than this family.

Jack Duddington email: jack.duddington@btinternet.com

Editor’s note. In the 1970s, the then Rossendale Society undertook its first project, the monumental inscriptions in St. James’ churchyard, Haslingden.

One of the first graves we found was that of Er Sutcliffe.

The E was very flowery and it was mistranscribed as ‘Clr’.

If you check the Mis you will find:

A39 Mary wife of Clr Sutcliffe born March 4th 1836, died February 20th 1871. Clr Sutcliffe born January 29th 1833, died April 26th 1896.

However, later we got it right-

H243 reads:

Sacred to the memory of Er Sutcliffe, boot and shoemaker of Haslingden, born Feby.28th 1790, died Aug. 8th 1866 and of Elizabeth his wife born May 30th 1785, died March 30th 1868. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. This stone is the property of Er Sutcliffe, Boot and shoemaker, Church Lane, Haslingden. Also of Hannah Holt, his sister, who died July 5th 1864, aged 65.

The next stone H244 is that of Nathan Sutcliffe, senior, shoemaker (and his family) who died 26th July 1813 in the 77th year of his age.

I never forgot this curious name, Er, A few years later, I met a lady in Bury library who told me she was looking for Er Barlow in Edenfield. We found him in the 1841 census living on Commercial Row.

The entry read:

James Holt 40 Dresser Hannah Holt 40 Er Barlow 20 Shoemaker Nathan Sutcliffe 70 Shoemaker

There is no doubt about it, an unusual forename can shine like a beacon, leading the way through all our common Lancashire surnames.