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 May 2005

Programme: 2005

Wednesday 4th May

Where there’s a will ....

Mr. L. R. Norris will talk about some aspects of making a will.

Wednesday 1st June

Alice in Downunderland

Barbara Riding

Wednesday 6th July

Out Visit to Fulwood Barracks, Preston

Contact the Secretary for further details

Wednesday 3rd August

Research and Enquires Evening

Coming Events

7th October 2005

LFHHS Annual Dinner

The annual dinner 2005 is to be held by the Bury Group at the Masonic Hall, Bury. It will be a standard meal with options costing £17. Parking is free. The speaker is Peter Watson. Full details will appear in the next "Lancashire" magazine.

Local History Fairs:

The Society proposes to have stalls at the following Family History Fairs -

Sunday, 23rd May, at Buxton.

Saturday, 25th June, at York. Saturday.

3rd September at Llandudno Saturday,

10th September at Gateshead Sunday,

11th September at Aintree Sunday,

2nd October at Manchester

Anyone able to assist at any of these Fairs should contact Stephen Ward the Society’s Exhibition Officer. Tel. 01204 650348

Rossendale Ancestry


Marilyn Skelton 11 Catherine Love Drive, Easingwold, York YO61 3GE writes:

Chess Wheel Anyone?

I am researching my father's family, Mitchells from the Newchurch area, and on the 1853 birth certificate of Samuel Mitchell, my grandfather's brother, it gives place of birth as Chess Wheel, Bacup.

At first I thought it might have been the name of a pub, working on the theory that my father liked the odd drink or three when he was alive and I'm partial to a glass or two of wine myself, so perhaps the alcoholic genes were passed down from the Chess Wheel alehouse in the 1800s. However, I'm sure that's not the true story, so I'd like to know if anyone has some information.

It must have been in the Lee Mill area as the family were living there at the time of the 1851 census. My great-great grandfather's name was James Mitchell, labourer, and his wife was Esther, nee Standring or Standering. My great-grandfather was David Mitchell, bom about 1839, but I haven't tracked his birth or marriage certificates down yet, though I know he died in Stacksteads in 1896.

My grandfather, Frank Mitchell, came over to Yorkshire to work in the Royston (Barnsley) coalmines in the late 1890s.

Bacup Slipper Baths

I'd also be interested in finding out more about what I guess might have been slipper baths in Bacup around 1900 as my great-aunt's (Esther Mitchell before she married Edward Billington) occupation was recorded in the 1901 census as Baths Matron and her husband was Baths Superintendent. They were living at 35 Rochdale Road, Bacup at that time.

I'm enjoying being a bit of a detective, tracking down ancestors that I never knew existed from over the Pennines, so hope someone will be able to follow up the clues and let me know more about Chess Wheel and Bacup Baths.

Email: marilvn@marilvnskelton.wanadoo.co.uk

Do you have Rossendale ancestors? Are you a member of the Society? If so, please let us have your story, for this section of the newsletter.

EMMETT of Bacup

Ted Jones writes from Canterbury, member 6545 email ted.jones@quickmail.me.uk

He has hit a brick wall with his Emmett family. John Emmett married Mary Ashworth 24th December 1863. John’s father was George Emmett 1796, he and his brothers James (1789) and Isaac (1798) were all baptised at Bacup Ebenezer Baptist Church, Their parents were Edmund and Sarah.

There is evidence of a John Emmitt who married Sarah Dugdale at Newchurch 23 Oct. 1802. He had a son Edmund in 1810 and a son James in 1820. John was not baptised at Ebenezer so if anyone can locate his baptism, it might help in tracing Edmund and Sarah Emmitt.

EMMETT/ MORRIS/ HAMER of Crawshawbooth, Holden Wood and Edenfield

I have had another enquiry regarding the Emmetts passed to me by our Pendle and Burnley Group. For several years Bonnie Headley has been searching for information on Richard Emmett born c.1828. He married Elizabeth Hamer on 14th August 1847 at Blackburn St. Mary’s. Richard’s father was not given on his marriage certificate. Their daughter Susannah was born at Musbury in 1858.

We have managed to find the family established at Holden Wood in Musbury. Richard’s mother appears to be Ann Emmett born c 1808. She is shown on the 1841 census (at Edenfield) living with her brother? Abraham, as Ann Morris. In 1851 she is at Holden Wood, a widow, born in Crawshawbooth. She had a son James Morris born c1836/7 and a son Daniel Morris born c 1840. Her son Richard Emmett is living with his grandparents at Holden wood in 1841 and with his wife Elizabeth at Holden Wood in 1851.

Elizabeth Hamer’s family are also living at Holden Wood in 1841 and 1851.

Bonnie would like details of Ann’s marriage to Morris, her baptism and the baptism of her son Richard.

Email: lass2001@msn.com


One of our members recently told me that his mother was Howarth on her maternal side and Haworth on her paternal side.

Another member has found that Sarah Heap married Jeremiah Howorth in 1857; in 1861 as a young widow she was entered in the census as Howarth. After her remarriage, the birth certificate of one of her children said "formerly Haworth".

This reminded me of an article published in the Society’s magazine "Lancashire" in January 1979.

Frederick Haworth had written

"Wherever I have lived, from the South Coast of England to Glasgow and back to Yorkshire, I have always had trouble with the spelling of my name. When I started looking at Parish registers in Bury, I was struck by the large number of Howarths. I have always believed that the name was connected to the village of Haworth in Yorkshire - there was a John de Haworth in that village in the 13th century, but the Haworths disappeared from Haworth soon after this and appeared later in Lancashire - they seemed to have reached Ramsbottom and stopped there.

My theory is that the original spelling was Haworth and that literate bearers of the name who remained in their local area maintained this spelling. The other spelling crept in when bearers of the name could not write and relied on others to spell their name; and when bearers of the name left the district and found that strangers in other parts could not imagine that Haworth could be pronounced the way it is!

When I joined the society, I mentioned my ideas to George Pelling. He told me that Guppy in his ‘Homes of Family names in Great Britain’ stated that the incidence of the two spellings per 10,000 (in 1890) was Haworth 50 / Howarth 40. This surprised me, in view of the small number of Haworths I had noticed in the Bury records. I felt that the local situation was different from the Great Britain picture.

A quick look at telephone directories showed some interesting figures (approximate):-

Blackburn area 800 400
Manchester NE 120 600
London Postal Area 40 80

These figures showed how common the name was in the Blackburn area telephone directory (which includes Ramsbottom) compared with London, and the Manchester NE directory.

The Howarths take over as we get away from the centre of the Haworth country. I am not as sure as I was before, but I still think Haworth is the correct spelling"

Editor’s Footnote.

For some reason Mr Haworth didn’t give the figures for Manchester NW which included Bury.

Henry Fishwick in his "History of the Parish of Rochdale" 1889, devotes several pages to the history of the Howorth family of Howorth in Hundersfield, Rochdale. He traces the family back to William Howarth of Howarth living in the time of Henry IV.