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 November 2002

Programme 2002

Tonight - 6th November On board HMS George V - A WW2 talk by Norma Cowpe.

4th December -  Christmas Social - Due to the success of last year’s event we are once again having a Potato Pie supper.

Tickets priced £2.00 are available from Kathleen Ashburner.

Programme 2003

8th January - Research Evening Please note that we will not be meeting on January 1st - New Year’s Day.

LFHHS 30th Anniversary

It is proposed to hold a Family History Fair mid 2003. Anyone with ideas for a theme for this event or anyone wishing to join a working party should contact either Kathleen Ashburner, or the Society Chairman, Tony Foster

LFHHS Website

Fred Moor expects to have the revamped Society Web Site up and running by the beginning of this month. The new domain address is www.lfhhs.org.uk

The Rossendale Web Site will be available both direct, or through a link from the main site.

Did you miss....

2nd October Our Members’ Miscellany?

We had five varied and interesting talks. Mary Davison led off the evening. She described a "Saving Private Ryan" situation which had taken place during W.W.I and had involved an Australian Family of 4 brothers.

Les Ormerod described the difficulties he had encountered in sorting out his grandmother’s RUTH family.

Michael Hiluta showed us a gravestone inscription; he stressed the importance of MIs, but showed how the information could also be misleading.

Brenda Kershaw revealed why she had been studying the life of an "L" class destroyer - "The Loyal." She was trying to establish why a relative serving on the ship had been swept overboard on 2nd January 1942.

Rita Hirst told how the tragic death of a young child had caused the ISHERWOOD Family to flee from Slaidburn to Haslingden, in 1886.

Lotta Crabtree (1847 - 1924)

Dancer’s Gold stakes New England farmers

Des Heyworth has sent me a collection of interesting press cuttings relating to Lotta Mignon Crabtree. She was born in New York City, on November 7, 1847. Her parents were Mary Ann Livesey Crabtree and John Ashworth Crabtree.

Lotta was raised in California’s gold country and performed in the vaudeville houses of San Francisco. She became the most highly paid comedienne of her era and the highest paid performer on the Broadway stage. At the age of 22 she had purchased San Francisco real estate which formed the basis of her $4,000,000 fortune.

The gold that the 49ers threw on stage when Lotta danced, is now helping to stake young farmers in New England. In her obituary she was described as mischievous, unpredictable, impulsive, rattlebrained, teasing, piquant, rollicking, cheerful and devilish.

Des tells me that his g.g. grandfather John Heyworth (1820 - 1889) married Anne Crabtree. His sister Margaret married James Crabtree (Anne’s brother), John Ashworth Crabtree, Lotta’s father was another brother. Their father James Crabtree was a junior partner to Heyworth Brothers, in South America.

John Ashworth Crabtree had nothing to do with his daughter’s success. It was reported that he made off with a trunk of gold and returned to England. In 1881 he was living in Dunham Massey described as "Independent Gentleman". He died at Sale in 1889.

Rossendale Ancestry:


David Anker asks "is anyone researching Anker? or does anyone know somebody called Anker? My Grandfather was Harry Anker who moved to Todmorden as a small boy in the late 1890s. Harry's parents were Henry born 1861 and Mary. Henry had 3 brothers; Abraham born 1848, William born 1852, and James born 1856.

Their parents were Richard and Elizabeth who moved to Britannia, Bacup in the late 1860s, from Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire.

I am looking for any information on James Anker who married Mary Winfield. From the 1901 Census they were living at 20 Ernest St, Britannia, Bacup. James 45, Mary 44, John 17, and Wilfred 7.

William had moved to Lincolnshire by 1881 and I am in contact with the descendants of Abraham, who moved to the Ramsbottom area before 1891. There were a great many Ankers in Whittlesey from around 1700, and I have traced my family back to Richard's Grandfather (my Grt x 4 Grandfather), James, who was married in Thorney in 1770.

I think there is a possibility that the Anker family were one of around 80 families who were Walloon Refugees who came over to work on the Hatfield Chase Drainage Project in 1626. The Refugees later moved to Thorney, and then some on to Whittlesey in Cambs.

If you can help, or would like to know more about my research, please email me at DJAnker@aol.com


Can any of our many Heyworth researchers help Mike Heyworth from York. He has just started researching his Bacup family.

His ancestor, James Heyworth, a master grocer was living at Crooked Shore, Bacup in 1901. 10 years earlier he was at 14 Daisy Bank, aged 31. His wife was Martha (34) and one child Emma (3). James Heyworth, Michael’s grandfather was born 1892.

Adjacent entries at Daisy Bank show, No 18. James Heyworth (70) retired farmer born Bacup, his wife Martha (76) born Yorkshire No 12. William Heyworth (29) weaver, his wife Rachel 27 and son William 1.

Were these all the same family? I can’t find them in the 1881 census under any spelling. email: m.heyworth@dial.pipex.com or write to Dr M. Heyworth, 16 Norfolk St. York, Y023 1JY

Memories of an Evacuee


William Cordwell has memories of being sent to Rawtenstall in the early days of World War II.

He says "My mother’s older sister Hettie Hearn married John Schofield. It must have been in the late thirties as I was a pageboy at the wedding.

Early in the war I was sent to Rawtenstall to live with my aunt and uncle. Now I do not remember the name of the street but it ran at right angles to the main road, I think, on the way out of Rawtenstall towards Burnley. My uncle John had a baker’s shop and the bakehouse was not far away, it could be seen from one of the upstairs windows of the house.

One night, the boy trainee left the proving ovens on and being wood, they caught fire and burned the bakehouse down. I was sent to another relative for a while and when I was able to join my Aunt and Uncle they had moved to a shop at Crawshawbooth with a bakehouse at the back.

Across the road was a chapel, also a school round behind the chapel. Another shop close by was owned by Mrs. Pickup. Their son Billy was killed on his motorcycle at Loveclough, on what was an adverse camber. He did not have enough experience riding a motorcycle and had gone out against his father’s orders.

My Aunt and Uncle had four children, Jackie, Terry, Clifford and Kevin. They all still live round Rossendale.

One of my memories of my time in Rawtenstall is going to a theatre to see an opera I think it was Madame Butterfly. I enjoyed it very much.

Time has flown and I am now seventy years old but I can still remember some of the things about Rawtenstall, the funniest being when I had mumps and I had to stay home from school with a big bandage round under my chin and tied on the top of my head, I feel sure that there was some kind of fat in it but I am not sure".

Submitted by William Cordwell email will6cord@ntlworld,com


Winter Opening Times From November 4th - until Monday 7th April 2003 Haslingden Roots will meet on the 1st Monday of each month.

Enquiries to the Secretary - Jackie Ramsbottom email jax@grane92.freeserve.co.uk