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 September 2008

Programme: 2008

Wednesday 3rd September

Research & Enquires Evening

Wednesday 1st October

Shaw’s Ribble Valley Journey No1

Jim Halsall

Wednesday 5th November

Short talks by Members.

Wednesday 3rd December

Christmas Social Evening

Coming Events

Saturday 1st November

North West Group of Family History Societies

Family History Day Fair 2008 at St. Georges Hall, Liverpool 10.00 – 1600 celebrating: ’08 Liverpool – European Capital of Culture’. featuring:

Family History Societies, GRO,, Register and Record Offices, etc. and lectures by Dr. Nick Barratt, Consultant Genealogist for the BBC, David Stoker, Manager Liverpool Record Office and the Rev. Professor D. Ben Rees talking on the Welsh Immigration to Liverpool (1750-2007)

Admission is £2,00 on the door, £4.00 if you wish to attend the talks. Seating for the talks is limited and will be on a first come first served basis. No charge for young persons under 16.

Research and Advice Sessions at Rawtenstall Library

every Tuesday 1.30 - 3.30 pm

The Rossendale Branch now holds regular Research and Advice sessions at Rawtenstall Library. We have arranged a rota of 10 members, of whom 2 or 3 will be on hand each week to assist members of the public. We may also be able to do simple look-ups for members not able to attend the library in person.

Rossendale Miscellany:

News, notes and queries Haslingden Roots Due to refurbishment work being carried out at Haslingden Library over the next few months Haslingden Roots have decided to take a break and will therefore not be meeting on our regular Monday night slots for the foreseeable future. However during the month of September they will be exhibiting a collection of old photographs of the Haslingden & District area in the upstairs lecture hall at the library. I will keep you posted on how the work is going and when we will be returning to the library and if you have any enquiries during that time please feel free to e.mail me on jax@grane92.freeserve.co.uk Jackie Ramsbottom Secretary Haslingden Roots

Open Days at St. Nicholas

The annual open days at St. Nicholas, Newchurch will take place Saturday 6th September 10.30 – 4.30 Sunday 7th September 12.00 – 5.00. Michael Hiluta will be in attendance on Sunday and will be willing help you to find your way round the graveyard. Last year Michael was ecstatic to find that all the original parish registers were on view and available for consultation

The Haworth-Howarth DNA Project.

Stephen Howarth member 949 has contacted me from Chester about his DNA Project we have never dealt with this topic before. I hope our Haworth members will cooperate with Stephen in this project.

Stephen writes:

"Many branch members will have Haworth ancestors (all spelling variants included) and know first hand how difficult it is to disentangle one branch from another. My own 3xgreatgrandfather Richard Haworth was a calico printer described unhelpfully in the 1851 and 1861 censuses as born ‘Rossendale’ in 1786/87. He must have had parents and I have spent the last 30 years trying to find some for him and to link him convincingly with a home location in either Rossendale or Bury. Until now I have put my faith in naming patterns – my family have recurrent Abrahams, Benjamins, Josephs and Richards but other common Haworth family names such as Henry, Edmund, Lawrence and Dennis are conspicuous by their absence.

The development of DNA testing interested me from the start since it seemed to offer a new line of attack. Since Haworth is my paternal line I will have inherited a distinctive Y-chromosome from the very distant past, when our ancestors came out of Africa into Europe by a variety of different routes. The y-chromosome mutates slowly over time, and by comparing the different patterns at consistent marker points in each male’s DNA sample it is becoming possible to glean information about their families’ distant past. More important for family historians, mutations in the 20 or so generations since surnames came into common use indicate to holders of the same surname whether or not they have a common paternal ancestor in this period, give some indication of how long ago the lines diverged and make it easier to link individuals into groups and tie them down to locations.

The potential for this to deliver breakthroughs with ‘problem’ families like the Haworths is considerable. We believe we are a single family, but there will be some Haworths (probably in Yorkshire not Lancashire) who originate in the Bronte’s parish of Haworth and are completely unrelated to us. There will also be a proportion, perhaps 20-30%, whose paternal line turns out not to be the core Haworth one. For a single-source surname like Haworth it ought to be possible, provided the tests are detailed enough and sufficient Haworth’s participate to build up a representative sample, to distinguish between the various branches that have evolved. We know (unless DNA has shocks in store) that the name originates with the family living at Great Howarth or Howarth Hall in Rochdale. Some branches will have stayed in Rochdale or moved south into Oldham or Manchester. Others will have moved into the Bury and Rossendale areas and further north and west. It is a working hypothesis that most of the Haworths in these northern areas, often coinciding with the Haworth spelling, are descended from the first settlers who took up land in Rossendale after deforestation in 1507. The hope is that we shall eventually be able not just to separate out Rossendale from Oldham or Manchester origins but also to identify whether within the Rossendale group the descent is from the Haworths of Crawshawbooth or the Haworths of Constablee and the many other branches into which we split over the 17th and in the 18th centuries.

I ordered my yDNA test this summer and within a month had got back the results and was able to log on to the test company’s website to see a list of the closest matches in their database, with an estimate of the probable time elapsed since the Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA).

I had some instant good fortune since one of the closest matches was for a John Haworth living in Oklahoma. I was able to contact him and learned that he is a direct descendant in the male line, as are many Haworths in the United States, of the Quaker George Haworth who emigrated to Pennsylvania from Gambleside in Rossendale in 1699. The estimate was that our common ancestor was somewhere around 1500 – 1600 which fits reasonably well with the scenario of common descent from the settlers of Rossendale. It means that I can be reasonably confident that I am looking for a male line named Haworth back to the start of parish registers, 200 years earlier than I have traced my own family so far and that it makes sense to focus research on the Rossendale branches of the family.

Setting up the project

I expected that once I had obtained my DNA result I would simply sign up to a flourishing Haworth family name DNA project and be able to start swapping results with other signed up members. Not so - there were several hundred DNA surname projects but none for Haworth. It became clear that if I wanted to get value from analysis of Haworth DNA, a project had to be set up to organise it, and that I seemed to be the only person in the frame to do this, even though I am a newcomer to genetic genealogy and notoriously short of spare time. It was therefore important for me to identify a specialist firm that would provide both expert analysis and professional admin support and after taking advice and looking at the options I decided to set up a project using a firm in Texas called World Families Network. They are linked to the Family Tree DNA testing laboratory and database, which is much the largest database for research of this kind.

The priority now the Haworth-Howarth. Project has been set up is to persuade as many people as possible with a Haworth paternal line (all spelling variants welcome including Heyworth but not normally Howard or Hayward!) to join the project and provide a sample for a yDNA test. So the purpose of this article is to tell Rossendale branch members about the project and to appeal to all male Haworths with an interest in family history to join this project group, which is also open to all female Haworths with a male Haworth relative (eg brother or uncle) available to provide a yDNA sample to join in this experiment. Put simply the more family members that join, and the more representative the sample, the more we can all hope to learn.

The way to join – or just to find out more about use of DNA in family history - is to log on to


To participate, click on ‘Join Project’ and complete the form to order a DNA test, after which enrolment in the project will be automatic. The price for the FTDNA 37-marker test, which is the level needed for meaningful use in family history, is $119, which at present exchange rates is approximately £60. Only one sample is required for each family group of close relations which means the cost can sometimes be shared – there is no point in buying separate tests for brothers, fathers and sons etc. There are more comprehensive but more expensive test options available, such as for those who want to test maternal line mtDNA as well, but for the purposes of this project the 37 market test is considered fully adequate. It is usually possible for people who have already obtained yDNA results from other providers such as DNA Heritage, Ancestry and Relative Genetics to join in by submitting their existing results instead of purchasing a new test. Anyone wanting to take this route should contact me by email on stehowarth@aol.com or my co-administrator Terry Barton at World Families in the first instance and we will email the form needed for data input and conversion. When emailing please specify which word processing programme you use (eg Word or Work) since they require different versions of the form.

All project members are asked to provide the name and date and place of birth of their earliest known paternal ancestor on joining, and to post a simplified pedigree onto the site to help with interpretation of results and matching. The yDNA ‘lines’ of all participants are posted as a list for comparison, the identity of members being indicated only by numbers, with members’ names and email addresses kept confidential to the project administrators. There will be an online forum for members to discuss both their Haworth family trees and technical issues around interpretation of yDNA results.

There will be many LFHHS members with more remote Haworth ancestors through female lines, who are unable to provide a Haworth male DNA sample: the general findings of the project will be available to all, but those unable to contribute yDNA to this DNA database will not be able to participate directly in the project. It is early days but as well as online access to the website there is likely to be an email newsletter circulated once or twice a year, depending on how much news there is to communicate.

As a family we Haworths are not noted for hanging back, so if you are a Haworth and able to provide Y-DNA relevant to the project, do please join in: it promises to be fascinating as well as useful"

Stephen Howarth