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 April 2004

Programme: 2004

Wednesday 7th April

AGM and Heirlooms.

Wednesday 5th May

D Day - 60th Anniversary

Clifford Barcroft

Wednesday 2nd June

Researching the mariner Miles Standish

Rev. Dr. John Cree

Wednesday 7th July

Research Evening

Did you miss.....

Jonathan Ali’s talk on how to trace your army ancestors?

Jonathan gave us a remarkable talk. Without benefit of slides, he kept us entralled with his knowledge of his subject. His initial research was based on the village of Hawkshaw, which lies between Bury and Bolton. He discovered that during the Great War 1914 - 1918, 162 men had enlisted to fight.

Jonathan has researched not only the men who died but also those who had survived. He knew all their names, regiments and family circumstances, In the process of this research he has gained a breadth of knowledge about WWI. He was able to answer a variety of questions on graves, sources, regiments and medals.

Coming Events

Saturday 22nd May

LFHHS One Day Conference and AGM

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

3 Eminent Speakers.

"Then and Now" a Swiss Tour - Family Connections. Victorian Lady Climbers by Peter Marshall.

"The Blackpool Landlady" 19th Century by John Walton

"Barking up the wrong tree" cautionary tales and examples by John Titford.

Full details and application form in your February magazine. Send completed form to to AD Walton, 2 Butterlands, Preston, PR1 5TJ before 1st May 2004. Full conference and AGM with lunch £15.50 each.

Saturday 26th June

York Family History Fair. York Racecourse.

Saturday 2nd October NW Family History Fair. Manchester Veladrome.


I have received an enquiry from Pat Smith (now living in Giggleswick) Member 4886. She says

"Among possessions brought from my father-in-law's house in Baxenden is a heavy glass bottle with THE BOROUGH MINERAL WATER MANUFACTURING COMPANY CO LTD. WATERFOOT embossed on it. It carries a registered trade mark which appears to be a squirrel in the branches of a tree, enclosed within a circle.

We wondered if someone in the Rossendale branch of LFHHS knows anything of this Company, which might possibly help us to date the bottle".

Email: patdeesmith@totalise.co.uk

St Mary’s RC Church, Haslingden

submitted by Mary Davison

Last month I told you how the first Catholic Mission had been started at Back High Street, Haslingden in 1854. The congregation consisted almost entirely of Irish Immigrants.

They all seemed to have settled in streets to the north of the town near to the Parish Church of St. James, chiefly Wilkinson Street and Rakefoot. Most of this property has now been demolished in post war slum clearance schemes. The Irish probably came here to join relatives or friends who had preceeded them and could offer accommodation. They were of course escaping from the potato famine.

Most of the houses consisted of only four rooms (2 up and 2 down), some were cellar dwellings. The 1851 census shows that these premises were often shared by two or more families as well as lodgers.

My own great grandparents the TONRA /TONNY/ TONDRAS lived in Church Street in 1851. They had five children aged between 12 years and 2 years. Also in the house was my great grandmother’s brother (30 years) and sister (14 years); lodging with them was the TIMLIN Family, parents and five children aged from 20 years to 11 years - a total of eight adults and eight children.

Fortunately there was plenty of work in cotton mills and the stone quarries.

Some of the immigrants could be classed as "self employed" mainly as hawkers. My great grandfather was a salt hawker. How much salt would he have to hawk to keep his family?

Martin DAVITT father of Michael DAVITT (who bacame an Irish patriot, MP and founder of the Irish Land League) was a fruit hawker. They lodged with the Eagan family making a household of fourteen.

The EAGANS and the MURRAYS, neighbours in Wilkinson Street were cap makers and cap hawkers.

Also in the town were three rush chair bottom makers but the Irish man with the poshest job (in a house with 17 other lodgers) was described as a "Surveyor’s Assistant". He probably held the pole.

On 3rd September 2004, the descendants of these early immigrants will be able to remember their history and their heritage, when the Church of the Immaculate Conception (St. Mary’s) celebrates 150 years of Catholicism in Haslingden.

Rossendale Ancestry


David Jones (member no. 7883) writes "I have just joined the LFHHS. Several years ago I did some work on my father's side of my family, and found many pointers to Haslingden and nearby places. I'm now picking up the threads. I have rechecked some data, and looked for new information on the IGI. I have found some oddities which really need checking against the original registers, and I'm looking for help regarding them.

1. My g-g-grandfather Edward GREENWOOD is in the IGI as having been christened on 22 July 1806 at King St. Wesleyan Methodist Church, Haslingden. His parents were James GREENWOOD and Margret. I have found a marriage between James GREENWOOD and Margaret HAWORTH (no church specified) at Haslingden on 2 Feb 1813. On the face of it, the parents married nearly 7 years after the birth of their son, but I may simply have got the wrong parents' marriage, GREENWOOD being such a common name in the area. Alternatively, one or both of the dates may have been transcribed incorrectly. Yet another possibility is that "Margret" died and James remarried a "Margaret". I am a bit suspicious of the 1813 marriage, there being no church mentioned, and wonder if the entry comes from a secondary source, such as a will. Local help would be much appreciated.

I do hope someone can help me on at least some of the above. It would be nice to get going again. I have spent the last few years bogged down on another branch of my family on my mother's side, which has been very interesting, but not got me very far in terms of results". email: davidjones@buxtonhouse.freeserve.co.uk

I have told David that the 1813 marriage is probably an irrelevance, especially as it appears that James and Margaret Greenwood had earlier children baptised at King Street and before that two children baptised at the Parish Church in Haslingden. It is difficult to check as Rossendale Library Service does not have microfilm of these early Methodist registers.

Where to find the records of Haslingden’s Wesleyan Methodist Churches:

King Street Wesleyan Church: (merged with Manchester Road, reopened in 1868) Bap.1796 - 1837; Lancs. R.O. Man.City Libr. Mfilm. Bap.1869 - 1961; Mar. 1905 - 1961 Bur. 1885.- 1921 original registers Lancs. R.O. Monumental Inscriptions (only 20 stones remain) available in Libraries. Record Offices etc. on ‘fiche.

Manchester Road Wesleyan Church: (formerly King Street W.M. until 1857 ) Bap. 1837 1962; Mar. 1885 - 1947 Lancs. R.O. Blackburn Rd Wesleyan Church, Bap. 1885 - 1971; Mar. 1905 - 1961. original registers Lancs R.O.