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 August 1998

The Clitheroe Court Rolls.

At our last meeting John Simpson gave an excellent talk on the Clitheroe Court Rolls. These used to be housed at Clitheroe Castle but are now to be found at the Lancashire Record Office at Preston. Anyone fortunate enough to have traced their family back to the 14th - 17th century should examine the printed translations done by William Farrer. The Court Rolls of the Honor of Clitheroe in the County of Lancaster. 3 volumes. These volumes contain the early records for the Royal Forest of Rossendale. John is working on translating more of the Rolls but it is a long job. His first book covers only one year 1567 - 1568. It has 41 pages and is extensively indexed. He is now working on the next 3 years.

Anyone interested in the early history of Rossendale is recommended to read The economic history of Rossendale, by GH Tupling. This book lists Accrington copyholders 1543-67, Haslingden tenants encroachments, 1616, leases granted in Accrington 1579-91 etc. Published by the Chetham Society Volume 86 of the New Series and is available at most large libraries.

Our own Lancashire volume 11-4 1990 contained an article by Margaret Ormerod,

"Notes on sources 35: did your sixteenth century ancestor live in the Honor of Clitheroe?" If your files don't go back far enough I can provide you with a photocopy.

The Haslingden Heritage Weekend.

I seem to have spent four days just checking the 1881 census. I reached a point were I couldn't remember what name I was checking. Kathleen Ashburner and Pauline Holt were in charge of the Parish Registers , Mary Davison was giving guided tours of the graveyard and Michael had left his computer for us to check burials at Holden Hall Cemetery. We had visits from many of our members. Derek Walkden came from the Heraldry Society to look at the heraldry and hatchments in St. James' Church. Peter Joslin came from the Lancaster & Morecambe Branch to check on some Joslins in the churchyard. Hilda Rawcliffe the Blackburn chairman was looking for the grave of her Duckworth in the teeth of a gale. Every time anyone mentioned Grane we told them to see Jackie Ramsbottom at the Grane information centre There is a lot of interest out there. I hope we can build on it when we have our Rawtenstall Roadshow in September.

The Lytham Fair. 8th August. There will be representatives from the LRO, NW Sound Archives, NW Catholic FHS, and the General Register Office. All our branches will be there with members available to give advice on their locality as well as dealing with specialist subjects, wills, strays, IGI, 1881 census, tracing soldiers, heraldry, etc. The Lancaster Group will do laser copies of your old photographs. Many publications will be on sale and there will be an advice desk. Do try to support this event.

Coming Events. Talks, Conferences, Exhibitions.

Saturday 8 August. "Shed Light On Your Family Origins" at our Silver Jubilee Celebrations. Lowther Pavilion, Lytham St. Annes. 10.00am - 4.00pm.

Wednesday 12 August. Irish Ancestry Night at Bury. This is a must for those of you with Irish Ancestors. I am pleased to inform you that the Bury Group have regained possession of their former meeting place at The Wylde in Bury.

Saturday 5 September. A Family History Roadshow and Exhibition will be held in the lecture hall at Rawtenstall library. If you have any items for the exhibition especially completed pedigrees will you please let me know as soon as possible.

Saturday 5 September. Lancashire Parish Register Society Conference. Apply to Dr. Rogers. Manchester Metropolitan University, All Saints Buildings, Manchester. M15 6BH. Send SAE. Fee £18.75 for full day and meals. John Dalton has details.

Saturday 4 October. N.W. Group of FHS. Family History Fair, Stockport Town Hall.

Friday 30 October. The Society's Annual Dinner is this year hosted by the Fylde Branch. It will be at the Masonic Club, West Drive, Cleveleys, Blackpool. The Guest Speaker is Ann Hind the Deputy Coroner of Blackpool. She will speak on "The Law: A matter of Life and Death". Places are £14.00 per head. An application form was included in your May magazine. If you have lost it contact Mr. P. Pearson, 13 Summitt Drive, Freckleton, PR4 1PP before 29th September.

Cornish Ancestry?

I have had a letter from John Buckingham, 19 Treverbyn Road, Padstow, Cornwall, PL28 8DN. He says:

Recent correspondence with Joe Healey, Secretary of the Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup revealed a story I felt worth exploring; it was that the dance had been brought up to Lancashire by Cornish miners recruited into local quarries. Has anyone checked the census returns for the names of those of Cornish birth who might be responsible? .... I am hoping some of your members can tell me where these men came from.....

Ken Bowden in one of his books on Bacup states that several Cornishmen came north and that in particular two of them came to Whitworth quarry and started the dances there. The first "Coconutters" were a Stacksteads troop formed in 1857.

This sounds like an interesting project. Does anyone fancy going through the census entries for the Whitworth district 1851 & 1861? Does anyone have any Cornish ancestry? 


Michael Hiluta has now completed his index of the burials at Holden Hall Cemetery, Haslingden. It covers the years 1902 - 1969. He will be pleased to answer any enquiries.

I have finished typing up the monumental inscriptions for St. Nicholas Church at Newchurch. This needs checking at the churchyard and a location plan has yet to be prepared.

Wilf. Day is still working on the Crawshawbooth Wesleyan Registers. A bound copy of the Cloughfold burials has been deposited in the branch library and Rawtenstall library now holds the competed copy of The Bethlehem Unitarian Church baptisms 1807-1994.

Dennis Nuttall has been ill but he hopes to get back to his indexing work on the censuses as soon as possible.