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 1999

Note: Kathleen Ashburner is now compiling the programme for next year. If you have any ideas for speakers or preferences for the Out Visit, please tell Kathleen as preparing the programme year after year is a very difficult task.


Work is still proceeding in St. Nicholas' Churchyard. Last Tuesday there were two teams enjoying the sunshine. Marge, Winifred and Valerie finished off the checking in the New Yard. This was not without some difficulty. They found over 2 rows had not been recorded. It would appear that in 1986, the then transcribers had walked off one Autumn evening, intending to return, then the rains came and the project was forgotten.

Meanwhile Team B, Michael, Mary and myself were working in the Old Yard where the grass was knee high. On the south east edge of the plot we literally uncovered the stone of William Walker Whittaker (see this month's Rossendale Ancestry) Michael was exultant, declaring that we had won the lottery, walking backwards clearing soil and grass, he was reading the inscription when, I suddenly realised he was within inches of falling 20 feet into the New Yard, possibly into the next world!

You are all welcome to come and join the fun.

Another note from Mr Hiluta...

I hope Wilfred Day has set a world standard with his latest publication of Marriage Registers from Bethel Baptist Chapel, Waterfoot. It is excellent and a credit to our Branch. Well done Wilf. Are there any volunteers to transcribe other marriage data, for Wilf to input?.

Coming Events.

Talks, Conferences, Exhibitions. Friday 15 October. The LFH&HS's annual dinner will this year be hosted by the Lancaster and Morecambe Group. A special evening of "Lancashire fare" will be held at the Clarendon Hotel, Marine Road West, Morecambe.

The after dinner speaker will be Ian Dewhurst. This event costs only £10. It is worth that amount alone just to hear Ian Dewhurst speak! I am told that on this particular evening "clogs, shawls, waistcoats and flat caps will certainly not be out of place.

Saturday 30 October 1999 NW Group Family History Fair (sometimes known as the Stockport Fair) will this year be held at the Guild Hall, Preston.

The 1881 Census on CD-ROM

I have now received a copy of the above for use within the branch. It consists of 23 CDs.

There is a Family History Resource Viewer which is necessary to process the system.

A National Index on 8 CDs and the remainder are Regional Indexes. Lancashire and Yorkshire are on the same disk so they can be checked at the same time. It is also possible to have the information printed out. The system does require, Pentium processor or higher, windows 95 or higher, 16 MB is recommended, a CD-ROM drive, 25 MB Hard Disk space. I realise that not many of you will be able to meet these requirements but I will be willing to do checks for you, or you are welcome to come to my house by appointment.

Vital Records Index

In addition to the census CDs, I also have a copy of the VRI for the Group. This consists of 5 disks and a Resource Viewer. The information on this index is supplementary to the IGI. I have found that it has a very good coverage of Haslingden St. James baptisms and marriages prior to 1837.

Rossendale Ancestry. I have received an enquiry from the USA from Mr Linzee Whittaker whose ancestor Myles Whittaker was born in Cowpe in 1881. Myles married Jane Hannah Lord of Lower Engine? in 1908. They both died in the USA. Miles father was Walker Whittaker born 1859. His grandfather was William Walker Whittaker of Newchurch born 1835. His mother was Mary Campbell, of Rake Head, daughter of William. She died when Myles was born aged 22. Walker subsequently married a Jane.... He was living at Booth St., Waterfoot when he died. Jane Hannah Lord's father was a John Lord, her mother was Sarah Ann Meadowcroft. Anyone who can help with these families please let me know.

Rossendale Ancestry Directory.

As I mentioned in June, I am proposing to compile a directory of the names our members are researching . I would like you to let me details of your name interests. The names should be restricted to persons who have lived in Rossendale at some time in their lives. You must be willing to let me store the information on computer and be willing to reply to any enquiries you might receive. Our new membership secretary Vicky Barlow has sent me some information on her family which I am using to illustrate what I have in mind.

Kay Family Bridge Clough Newchurch Late 19th c

Kay Family Whams/ Mile End E. 19th c

Kay Family Forrest Holme L 19th c

Heys Family Crawshawbooth/Lumb E. 19th c

Holt Family Tewitt Hall M 19th c

Batterbee Family Whitewell Bottom L 19th c

Hoyle Family Stacksteads E 20th c

You get the idea? This might have to be refined but this is what I have in mind.


In the last issue I report that the cost of wills from First Avenue House, London had been increased to £15. I am pleased to say that due to pressure from Family Historians this has now been reduced to £5.