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 2009

Programme: 2009

Wednesday 5th August

Advice and Research Evening.

Wednesday 2nd September

Out Visit to Bacup Natural History Society.

Wednesday 7th October

A tale of Derring Do.

W.J. Taylor (Society Vice President)

Wednesday 8th November

Members Evening. 10 Minute talks.

Please Note – Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Visit to Bacup Natural History Museum, will now take place in September and not in August.

Federation of Family History Societies

Information from Roger Lewry.

FFHS Archives Officer 28th July 2009:

1911 Census Free Access The National Archives announced arrangements for free access to the 1911 census information at the following locations:

Birmingham Archives & Heritage; Devon Record Office (Exeter); The National Library of Wales (Aberystwyth); Manchester Archives and Local Studied and Greater Manchester County Record Office; Norfolk Record Office; Tyne and Wear Archives

The full announcement can be seen at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/stories/337.htm?WT.hp=nf-37818

Before planning a trip, visitors are urged to contact the relevant institution to find out when the service will be available.

Society News

LFHS Training and Education

We now have a new member of the Management Team, Mike Coyle who has agreed to take on the role of Training and Education Team Leader. Mike has produced an outline strategy and is starting work on gathering information from the branches. Mike wants to find out how he can help and support the branches in their Training and Education and also how the branches can help him in his new role!!

LFHHS Chorley Research Centre

The LFHHS Chorley Research Centre has moved from its previous home within Astley Hall to the Astley Hall Farmhouse. It is still within the grounds of Astley Hall but is in a room which is much more fitting to a Research Centre. An Early Access document has been signed to facilitate the move and we eagerly await the formal lease/licence.

LFHHS Subscriptions Half Price Offer

Membership Subscriptions run from January to December but for those joining on or between 1st June and 31st December, we offer a half-year membership at half the relevant subscription rate. This is a good opportunity for non members to discover the benefits of membership. For full details check the Society website www.lfhhs.org.uk


News Notes and Queries Research and Advice Sessions:

at Rawtenstall Library every Tuesday 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Rossendale Branch has a group of members who are on hand very Tuesday, to assist members of the public with their Family History enquiries. You will find us upstairs at the library adjacent to the new Community History facilities. Please note we do not have library access to the 1911 census.

If contacting us with an enquiry, please include your membership number.

Haslingden Roots has now reconvened the group is meets upstairs at Haslingden library, each Monday except Bank holidays from 6.00pm – 7.30pm,

Visit to Bacup Natural History Society.

Next month we have our postponed visit to Bacup Natural History Society

If you haven’t been before, you will find it an interesting experience The Museum was founded in 1878 by a group of gentlemen interested in the flora and fauna of the area. It is now a local and social history museum with a very eclectic stock. It is situated at 24 Yorkshire Street in central Bacup. The property was formerly the "Hare and Hounds" public house. The museum contains collections of domestic, industrial, religious and military artefacts. There are about 2000 books, maps of the area and bound copies of the Bacup newspapers from 1863. There are some 4000 photographs of old Bacup. Also a great deal of ephemera (leaflets, programmes, etc.), and even an ancient skeleton! The museum is normally only open on Thursday evenings at 7.30 pm.

The Marsland Family of Waterfoot

Peter Marsland (member no. 9220) has contacted me from New Zealand. He is researching the family of John Marsland (1805 – 1873) who came to Rossendale from Chipping, via Bury and Burnley, c1847. He was accompanied by his brother James and his sister Elizabeth who was married to John Tinsdale. John was an engineer and ironfounder. In 1871, he was employing 20 men and living at Warth House, Warth, Cowpe Lench etc. The various other members of the family were living in Warth Lane.

email orbi@paradise.net.nz or write to

Winmarleigh, 30 Pemsey Street, Silverstream, Upper Hutt, 5019, New Zealand.

Richard Ashworth’s Letters from America

Valerie Maxwell is fortunate to have some letters written by her Gt. Grandfather in 1873. This is when Richard Ashworth commenced his American adventure. There are four letters the first dated 3rd April 1873 was written aboard ship, the Adriatic, which sailed from Liverpool via Queenstown in Ireland to New York. Richard had set out with John and Thomas Duckworth, his brothers-in-law leaving behind his wife Susannah and two young children.

Emigration fever had hit this part of Lancashire, not only among local men but there were also many of the Irish families who had settled in this area following the potato famine were moving on.

The first letter, tells of their journey and of the crowds waiting for the train in Accrington. They met a man who had paid one guinea for a truck from Accrington to Liverpool, he offered to find space for Richard’s party, so they had arrived in good time for the Adriatic. Richard says they had also met a young woman who asked if it was true that the Atlantic was lost? He thought it was true and this was the vessel he had once thought of sailing on ."but it was better we did not as it turned unfortunate"

On the 4th April, he said "we are expecting to be in Queenstown by 10 o’clock this morning, we have had a pleasant journey so far, with no sickness. We have all got a ticket free from New York to Boston, that will save us twelve shillings, we got them at Liverpool" The letter ends as they reach the Irish coast with the words "from, I hope, a dear husband, Richard Ashworth, take care of the little ones and kiss them from me, I hope they have got their present".

Richard Ashworth was born 6th August 1842, at Hall Carr, Rawtenstall. he was a son of Edmund Ashworth, a tailor and his wife Ann, nee Ashworth, daughter of John Ashworth, a fuller. He married Susannah Duckworth on the 11th November 1865. At the time he left for America, they had two daughters, Alice Ann, born in 1866 and Margaret Jane born b. 1868, Margaret was Valerie’s grandmother, she married Manoah Maxwell in 1903.

The second letter was headed "Fisherville, April 17th 1873". The voyage was very pleasant for several days and they were making good time. Wednesday was a very rough day "there was a great deal of sickness, so much that it even turned the stewards sick. The vestal tossed about like a cock boat, the water dashed over the saloon cabins, the height of any house at home, the passengers hid themselves anywhere they could find for shelter. On Thursday we was crossing the banks of Newfoundland then we was amongst the ice for days"

They eventually anchored at Sandy Hook and waited for a pilot to come on board. On a beautiful Sunday morning they arrived at New York harbour. They were not allowed off the ship "it was like being in prison, people was sailing round the vessel all day, to see if any of their friends was on board but no one came to see after us"

On Monday an official came on board and searched all their trunks. "We got through very well but John Ashworth’s got put sideways to be searched over in Castle gardens but he got off without paying anything".

The shipping lists show a John Ashworth and a James Haworth both aged 20.

Richard and the Duckworths continued their journey on another boat to Fall River and then on to Boston, where they strolled through the town looking at the ruins of the great fire, "a larger space than all Rawtenstall lay in ruins. We got the Carrs then for Fisherville. We landed about four o’clock and made straight for the place where Tom used to live"

The shipping lists show that a Thomas Duckworth aged 22 and a John Ashworth aged 24 had previously sailed to New York on the Aleppo on 9th August 1869. It is hopeless trying to sort out the Ashworth connections. After his father died Richard’s mother married another Ashworth!

The following morning they went to look for work. "We got work. We could either start then or play a day or two. We played for two days and started on Friday" He adds "I think I would like to make my home here" and "hoping you are getting along pretty well and the children also. I feel a little lost without you ".

Two further letters detailing Richard Ashworth’s American experience will be published next month.