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 December 2005

Programme 2005 - 2006

Wednesday 7th December

Christmas Festivities

Wednesday 4th January 2006

Enquiry and research evening

Wednesday 1st February

Ten Minute Talk by the members

Wednesday 1st March

Girl with no name.

Tony Foster

How do you use Family History Resources?

Kate Friday, a PhD research student at Robert Gordon University Aberdeen is examining family history resources and their users. Her study will investigate the users themselves, how they view both e-genealogical sources and Local Studies library collections, and how these resources are used within the research process.

She has recently launched a 5-minute online survey, located within a website that explains more about the process at http://www.researchinggenealogy.co.uk

She is hoping to gather information about people accessing UK information online for their family history research.

The survey will remain active until April 2006.

Whitaker Park Museum

F.H. Open Day. Saturday 18th February 1 – 4pm

LFHHS (Rossendale Group) and Haslingden Roots will be present at the museum to give advice.

Stories from North East Lancashire

The Society has been contacted by Bethany Sheldon who is trying to source stories (real or folklore) in the North East Lancashire Region, to use in a Community Theatre project. She says that she has information on the Lancashire Witches and the Battle of Buranburgh for the Pendle/ Burnley area but would also like some stories from Hyndburn, Blackburn and Rossendale. Her Group will then sort out the most appropriate ones to create a piece of community theatre.

Bethany can be contacted by email at

Bethany.neutralspace@hotmail.co.uk  or you can write c/o 16 Harris Street, Burnley BB11 4JH

News from the Executive Committee

Society Dinner

Rossendale has been asked to host the Annual Society Dinner next autumn. We would like a volunteer to organise the meal and the speaker. If you are interested, contact Kathleen Ashburner.


Carole Walker will finish her tenure as Society Treasurer at the next AGM. If you feel you could undertake this very necessary task, please contact Carole by emailing treaurer@lfhhs.org.uk She will be willing to advice anyone taking over and help with the end of year accounts.

Pedigree Referral Index

The referral index was stared many years ago, when cards and forms were used to index the names being researched by our members. The index grew to impossible proportions, so a few years ago, it was decided to transfer all the names to computer. This was started by Mark Fletcher who made a good start on this work. Ken Fowler has taken over and will attempt to cope with the backlog of 8 boxes of pedigrees He does not have an email address, so forms will have to be posted to him. Further details will appear in the journal.


The next Society AGM and Mini Conference has been fixed for Saturday, 27th May 2006. Derrick Walkden has once again lined up 3 good speakers, so keep a space in your diary for this event.

Exhibition Survey

Have you filled in the questionnaire from your November magazine? Stephen Ward, the Society’s Exhibition Officer says that the initial results are very interesting and should be helpful to the Publications Committee.

Rossendale Ancestry

The TAYLORS of Rossendale

A memoir written by Grace Hines who was born in 1888 after her family had emigrated from Rossendale to the USA.

OUR family came from a corner of Lancashire, England, called the "Forest of Rossendale", once a great forest for the King’s deer where only he, or his friends hunted. Should any other man kill the deer, he was killed in turn as a poacher. I have a "History of Rossendale Forest" written by a step cousin of my father, Edward Newbigging.

I cannot go far back with the Taylor or Nuttall records. They did not bring their records along when they came. But my father used to repeat his sires back as far as....

Lawrence Taylor, whom he called the Old soldier for he was "memorable" for something, and there was a monument to him in the old Newchurch churchyard.

He would say Jackson (Taylor), son of Ingham (Taylor), son of John, son of Richard, son of Lawrence, son of the old soldier.

I don’t know what my father’s people did, but Ingham. John and Richard all lived on the "Hurst or Herse" farm near Rawtenstall. James, a brother of Ingham, was a man of money and property. He had mills of some kind and no doubt Ingham worked for him. He died in 1883. It was a very long drawn out estate and I got the last money from it in 1930, which I put into $20.00 gold pieces.

My father was the youngest of eight children. His oldest brother James came to Staten Island. He had a warehouse there where he sold the felts made and printed at Hollin Mill, England. Later, Uncle James bought a mill in Newburg, New York where he manufactured lap robes and blankets and printed them.

When my father was 15 (1866) he came to work for his brother and all the rest of the brothers and sisters came too. My mother came to New Brighton often to visit her mother’s half sister, Aunt Martha Crabtree Sutcliffe. My mother’s father had worked in New Brighton for his brother-in-law James Crabtree, in 1849.

All these English people knew each other. They all came from Rossendale. Mamma and Poppa fell in love and eloped to Virginia. Then Grandpa Nuttall wanted them to go to West Virginia with him, to open up coal mines there, as he had bought a large tract of land in Fayette County. They went, Grandpa lived with them. He built a large house at Nuttalburg, where all nine of us were born. Two died as babies.

Nuttallburg was in a canyon. The swift and dangerous New River ran at the bottom of the canyon. The railroad when it came, ran alongside the river. It was a wild primitive place. We had to have a governess to teach us. Our household help came from England. Our home was sort of the hotel for the town, as there was nowhere else to stay. The traveling salesmen would stay. A traveling dentist would set up his office in our sitting room and would stay until all the people’s teeth had been filled. The traveling piano tuner would come, bringing his old violin and we would have concerts every evening. There was one church and all the denominations had services in it.

We had relief from the dirt when we would move on the mountain top, to our farm in the summer. It was like Heaven to us. We called it "Holmfield" after Uncle James’ place in England. There we rode horses, played games, had much company, went on picnics. We would sometimes take all our vehicles and horses and go with all our family and friends on a few days trip to see our land in Nicholas County.....

We grew up, my oldest brother John, and my oldest sister Minnie went away to School. John married one of our governesses, Neva Mercer... Minnie married Frederick Rainbow Raven, a young Englishman, who worked at one of Grandpa’s mines which had been leased to Herbert and Fred Rothwell, two Englishmen whose grandmother had married my father’s father and whose sister May Rothwell later married my brother John......

submitted by Gwenne Taylor Fabeck email: sbf312@dc.rr.com

Clues inscribed in stone

I have tried to check out Grace’s story. My starting point was the gravestone in Newchurch graveyard: This is one of the relocated stones to the west of the church:

John son of James TAYLOR of this town died September 18th 1763 in his 18th year. Jennit wife of James TAYLOR died June 12th 1764 in the 57th year of her age. James TAYLOR of Newchurch died 30th March 1773 in his 60th year. Also the memorable Lawrence TAYLOR of Newchurch who died 24th July 1814 in his 80th year. Also Nelly wife of Richard TAYLOR who died June 13th 1821 in her 73rd year. Also Richard TAYLOR of Hearse died 23 July 1823 in his 70th year.

This is clearly the right family but the deficiencies of the Newchurch registers and the number of Taylors in Rossendale make research difficult.

Any ideas please contact Rita Hirst