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 February 2006

Programme: 2006

Wednesday 1st February

Ten Minute Talk by the members

Wednesday 1st March

Girl with no name. Tony Foster

Wednesday 5th April


Followed by a short talk by Mary Davison on her early days in the Police Force.

Wednesday 3rd May

Alms Houses and Abductions:

The Turner Family

A talk by Barbara Riding.

Pip Cowling. Membership Secretary

The membership secretary has been ill for several weeks. It is important that members renew their subscriptions in the normal way and new members complete and return their application forms. They may experience some delay in receiving their Starter Packs but these will arrive in due course. I have sent our good wishes to Pip for a speedy recovery.

Wednesday 8th February.

Don’t forget to watch........

"Who do you think you are?"

showing Jane Horrocks and her links to the Rossendale Valley.

Coming Events

Sunday 12 February 2006 (10am - 4pm),

A Celebration of Family History,

will be held at the record office (Bow Lane, Preston PR1 2RE / telephone 01772 53303

Hosted by Radio Lancashire and the Lancashire Record Office, it will coincide with the latest BBC series of "Who do you think you are?". Local Societies will be represented and Radio Lancashire will be broadcasting live from the event on the day. There will also be a series of seminars and presentations, using the record office lecture room. A series of publicity events is also being organised.

John Benson, Public Service Archivist

Family History Open Day at Whitaker Park

On the 18th February there is a Family History Open Day at Whitaker Park Museum, Haslingden Road, Rawtenstall. Members of our group will be there from 1pm - 4pm to give general advice and help, supported by the Irish Ancestry Group, who will be there to give more specialised advise on Irish Ancestry. The museum has borrowed our exhibition on the Irish in Haslingden, this will be on display from February 1st to February 26th. After which, in March it will revert to Haslingden library for the Michael Davitt commemorative events.

Access to the BMD index for FREE !

I have received the following information from Ancestry.co.uk

While many web sites are charging money for access to UK birth marriage and death records Ancestry.co.uk is the first and only UK web site to offer the complete collection of General Register Office (GRO) birth marriage and death records for FREE.

The Ancestry.co.uk Birth, Marriage and Death Index includes more than 250 million names from 1837. It's fully searchable by surname range.

It's the highest-quality index of these records online. Whether you're new to family history or an expert genealogist, you'll find the information in the Birth, Marriage and Death Index crucial to your research.

These records can help you find out about the people in your family story -- for FREE.

web site: http://www.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=5963

Rossendale Ancestry

Do you have Rossendale ancestors? Are you a member of the Society?

If so, please let me have your story, or queries for this section of the newsletter.

Where do you think you are?

(Homes of Family Names) A surname study has just been launched on the internet at www.spatial-literacy.org

The database contains information on the size and geographical distribution of 25,630 family names. To qualify for inclusion there must have been at least 100 entries under that family name in the GB electoral list for 1998. Information is given via maps, illustrating the spread of the name in 1881 and again in 1998.

I have checked out our most common local names-

Barnes (Haslingden); Ashworth (Rawtenstall); and Lord (Bacup) together with names known to be spread throughout the area Taylor, Haworth and Howarth.

The results were very interesting In 1881, BARNES shows a classification of "most" around Rossendale and a similar classification in Cumbria, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.

ASHWORTH had a small grouping around the area of Ashworth valley with an indication that the name was only slightly less common in Rossendale.

LORD is shown to have its epicentre in Rossendale, with lesser concentrations in Leicestershire, Northants, Bedfordshire and Suffolk.

HAWORTH is shown to be firmly in our area and nowhere else. The alternative spelling of HOWARTH appeared to be "most" in Bury but also prominent in the greater Bury area. Again, it doesn’t register elsewhere else in the country.

TAYLOR as you might expect, had a more national spread, most were in Lancashire, Lincolnshire and Aberdeenshire. Least were in Wales, Southern England, East Anglia and the Scottish Borders.

Of course this study would have been more useful to us, if it covered the period prior to the industrial revolution; by 1881considerable migration had taken place into the Valley from elsewhere in England and Ireland.. A substantial number of people had also left the area to migrate to the United States and elsewhere. In addition the maps would be more helpful if some indication of place names had been given. We don’t know the study has related the old township information, from the 1881 census, to the Borough boundaries used for the electoral register.

Richard Ralph Turner of Helmshore. and The Truck System

Extracted from "The Social and Political History of Rochdal" by William Robertson. Published by the Rochdale Observer 1889

It will not be out of place here to refer to the truck system, which down to the year 1831 prevailed in Rochdale; and which on the whole had a bad social influence, a pernicious effect on the families of working men, and gave employers the power to compel workpeople to buy goods from them on the sellers’ own conditions, and enabled employers to reap two profits on one capital. Up to the date we have mentioned many of the flannel and cotton manufacturers kept shops and their employees were paid for their labour in grocery, drapery, and in some cases meat, and a small balance only on ready money. Some charged fair and some exorbitant prices, and if the workpeople showed any disposition to rebel against these extortionate charges they were discharged. Those who wished for more ready money than was paid to them had often to resort to selling at reduced prices the goods they had received in lieu of money, and thus sustained a loss.

Mr. Richard Ralph Turner of Helmshore, near Haslingden, flannel manufacturer, was for many years in the habit of bringing wool to Rochdale, and placing it in the hands of hand-loom weavers to make into flannel. He rented a room in Toad Lane which at present (1889) is occupied by the Equitable Pioneers’ Society as a butcher’s shop, and there doled out as wages to his weavers not only grocery but meat, which they described as "lantern mutton" on account of its thin bony and tough qualities. He was a terror to his workpeople and ground them down to the last farthing. His overbearing and grasping conduct at last roused the indignation of all his weavers, and they refused to work for him any longer. They were supported by the f lannel manufacturers of Rochdale, and by their united efforts they drove him out of the town. He afterwards carried on trade in three large mills at Helmshore, took to fox hunting joined "the chiming noise of cheerful hounds" with the cry of "tally-ho," but now he rests as the chase is done and hears not the bugles sound reveille.

Submitted by Brenda Kershaw. (Rochdale Branch)

Do you have Bacup Ancestors?

You may be interested in a new web site compiled by Wendy (Lord) Watters. She is a committee member of Bacup Natural History Society and has taken over as photographic librarian following the death of Harry Neil. The site includes information and scenes from the Bacup and Stacksteads area. www.bacuptimes.co.uk