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 2010

Programme: 2010

Wednesday 3rd February

Research Evening

Wednesday 3rd March

A deeper look at Civil Registration

Tony Foster

Wednesday 7th April AGM

followed by a talk from Michael Hiluta

Wednesday 5th May

Life in the Middle Ages

Stephen Moorhouse

Coming Events

Saturday 20th February

The Family History Society of Cheshire

is holding its 11th Family History Day at the Memorial Chester Way, Northwich CW9 5QJ

10.00am – 4.00pm

Stalls, displays, demonstrations, books & fiche.

Just about everything for the family historian under one roof.

Refreshments & Free Parking.

LFHHS Annual Dinner

Lancaster & Morecambe Branch are hosting the Annual Dinner this year. It will take place on at The Midland Hotel, Morecambe. The hotel is situated on the front, facing the Lake District. Arrive for 12.30, Luncheon will served at 1.00 and there will a talk afterwards.

This will give you an opportunity to visit a well known Art Deco hotel which has recently been refurbished. You will be able to see the famous Eric Gill Mural, with its interesting history of being stolen, recovered, in secret hiding and finally restored to its place of honour. Also there are fabulous views across Morecambe Bay and a Promenade to walk on.

Further details will appear in due course.

Sheila Court Secretary Lancaster & Morecambe Branch

Accrington Cemetery

Monumental Inscriptions

The Society has just published the following CD CD014 Accrington Cemetery, Burnley Road, Monumental Inscriptions £9.50 (plus p&p)

The CD contains all the monumental inscriptions from when the cemetery opened in 1864 to 2009. During this period 61,001 burials took place.

There are many local prominent people buried in this cemetery including William Barnes of Accrington House, cotton manufacturer and one of the chief advocates for this municipal cemetery. His was the first burial on the 10th October 1864 - see page 2 of the cemetery images. Also of note, the Bury Family of Arden Hall, who owned many Mills in Accrington and Benjamin Hargreaves, one of the family who created Broad Oak printing works and the School of his name. The MIs also detail deaths that occurred outside the area for example, Australia, France, India, South Africa, USA.

(Postage & Package Rates: UK 1 CD £1.10; 2 CDs £1.40; 3 CDs £1.60; Overseas Airmail 1 CD £2.10; 2 CDs £2.90; 3 CDs £3.60

For the Society's other CDs see www.lfhhs.org.uk/shop/cds/index.htm

Payment, with order in United Kingdom (Sterling) Currency Cheques made payable to LFHHS Payment can be made by credit card; payment form can by downloaded from http://www.lfhhs.org.uk/ccform.htm

Order should be sent to:

Sales, LFHHS, 2 Straits, Oswaldtwistle BB5 3LU

Rossendale: News Notes and Queries

Due to the adverse weather conditions we had to cancel our January meeting. The talk by Ben Edwards "Commemorating the Ancestors-an archaeologist’s view" has been transferred to July 7th. Jackie Ramsbottom’s "Slides of Haslingden" will be given at a later date.

We have two members articles this month, one from Cris Kydd in Norfolk and one from Joan Read in Toronto.

William Ratcliffe A mystery 'uncle'

by Cris Kydd Member number 5000

My 2 x Great Grandparents William & Alice Brooks were at the Wellington Inn Grane in the 1881 census. William died in November 1893.

When the 1901 census became available, I was surprised to see that with Alice and her daughters Emma and Minnie, ( still living at Wellington Inn) was a 5 month old child named William Thomas Ratcliffe, 'adopted'. No one in the family had mentioned him, but when I asked my Mother I was told that yes they knew of him but there had been a rift and all contact had been lost. As I had other members of the family to research, I left this for a later date.

When the 1911 census came out, by which time Alice had also died, Minnie was married and living on Grane Road, my grandmother being her daughter and her sister Emma was living over the road, not yet married and with William Ratcliffe, aged 1, listed as 'adopted son'. This sparked me to try to discover who exactly he was.

I obtained his birth certificate and he was born 30 October 1900 at 4 Calf Hey the son of Thomas Ratcliffe and Sarah (formerly Yates) deceased.

He married Grace Alice Barnes in 1923 at Musbury. I have been unable to find any children. Having emailed Rita Hirst for any further information she sent me details of William's death in 1966 and that of his wife Grace in 1968, both stating 451 Holcombe Road, Helmshore as the address. she also sent me copies of the obituaries which suggest that there were no children. Thank you Rita. I wonder if anyone knows anything more about either of them?

email: kydd@talkgas.net or write to Cris Kydd, 13, Ivy Road, Spixworth, Norwich, NR10 3PX

Irish-born people in Newchurch-in-Rossendale, 1841

By Joan Read - Member number 1764

In the spring of 2009, having long ago come to a standstill around the year 1825 on my Pickup family of Father Robert Barn in Dean, I decided to try tracing one of the female lines. This led me ultimately to the Baron family, a task which seemed not too difficult, as the Baron name didn’t appear nearly as frequently as those of Pickup or Ashworth.

My main focus was to find the birth or baptism, c1784, of my 3x great grandfather, James Baron, which at first I thought was in Ireland. His wife, Elizabeth, gave Ireland as her place of birth in the census returns of 1841, 1851 and 1861. She died in 1867 at the age of 70. According to census returns, their first known child, John, was born in Ireland, possibly Dublin, c1827, and their second child, my 2x great grandmother, Elizabeth Ann, was baptised at St. Nicholas’ Church, Newchurch, on 7 June, 1829, thus providing a narrow window for the family’s arrival in England.

James, a carder, and Elizabeth settled in Tenter Heads, a hamlet near Waterfoot, and through the baptisms of their children at St. Nicholas it’s possible to follow their progress from Tenter Heads, to Boothfold, Mill End, and finally to Whitewell Bottom, where James, by then a weaver, died on 9 April 1838 at the age of 54, unfortunately three years before the census was taken.

Rita Hirst suggested that James might have been born in Lancashire, and returned there with his wife and son after spending time in Ireland. I’m exploring this possibility but I have also researched one part of the 1841 census, seeking a connection between my Baron family and the Irish-born in the area.

I examined HO 107, piece 509, ED 1 - 16a, courtesy of Find My Past.

I was unfamiliar with most of this area, but with the help of the Rossendale Branch website’s links to the 1841 Census Township Details and Statistics, and to the Township Map, I was able to locate most of the relevant places in the census.

There were 33 Irish-born concentrated mostly in and around Bacup. Of these, 18 were males aged 15 or over, 8 were adult females, and there were 6 children. One additional 16-year-old male was living with his family. As far as can be ascertained from this census, only four of the males were married, and the remaining 14 single men were mostly aged 30 and under.

Patrick Conway, 46, and Jas Pinkerton, 30, both had wives born in Ireland, but John McKeon, 40, and Philip Atkinson, 47, had Lancashire-born wives, indicating that they, too, may have arrived as single men.

I was most interested in the occupations of the men. There were no occupations given for the women. Of the 18 Irish-born men in this area, there were 9 tailors, 2 chairmakers, and one each of tinker, clergyman, calico printer, and labourer. William Brewster’s occupation, although provided, was indecipherable to me, and those of John Boyle and Henry Rowden were not noted, although they lived in the same household as John Tyworn, a tailor.

Why so many tailors? Was this representative of the Irish in the Rossendale area, or peculiar to this one district? Did these men work as tailors in Ireland, and left when trade was slow? Did they leave wives and children behind? There are many unanswered questions. I did notice several tailors born in Lancashire, including my 2x great grandfather James Pickup.

I didn’t find a connection with my Baron family. There were no Irish-born by the name of Baron. James’ widow, Elizabeth, stayed in Whitewell Bottom, at least for three years after James died, although there were no other native Irish in that district. It seems that Rita’s suggestion that James might be a Lancastrian is very plausible and I will continue to work on this. I will also check more Dublin parish register records when they come online in hope of finding the marriage of James and Elizabeth.

email jread22@sympatico.ca


If you have a piece of research or an enquiry relating or to a family, farm, house, street, community, church etc. within Rossendale.

I would be delighted to receive your work for publication in this newsletter.

Rita Hirst

Closure of Manchester Central Library

The Manchester Central Library is closing at the end of February for three YEARS for repair and renovation. Check its web site for more information http://www.manchester.gov.uk/libraries/arls

The site give the proposed timetable and the alternative arrangements for access to archive and local studies material.

The site stresses that booking of places in the temporary accommodation will be essential and that as much material will be stored off-site there will be a 2 WEEKS notice required for such material.If you use the Archive Unit, the note is well worth reading.

Jim Lancaster (Bury, Lancs.)