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 January 2001


Tonight we have a Research and Computer Workshop. Hosted by Wilf Day and Michael Hiluta - our Project Organisers.

Coming Events ....

Saturday 24th March 2001

"We seek them here, we seek them there" A Family History Day -hosted by The Family History Society of Cheshire for the North West Group of the Federation of Family History Societies. It will be held at the Manchester Metropolitan University Crewe + Alsager Faculty on the Alsager Campus. . I have a few application forms and leaflets.

Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd April

"The Cup of Love" - the Spring Conference of the Federation of FHS will be held at Leicester University, Oadby. The theme of the conference will be to explore some of the more extraordinary goings-on of our ancestors you can contact Mrs. Y J Bunting, Federation Conference, Firgrove, Horseshoe Lane, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hampshire GU12 5LL Please enclose a stamped A5 envelope.

Our Family History Resource Centre at Blackburn Library

The Society's resources are available for researchers during library opening hours as listed below:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9.30 a.m. - 7.00 p.m. Thursday, Friday 9.30 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Saturday 9.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Sunday 11.00 a.m. - 3.00 p.m.

If you wish to use the readers book in advance:- Telephone 01254 587920

As the effects of these changes become apparent, Mrs. Rushton, the Local Studies Manager, is considering various ways to give excellent advice to researchers and develop the imput by Society members to this end.

The Badges. If on visiting the Library, you are prepared to be "on call" to advise and assist, take a badge from the Librarian saying you are an adviser, returning it when you leave. Such help is especially requested at weekends.

It is hoped to develop a system, to be advertised in the Library and the Society magazine, when two members will attend on a rota basis, to help newcomers to family history research.

As an interim measure, it is hoped to have two members available on Wednesday afternoons 2.00 p.m. - 4.30 p.m. Volunteers can leave their names and addresses with Kathleen Ashburner to take to the next executive meeting.

LFHHS Subscriptions 2001

Don't forget that your subscription to the Society fell due on 1st January.

Please note GIFT AID

The old covenant form has been superseded by the new Gift Aid declaration.

If you pay UK income tax please complete this section when you send in your subscription for 2001. If you have lost your Subscription forms see Maureen Hodgkinson, our Treasurer.

Rossendale Ancestry:

From R.B. Taylor, 2A Long rood Road, Rugby, CV22 7RG email Robert.Taylor16@btinternet.com

My gg grandfather was John Taylor bn. 1814 in Tunstead (according to the 1881 census for Oswaldtwistle). He married Ann born Rossendale. There is a reference in the Newchurch marriage index (1935) which might refer to them. They had a son William born in Rossendale in 1836, he married Anne Holt (nee Pilkington) They had children Robert, (1867), John, Alice A. Albert, Samuel and Emma. They moved to Oswaldtwistle in the 1870s. I am interested in going further back and would like to have Ann's maiden name and a baptism for John, 1814.

The Tragic FIELDEN Family of Rawtenstall

(From "Lancashire" May 1988)

When James FIELDEN of Rawtenstall was killed at Bacup Station on 3rd November 1858, he was following a very well established family tradition. He was a stoker and cleaner on the East Lancashire Railway, and was helping his driver Luke HAMMERTON clean out the ashes from the smokebox. Those of us familiar with steam locomotives will know that the smokebox door is, on modern locomotives, a circular piece of steel which opens up the front of the boiler. On early locomotives these were evidently unhinged, for at 5.21 that afternoon, the two hundredweight door slipped off the box supporting it and crushed FIELDEN'S head against the buffer plank. By next morning he was dead.

The report in the Bury Times 6 November 1858 states that he was 37, and left a widow and 4 children - all unnamed. However, the following postscript was of even greater interest:

"Sometime since, the family consisted of five brothers, one of whom was killed by the falling of a flag(stone), the second by a cart wheel passing over him, the third was an engine driver on the East Lancashire Railway and was killed near Ewood Bridge by the engine passing off the rails, the forth was killed by the locomotive at Bacup and it is rumoured that the fifth brother was killed in America but this needs confirmation. The latter was formerly stoker on the engine which ran off the line and which deprived his brother and the stoker of their lives".

One assumes that if the rumour had been unfounded, and if the fifth brother were still alive in America, he would have been uninsurable.

It is possible that the family name is interchangeable with FIELDING.

Details of the inquest at the Swan Inn, Bacup, appeared in the Bury Times 13 November 1858 (page 2 column 5).

Submitted by Andrew Todd. ......

Or, should it have been FIELDING?

Andrew was correct in thinking that the surname might be FIELDING. In 1851, I found the following family living at Wood Top, in Newhall Hey:

James FIELDING Head Mar. 30 Railway Labourer, his wife Mary Ann also 30 and daughters Ellen, 6 and Maria 4. Next door, 7 year old Alice Ann was visiting Abraham and Betty CUNLIFFE.

I am reasonably certain that this is the right family. In 1861, Mary Ann was living at Spring Terrace, Rawtenstall, she was a widow, aged 42, with four children, Alice Ann, Ellen, Maria and 6 year old James.

According to the IGI James FIELDING married Mary Ann Cunliffe 5 Feb. 1842 at Bury St. Mary.

I have not had time to do further research on this family but I would be interested to known the names of all the brothers and what calamity befell each of them.