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 2011

Programme: 2011

Wednesday 5th January

Research & Advice

Wednesday 2nd February

Where does time go - Peter Watson

Wedenesday 2nd March.

Stick Around - Brian White.

Wednesday 6th April.

Annual General Meeting

followed by a short talk by Michael Hiluta.

Remember that your subscriptions for 2011 is now due.

Details are in your November copy of "Lancashire".

Not a member? Then see the Benefits of Joining on the Main Menu link.

Research and Advice Sessions:

at Rawtenstall library every Tuesday

1.30 - 3.30 pm

and every Monday at Haslingden Library

5.30 - 7.30 pm

Rossendale Branch has a group of members who are on hand every Tuesday and Monday, to assist members of the public with their Family History enquiries. You will find us upstairs at Rawtenstall or Haslingden on the appropriate days, as indicated above. We may be able to do simple look-ups for distant members. When contacting us with an enquiry, please include your membership number.

The LFHHS Resource Centre.

The Society's Resource and Research Centre at 2 Straits Oswaldtwistle, BB5 3LU is open every Thursday from 1pm - 5pm. and the Centre will now open on the 1st Saturday of each month 1pm


West Yorkshire Archive Service:

The West Yorkshire Archive Service has just launched an online shop which provides a range of service options for those with an interest in the past. This new service includes gift vouchers for the research service so that you can now buy a special gift of research for a friend or relative, and help them explore their West Yorkshire history, from tracing their ancestral roots, to learning about their home in the past.

Gift vouchers are currently £24. Other items are also available on the eshop including full colour copies of Victorian Tithe maps of the Leeds area, and copies of wills. A range of local history publications are also available for purchase. You can visit the WYAS eshop at https://eshop.wyjs.org.uk

1911 Census. News from Ancestry.co.uk

Today's the day you've all been waiting for. We've officially started our release of the 1911 Census. Starting right now, you can discover where your family was living with the 1911 England and Wales Census Summary Books.

These tell you the name of the head of each household and the number of people recorded in each house - so you can work out if there are likely to be any new members..

Find your family now

However, this is just the first step - a taster of what you can expect as we put the full 1911 Census online. We're working hard to make these detailed records available as soon as possible, so you can uncover new facts about your ancestors and fill in the gaps in your tree.

[This is not of the slightest use unless you have an address, or your ancestor has an unusual surname. I tried looking for a family member whose address I knew. Even so, I couldn't find him. Just try looking for a Haworth in Haslingden. For the time being you will have to stick with findmypast]

Rossendale Notes News and Queries

Our Christmas meeting went very well in spite of the bad weather. It had seemed at one time that we might have to cancel, which would have been the third time during 2010. However, 13 of us made it through the snow. There was certainly plenty of food to go round, we all took home extra portions home and were able to offer some pie and peas to the Advent Group meeting next door.

I certainly hope that we don't have more snow before our research evening on January 5th.

Members' Enquiries

This month we have a very interesting email from Kay Line member No. 9373. Kay now lives in Penzance although originally she came from Ramsbottom. She is researching her Great Grandfather Richard Henry Dearden.

Richard Henry Dearden (RHD).. (1847-1901)

Richard Henry, my great grandfather, was born in Waterbarn, Rossendale in 1847. He was the son of Samuel (1807-1876), a weaver, and Jane Holt (1808-1886). Jane's family were farmers from Lench.

He grew up in Stacksteads with his parents and siblings; Alice Mary, James, Ormerod Holt and John. Both RHD and John became ladies hairdressers. Quite unusual for that period in history! They had businesses in Manchester, Southport, Bury and Ramsbottom to name just a few places. Many children and grandchildren followed in their footsteps.

Robert Hamilton's Will

Jane Holt, Richard Henry's mother, was one of the descendants of a Robert Holt 1686-1745. Robert's sister Margaret married a Peter Hamilton, of Manchester. They had a son, Robert Hamilton 1725-1781. He married a Mary Kenworthy. There was no issue.

From his early 30's RHD was deeply involved in trying to prove that the Holt family should have been the lawful beneficiaries of the will of Robert Hamilton (1725-1781), a rich merchant who owned much property in Manchester. From the documents which we hold it would seem that on Robert Hamilton's death the request to distribute his wealth as he wished was not carried out. The whole case is most complex, with not just the Holt family involved, but also those on the Hamilton side via the Siddall family We have letters which date from 1881 up to 1893 suggesting how RHD should prove the family pedigree and find his evidence.

RHD produced an amazing amount of this, by visiting and obtaining certificates of BDM from all sources. All this was legally verified, and carried out without the Internet!!

These letters were written by people who may be known to members of the LFHHS. Robert Holt of Hugh Mill, Waterfoot wrote to RHD in 1881, John Holt of Lench Farm, in 1885 Robert Holt of Holt St, Oldham. 1885.....and many more. Alas, despite many years of effort by RHD and his family, it would seem that around 1894 the family abandoned the quest.

Life did not get much better for our great grandfather, and in 1898 we find that he is a patient at the County Asylum, Prescot, Liverpool. We have his medical records and find that he was a quiet but yet restless man. In 1901 he died from cardiac disease and bronchitis. He was only 55. His body was taken back to Ramsbottom where he was buried in the cemetery. My cousin and I would like to write his biography, but need to fill in many gaps in his story. Any clues to help us would be most appreciated.

email line.kay@gmail.com

Haworth - Howarth yDNA

Project In September 2008, Stephen Howarth sent us details of his yDNA project. He has now produced his second progress report. Stephen says he now has 20 members and feels that if he can increase this to nearer the 100 mark there will be greater benefits in breaking down 'brick walls' in recent family history. Although Stephen himself has traced his ancestors back to Rossendale, the DNA project is open to anyone with the Haworth surname or its variant spellings.

Project website:


email stehowarth@aol.com

The Sibbering Sisters

According to the 1911 census, my grandmother Sarah Wakefield was living at 48 Hud Rake, Haslingden, as a boarder with the family of Robert and Annie Sibbering. Later that year she married Henry Banks at St. Mary's Church, Haslingden. The two Sibbering sisters were her bridesmaids. Margaret Ellen aged 8 and Elizabeth aged 6. I have a beautiful wedding photograph, showing these two girls. If they are your ancestors, I will be happy to let you have a copy.

Email me at rossendale@lfhhs.org.uk