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 2012

Programme: 2012

Wednesday 4th January

Research Evening

We will also be having a visit from Martin Bissett of the LDS Church to talk to us about the facilities available for family history research at Rawtenstall and also at Chorley.

Wednesday 1st February

Village signs

A talk by Shirley Addy.

Wednesday 1st March

A talk by Norman Hindley

Wednesday 4th April

AGM Followed by a short talk by Rita Hirst

"Love across three Continents"

Research and Advice Sessionsat

Haslingden Library every Monday5.30 – 8.30 pm
Note: the doors to Haslingden Library close at 7.30 pm.

and at Rawtenstall Library every Tuesday 1.30 – 3.30 pm

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 1.00pm – 5.00pm and 1st Saturday of each month 1.00pm

Coming Events

February 24th - 26th 2012

Who Do You Think You Are Live 2012

Olympia National Hall, Hammersmith Road’ London. W14 4BUX Exhibits, Workshops and Expert Advice. http://www.whodoyouthinkyouarelive.com

Sunday 4th March

Merseyside and Cheshire Family History Fair at Hulme Hall, 23 Bolton Rd., Port Sunlight, Wirral, Merseyside, CH62 5DH 10.00 am -5.00 pm

LancashireBMD Updates

10th December 2011: Hyndburn and Rossendale Registration area 23,507 deaths added for: Rossendale 1889-1895, and Rawtenstall A 1st 1895-1937.

Ancestry.Co.Uk Updates
1911 Census:

Ancestry has now released transcriptions from 20 of England’s most populated counties – including London, Yorkshire and Lancashire. These are added to searchable records from Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which were released last month.

Rossendale News, Notes and Queries

Our December Christmas social was a great success. For the first time in several years, we had no worries about the weather. Hopefully the snow will not spoil either our January or February meetings.
My grateful thanks to Jane Lyster for this month’s article.


Family history research is often compared to trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle, but just at the moment I’m on a journey, travelling a very circuitous route to find the birthplace of my great great grandmother, Margaret Ormerod. Ignoring the SatNav, if you will. In doing so I’ve been reminded of how easy it is to become sidetracked.

I first came across Margaret in 1901 when she was living in Holmes Lane, Bacup, with her daughter, Sarah. She was a widow; her husband, John having died in 1890, when they were living in Hargreaves Street.

I was very interested to note that Margaret had been born in Scotland and without too much difficulty found her marriage to John in 1855.A look at the birth certificate of her son, James born 1867 confirmed that her maiden name was McAuley. Whilst waiting for the marriage certificate to arrive and ignoring the Ormerods for the moment, my next step was to look at the 1851 census to see if I could find Margaret and her family. I was convinced she must have been in Bacup in 1851. However, ‘Margaret McAuley’ produced no results for Lancashire, so I decided to look for her birth via the IGI and before long I’d built up a picture of her living with her family in Tomintoul in Scotland, a bleak and barren place according to the Reverend McPherson writing in 1842.

The arrival of the marriage certificate soon disproved this little theory so I went back to the 1851 census and eventually found her when I realised she had been mis-transcribed as Margaret ‘Meanly’, not McAuley. She was living in Hempsteads, Bacup as a general servant in the household of John Howorth (born 1812), cotton manufacturer. Unfortunately the 1851 census return was no more specific than the 1901 return when it came to Margaret’s birthplace, but I was intrigued to see that of John Howorth’s two daughters, one had been born in Scotland as had his other two servants.

I noted that John’s eldest daughter, Elizabeth Ann had been born in 1843 in Bacup but Margaret Stuart Howorth, born in 1850 had been born in Scotland.

I now had a picture in my mind of John Howorth and his wife Ann leaving Bacup sometime between 1843 and 1850 and travelling, perhaps on business, up to Scotland and returning to Bacup in late 1850 or early 1851 with a new baby and three Scottish servants in tow.

It struck me that my best chance of finding out where in Scotland my Margaret was born, would be to follow the fortunes of the Howorth family.

By 1861 John’s household had increased. They were still living at Hempsteads, but John and Ann now had another daughter, Mary born in Bacup 1855 and looking after them were four servants.

Ten years later John and Ann, still living at Hempsteads, had increased their household significantly. None of the daughters were at home but John and Ann were being looked after by eight servants, including a cook from Wales and a Butler from Stockport. John had given his occupation as Cotton Spinner and was also a J.P.

Clearly then this John Howorth had done well in business and was a man of some standing so I reasoned that I might be able to find further information on him via trade directories at Bacup library. Unfortunately this proved fruitless as by the time I made it to Bacup the directories had been stolen. However by entering ‘John Howorth’ and ‘Bacup’ into ‘Google’ I came up with an obituary notice in the Lytham St Annes Express and I sent for a copy. Turning a blind eye to the fact that the dates didn’t quite match up, I was convinced that the notice about the death of ‘Mr John Howorth, former Bacup Town Councillor’ would reveal that he had spent time in Scotland and by this roundabout way I would find my Margaret’s birthplace.

The £1.20 I spent on having the notice emailed revealed I’d gone the wrong way again. But no matter because I was now off on the trail of Margaret Stuart Howorth, not at home with her parents on census night 1871.

It transpired that Margaret Stuart Howorth was staying with her Uncle Abraham Ormerod at Ridge Foot House in Todmorden Now I’m wondering if by some very circuitous route I can link this Abraham Ormerod in Todmorden with my John Ormerod in Bacup. But I think I’ll have to ignore that avenue for the time being. In the meantime, with the help of the Bacup Times Rogues Gallery forum, I was able to find out that John Howorth formed a partnership with John Dawson and built Waterside Mill on Burnley Road in 1839.

The obituary route still seemed like my best bet for finding out about John and Ann’s jaunt to Scotland. By 1881 the Howorth’s had moved to Bolton By Bowland and had probably been living there since 1877 when their daughter, Mary Alice Howorth married Charles John Massey. As I couldn’t find John and Ann in 1891, I looked next for the death of John on freebmd and came up with an entry in the June quarter of 1891. I have asked Joyce at Clitheroe library if she could search the obituary notices in the 'Clitheroe Adveriser’ for April 1891. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and in the meantime I’ve sent for a copy of ‘Tales from the Bacup Times’, published by the Bacup Natural History Society. Even if I don’t find a mention of John Howorth, there’s bound to be plenty of stories to side track me for the foreseeable future.