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 June 2001


6th June - Who was my Uncle Bilsborrow? A talk by Tony Foster, Society Chairman. The Bilsborrow family had Darwen and Haslingden connections.

4th July - Our Out Visit. A visit to St. James Church and (weather permitting) a walk round Haslingden. See opposite

1st August - Research Workshop in Longholme Chapel.

5th September - The Amish Story. by Mrs. Lewis.

3rd October - Rawtenstall Library. A look at the resources of the library and help with your research.

7th November. Uncle Fred, Mary Davison and Jean Harrison will tell us about Fred Harrison.

5th December. Christmas Social.

Coming Events ....

23rd June York FH Fair at York Racecourse. The LFHHS will have their usual stalls.

27th October The NW Group of Family History Societies FHS Fair, at the Guild Hall, Preston. Details from F. Gullick, 4 Lawrence Avenue, Simonstone, Burnley.

Did you miss...

Violet’s story - the sequel?

Last month Denise North concluded the history of Violet, Joel, their families and friends. This was a truly fascinating talk, if you did miss it, then make every effort to pick it up at another venue. It will be given at the Bury Branch 11th July 2001.


This item has been moved from p489 to p174. There are so many items it takes half an hour to view them. From Michael Hiluta.


The Out visit to St James Church, Haslingden and walk round the town is being hosted by the Haslingden Roots Research Group.

You are requested to assemble at the Church between 7-00pm and 7-30pm. There are two car parks, one is off Regent Street behind the Public Hall. The other is off Church Street, opposite the vicarage. You will have an opportunity to visit the recently refurbished church and see the records held by Haslingden Roots.

The walk round town will take approximately 45 minutes. We will be able to view sites of interest to family and local historians, including various churches and burial grounds, buildings which hold blue plaques, other monuments and places of historic interest.

Refreshments will be provided.


Haslingden Parish Church was built on the side of Cribden, the hill which separates Haslingden from the Forest of Rossendale. There is a bench mark which shows it to be 843.5 feet above sea level. When you approach the town along the A56, the church is clearly to be seen dominating the landscape. It is obvious why this site was chosen for the first church in 1284.

Following an arson attack in August 1998, it was decided that the current church should be redecorated, reordered and refurbished. This work was completed when the new gallery was opened on April 27th this year. A Community Hall has been provided within the church with a large kitchen and toilets. New heating and lighting systems have also been provided. There is a new flexible dais area in front of the nave altar and the font has been resited. The 4 manual Willis organ, considered to be one of the best in the country, has also been renovated, it is now available for recitals.

The gallery space has been emptied of pews, to create a large area for exhibitions etc. This is the area which is being used by the Haslingden Roots Research Group. The Group meets every Monday night between 7.30 and 9.00 p.m.. Anyone with enquiries regarding ancestors in the old Borough of Haslingden area is welcome to attend.


The original registers for St. James the Great are held at the Lancashire Record Office, Preston: baptisms, 1598 - 1961; Marriages, 1598 - 1697, 1711 - 1959, deaths 1598 - 1924.

Microfilm copies of the original registers are available at Rawtenstall library.

Microfilm copies of the Bishop’s Transcripts are available at the LRO. Baptisms: 1603 - 1641, 1663 - 1844; Marriages 1603 - 1641, 1663 - 1837; Burials 1603 - 1641, 1663 - 1844. (Gaps correspond to the Commonwealth Period)

Printed Register, Lancashire Parish Register Society vol. 143 Bapts 1603 - 1683; Marriages 1603 - 1698; Burials 1603 - 1679.

International Genealogical Index. Haslingden is not well represented on the IGI.

Vital Records Index. The VRI CDs are very useful for finding Haslingden marriages and baptisms pre 1837

Haslingden - Roots are in the process of indexing post 1837 records.

Monumental Inscriptions. These were compiled by us in the mid 1970s. It was the first project undertaken by the group which subsequently became the Lancs. FHHS. These are available on microfiche.

A Marriage Index 1813 - 1837 is also available on microfiche from Dorothy Haworth. See the quarterly magazine for details of purchasing fiche.

A Court case was held in 1871 (Chadwick versus Chadwick) in which it was stated that a page had been stolen from the burial register in the 1720s. During the case the registers were produced in evidence and examined by the court. It was decided that the registers had been irregularly kept but there was no evidence of mutilation.

An entry in the burial register for 17th February 1772 reads:

"Mary daughter of Robert ASHWORTH, of Sabden, who had her grave made near the pillar, which occasioned the church to fall before she was buried."

In 1949 part of the graveyard wall, together with several graves and gravestones collapsed into Blackburn Road.

A Peruvian connection. In December 1991, Haslingden graveyard was visited by Gilbert Chauny, the Peruvian Charge d’Affaires. He had come to see the grave of his ancestor Luke Hoyle who died in 1811. In the 1830s Luke’s son John Hoyle had gone to Peru. He became a very wealthy man and many members of the government of Peru have the name Hoyle included in their surnames.

Rossendale Ancestry - Workshop and Exhibition

The exhibition will run from September 29th - October 13th at Rawtenstall Library. A workshop will be held in the exhibition room on Saturday October 6th.

Please consider your contribution NOW. If you don’t have a local family, you can do displays on a specific locality, historic maps, census returns, civil registration certificates, population figures, distribution of surnames, etc. etc. You can provide your expertise in graphic art, or in providing leaflets, publicity etc.

The following pedigrees or displays have been received:

The RALPH Family of Chapel Street Haslingden compiled by Marie Ives.

The McGRATH Family of Crawshawbooth compiled by David McGraw of Clearwater Florida.

Rossendale Ancestry:

Enquiries have been received on the following families:

TAYLOR. William C. Taylor of Talladega, Alabama, USA is seeking information on Shore Taylor bapt. 11 June 1823 at Newchurch. A joiner, he died at Higher Tong, Bacup in 1886. His parents were Edmund and Betty Taylor of Miller Barn, Edmund was a fuller. He asks "Do any of these names ring a bell?" Bill’s email is wmtaylor@juno.com


The Society web site has moved to a new site,

http://www.lfhhs.org.uk A link from the old address will be maintained until 1st January 2002. The Rossendale Branch site remains the same.


This summer The Historic Chapels Trust, has arranged tours around Todmorden’s Grade I listed Unitarian Church, Honeywell Road, TODMORDEN. It was opened in 1869 and closed in 1987.

For details telephone 01706 813498