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 March 2004

Programme: 2004

Wednesday 3rd March

Tracing your Army Ancestors.

Jonathan Ali

Wednesday 7th April

AGM and Heirlooms.

See below

Wednesday 5th May

D Day - 60th Anniversary.

Clifford Barcroft.

Wednesday 2nd June

Researching the mariner Miles Standish

Rev. Dr. John Cree.

Wednesday 7th April

Branch AGM and Heirlooms.

Any one interested in joining the committee, either as an officer or just as an extra voice, should contact John Dalton, the Branch Chairman before the next meeting.

If you have an heirloom or memento (photo, cradle, candlestick, or bottle) which has a story, please bring it to the next meeting. It will help, if you can tell Kathleen Ashburner, so we know how many to expect.

Coming Events

Saturday 13th March 2004

North West Group of Family History Societies Annual Conference

This year’s conference is being organised by the LFHHS, so you are urged to attend.

Venue: University of Central Lancashire, Preston in the Greenbank Lecture Theatre, Adelphi Street & Victoria Street. Time: 9.30am - 4pm.


Michael Gandy. Quaker Records with specific reference to the North West.

David Smail. The Outlaw John Taylor.

Peter Park. In good faith and truthful ignorance; researching bigamy.

Cost: (including conference, buffet lunch and refreshments) £17.50. Forms are available.

Saturday 20th March 2004

Irish Ancestry Group Mini-Conference.

Venue: Resource Centre, 2 The Straits, Oswaldtwistle,


10.30 Registration, Tea/Coffee

11.00 Pat McAvoy. Was Your Ancestor in Care?

12.15 Lunch Tea/Coffee Provided

13.45 Jo McCann. Irish Townland Records.

15.00 Joan Gill. Ireland All Mapped Out.

16.15 - 6.30 Tea/Coffee

Please Note:- As last year, numbers are limited. Please let me know if you wish to attend. Payment £5.00 each may be made on arrival. Bring a packed lunch, or if preferred, lunch may be bought locally. Bookings and Enquiries to Miss M Purcell, 128 Red Bank Rd., Bispham, Blackpool FY2 9DZ Tel 01253 353909 Email mpurcell@redbankmp.fsnet.co.uk

Thursday 25th March 2004 at 2.00pm

User Consultation Open Meeting at the Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston

Your feedback is invited on various aspects of the service. In particular feedback will be welcome, on the trial period of Saturday opening.

The LRO will also unveil preliminary plans for a HLF bid for additional accommodation.

RSVP to 01772 533027; email: record.office@ed.lancscc.gov.uk

Sunday 28th March Local History Fair at Helmshore Textile Museum

The Society will be represented at this event and it is hoped that Rossendale Branch members will come along to assist. 12.00 noon to 5.00pm

Saturday 22nd May

LFHHS One Day Conference and AGM at the Foster Theatre, University of Central Lancashire, Preston.

10.00am - 5.00 pm 3 Good Speakers. Full details in your February magazine.

Saturday 26th June York Family History Fair. York Racecourse.

Saturday 2nd October NW Family History Fair. Manchester Veladrome.

Rossendale Ancestry


I recently received an email from Ian Heys who lives in Sutton Coalfield. He says "I came across your newsletter for August 2003 and realised that Will Bramhill's father had been staying with my Uncle Walter Heys in Reedsholme, Crawshawbooth"

I have contacted Will and he has sent me a copy of his father's notes which have other references to my family. The notes are a fascinating look into life in the valley in the early part of the twentieth century.

My tree (it is said by members of the family) goes back to the marriage of John Heys and Mary Rathbo(r)ne in Manchester Cathedral in 1797. Mary is said to have died from wounds sustained at the Peterloo Massacre in St. Peter's Field Manchester in 1819 - there certainly was a Mary Heys among the dozen or so who died there.

I haven't yet proven the linkage further back than John Heys, born c1845/8 and married at Zion Baptist Cloughfold on 3rd July 1869, to Mary Aspin of Crawshawbooth, but it is shown on the tree as passed on to me by members of the family.

In the last few days, after a couple of years of research, I have managed to create a web site from the family tree of my son Matthew, which is on the web at and includes a GEDCOM file. www.heysfamily.net

Any help you could give me would be much appreciated. email: ian.heys@btinternet,com

Keep up the good work.

As a postscript Ian adds that he was also able to make a link with his Perry/ Goldsworth family. Whilst trawling through the newsletters on our website he found a request from Marcia Boggs in Oregon for information on her Perry family.

Lancashire BMD

The following indexes to marriage registers have now been added to the Lancashire BMD site for the Hyndburn and Rossendale (former Haslingden) area:

Cof E - Musbury, St Thomas CE MST/1/ 1852-1894 Civil Registration -

RM/31 1870-1871; RM/32 1867-1871;

RM/33 1865-1871; RM/44 1871-1876;

RM/45 1875-1877; RM/46 1876-1877;

RM/48 1877-1878; RM/49 1877-1878;

RM/50 1877-1879; RM/66 1885-1886;

RM/67 1885-1887; RM/68 1882-1887;

RM/69 1886-1887; RM/70 1886-1888.

If you have Rossendale Ancestry, you may send details of your research for inclusion in our monthly newsletter. We are also happy to print short articles and queries on the neighbourhood, as space allows.

Please add your membership number. Members are reminded that they can add their own family websites to the LFHHS "Members Websites" link. You are also reminded that if you did not receive your February journal you are no longer a member.


The LFHHS (that is the main society - not this branch) requires two volunteers urgently to fill the posts of Membership Secretary and Treasurer. Both Vicky Barlow and Carole Walker have found it necessary to resign at the AGM in May.

Without officers in these posts the society will be unable to function. If you have the necessary skills, to undertake either of these tasks that please contact the society Chairman - Tony Foster.

You can email chairman@lfhhs.org.uk or telephone 0161 764 2821.

At the same AGM the current minute secretary is also resigning. This job entails taking the minutes and Executive Committee meetings.

The LDS Family History Centre- Haslingden Road, Rawtenstall. The Centre has been closed for over a year. It has now reopened but only for two mornings a week. Tuesday 9.30am - 12.00 noon; Friday 10.00am - 2.00 pm For further information and to book a reader Tel. 01706 222776 during opening hours.

St Mary’s RC Church, Haslingden

submitted by Mary Davison

On the 3rd of September 2004 St. Mary’s RC Church Haslingden will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the first Catholic mission in Haslingden.

The mission was established in an old weaving loft in Back High Street. The church on Bury Road, was not built until 1858/59. As the Catholic congregation was almost exclusively Irish, I decided to list all persons of Irish descent on the 1851 census. They numbered 322 (including a few children born after the families arrived in the town. Between 1851 and 1854 there was a large influx of Irish into Haslingden. Dr. John Dunleavy estimates the number of Catholics in 1854 as more than double those listed in 1851.

To be continued.