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 2008

Programme: 2008

Wednesday 5th March

Heraldry for the Family Historian.

John Mackie

Wednesday 2nd April

AGM followed by a short talk

(to be arranged)

Wednesday 7th May

Bacup to Crawshawbooth

A talk by Wendy Watters.

Wednesday 4th June

Hands across the sea.

A talk by Mrs. Rawcliffe.

Coming Events

Friday 14th March 2008 at 7.00pm A history of churches in Crawshawbooth (including Goodshaw and Loveclough) a talk/slide show by Kathy Fishwick, hosted by Goodshaw Baptist Church. The talk will be followed by supper. Everyone is invited and admission is free (although donations to meet the costs will be gratefully received).

Saturday 26th April 2008 The NW Group of Family History Societies, Annual Conference Hosted by Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society, at The Council Chamber, The Old Fire Station, Albion Place, The Crescent, Salford M5 4NL Cost £18 (including lunch The theme this year is- What did they do before 1837? The Parish and its Records.

Talks throughout the day include: Manchester Central Archives and Local Studies. Methodist Records; Roman Catholic Records and the Parish Chest. Admission is by advance booking only, applications to be received by 14th April. Forms are available at the back of the room.

Rossendale Miscellany:

News, notes and queries

Our last meeting at Longholme was cancelled at short notice due to a power cut at the chapel. Our apologies to anyone who made the journey on a cold February night. Because of this, it has been decided that we will have an Enquiries evening following our AGM in April. It is hoped that you will take the opportunity to discuss any problems with our more experienced members and that we can discuss any issues relating to the Society.

Anyone wishing to stand for the committee or wishing to make a nomination for someone else, please contact John Dalton, the Chairman before March 22nd.

Can you help?


Barry O’Neil, a new member who now lives in Victoria, Australia, was born in Accrington. He has had a great deal of trouble tracing back his Yates family. What is certain is that George Yates married Susannah Craigg in 1891at Haslingden Register Office.

In 1901 they were living at Stephen’s Court in Accrington. George was given as a 30 year old cotton twister and Susannah was 4 years older. By this time they already had 7 children aged between 8 years and one day, the whole family had been born in Haslingden except for the baby. Also on the census was Susannah’s brother wrongly given as James E. ‘Clegg’ instead of Craigg.

Tracing the Craigg family was much easier, except that there were other spelling variants {Crag, Craig, Craigs and Craiggs}

John Craigg , a tailor, came to Haslingden from Glasgow, he married Mary Ann Wolstenholm at St. James Church, in 1834. The Edenfield registers show that two children were baptised there, Samuel in 1835 and Edward in 1843 In 1841 they were living in Flaxmoss, Haslingden.

Using Ancestry, nobody could have traced them as they had been transcribed as "Crings" instead of Craigs and "Websterhilms" instead of Wolstenholm. Mary Ann had had a son John Wolstenhom born the year before her marriage. Fortunately the Branch has an 1841 transcript which gave both names correctly.

Well done Mary Davison & Kathleen Ashburner.

By 1851 they were living at King Street, this census shows Mary’s 18 year old son born in America. John Craiggs was 46 and Mary Ann was 39. She was born in Haslingden.

Susannah Yates’ parents were Samuel Craigg and Margaret Collinge who were married at St. Paul’s Church, Ramsbottom in 1860. They were living with the rest of Samuel’s family, at King Street in 1861. Samuel and Margaret had 9 children, born variously in Haslingden, Todmorden and Whitworth.

For further information or if you can help Barry email menzies@netspace.net.au

St. John’s Church, Stonefold,

War Memorial by Jean Harrison

Part Two :- Sarah’s War

Sarah Taylor was born at 126 Hud Hey Road, Haslingden on 4th June 1890. She was the daughter of William & Sarah Taylor. In 1901 the family were living at 14 Hoyle Street next door but one to the Haworth family whose sons Harry and John William were to be killed in the war. John William was the same age as Sarah and was therefore probably in the same class as her at school.

Not long after the outbreak of war, on 14 December 1914, Sarah married Harry Davison, at Stonefold Church. Harry was the son of William & Mary Ellen Davison of 633 Blackburn Road, Rising Bridge.

On July 7th 1915 Sarah’s brother, William Taylor was killed in action in Belgium. News of his death came as a great shock as he was very popular and was one of the first men to be killed from the Rising Bridge area. He should have been home on leave during July 1915 (a fortnight before his obituary appeared in the newspaper) to be married. He was killed near Ypres, Belgium on 7 July 1915. He was 27 years of age. At the time of William’s death, the Taylor family were living at 9, Rising Bridge Road.

Later that year, more bad news was to come Sarah’s way when her cousin, Fred Harrison was killed in France on 2 December 1915. He was aged 25, and was buried at Noeux-les-Mines Communal Cemetery, France.

Harry & Sarah had one daughter, Martha, who was born 17 September 1916 and baptised at Stonefold Church on 1 October 1916. Harry and Sarah lived at Top O’ the Bank, Roundhill, at this time and his occupation was that of a carter, so presumably he had not yet joined the army.

On September 9th 1916 John Taylor, the son of Jonas & Elizabeth Taylor of 7, Rising Bridge Road (next door neighbours of the Taylor family) went missing in France. He was later presumed to have been killed on that date. The family did not receive confirmation of his death until July 1917. He was 22 years of age and unmarried.

Harry Davison’s brother, James had enlisted in the 3rd/4th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment, in March 1916, and later transferred to the 11th Battalion Lancashire Regiment, (Accrington Pals Battalion). He died on 15 May 1917 from wounds sustained during an attack near Oppy Wood, on the Somme in France.

The worst tragedy of all was yet to come. Sarah’s husband, Harry, had originally joined the East Lancashire Regiment but later transferred to the 17th Battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment (Liverpool Pals Battalion). He was reported missing, presumed dead, on 31 July 1917 after the Battle of Passchendaele (3rd Battle of Ypres). He was 29 years of age. His body was never found and his name is therefore recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres.

On the same day that Harry went missing, John William Haworth, the former neighbour of Sarah also went missing. It is very likely that John William Haworth and Harry Davison joined the East Lancashire Regiment together, as friends, as both enlisted at Haslingden and their numbers are fairly close. If so, it is particularly tragic that both were killed in the same action.

Within a month of John William Haworth’s death, his younger brother Harry (also a former neighbour of Sarah’s) died on 5 September 1917 of wounds sustained at Ypres. He was 20 year of age and unmarried.

In December 1908 Sarah’s sister, Betsy had married Frank Bridge at Stonefold Church. One of Frank’s brothers was Robert Bridge who at the outbreak of war, was on the reserve, and was called up and was drafted out to France with the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regt., on 22 August 1914 but was invalided home in December the same year. He had since been on home service after being transferred to the Labour Corps and at was stationed at Headquarters Office, Dovercourt, Harwich. He died in Dovercourt Hospital, Harwich, Essex on 21 November 1918. He was aged 33.

Sarah would no doubt have known most, if not all of the men who are listed on the Stonefold War memorial but the deaths of these 8 men show just how much the War affected individual families in a small village like Rising Bridge.

If anyone would like further information about any of the men on Stonefold Memorial please feel free to contact me 01254 381476 or e-mail jeanharrison18@yahoo.co.uk.