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 2011

Programme: 2011

Wedenesday 2nd March.

Stick Around - Brian White

Wednesday 6th April

Annual General Meeting

followed by a short talk from
Michael Hiluta.

Wednesday 4th May

Life in the Middle Ages

Stephen Moorhouse

Wednesday 1st June

Records of the Poor

Elvira Wilmott

Research and Advice Sessions:

at Haslingden Library

every Monday 5.30 - 7.30 pm

and Rawtenstall Library every Tuesday

1.30 - 3.30 pm

You will find us upstairs at Haslingden or Rawtenstall 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 1.00pm - 5.00pm and the centre is now open on the 1st Saturday of each month 1.00pm. www.lfhhs.org.uk/download/index.htm

Coming Events

Sunday 6th March 2011

Merseyside & Cheshire Family History Fair

at Hulme Hall, 23 Bolton Road, Port Sunlight, Wirral, Merseyside. CH5 5DH

10.00am - 5.00pm Saturday, 19th March 2011

The Institute of Local and Family History Conference.

on The History and Use of the Census

The University of Central Lancashire

10.00am - 4.00pm

Four good speakers. Cost including buffet lunch is £27 for non members; concessions and students £22; members of the ILFH. £18

For a booking form and further information

Susan Bailey, ILFH Administrator History

email locfamhistory@uclan.ac.uk or Tel. 01772 89303

Monday 21st March

An evening for Readers- Local History, Local Places

at Ramsbottom Library at 7.30pm which will include poems by Chrissie Gittins on Mary Hindle, the Haslingden woman who was transported in 1826, for her involvement in the loom breaking riots. £4 for non members including refreshments.

Saturday 26th March 2011

City of York, Family History Fair

The New Folk Hall, Earswick, York YO32 4AQ

10.00am - 4.00pm £1.OO admission

Lancashire Record Office Essential plant replacement works.

There will be disruption to Lancashire Archives services due to essential plant replacement between 14 March and December. Fewer visitor parking spaces will be available and disabled parking will be relocated.

During April and May there will be several days on which archives stored in the 'new ' building are unavailable. Please contact the LRO in advance of a visit for further information.

Lancashire Archives will close completely to the public between June and October. More precise dates will be given nearer the time and up to date information will be posted on the website.


phone 0845 053 0021 or email: record.office@lancashire.gov.uk

LancashireBMD - Recent additions for the Hyndburn and Rossendale Area Newchurch

Births 1857 -1895

Rossendale News Notes and Queries

At our last meeting Peter Watson gave a talked on "Where does Time Go?" He played with our minds, asking for our theories on the nature of Past, Future, the meaning of Time, and the Theory of Relativity.

I understand that tonight's speaker is going to invite us to "Stick Around" but I am assured his subject does not have anything to do with glue!

Rossendale Branch AGM

Next month we have our AGM. All the existing committee are willing to stand again but we would welcome extra volunteers to join us. If you are interested, please give your names to our Chairman, John Dalton, or myself.

Following the AGM we will have a talk by Michael Hiluta, entitled "Rossendale twinned with Melbourne". Officially of course, Rossendale is twinned with Bocholt in Germany but Michael, obviously thinks otherwise.

Rossendale Militia List, 1810

Some months ago, a regular visitor to our Monday evening Help Sessions at Haslingden library, lent me a document, which he said his father had found, many years ago in the attic of a house in Haslingden.

This list is absolutely fascinating. It was made pursuant to the directions of an Act made in the 47th year of George III (i.e. The Local Militia Act).

It contained the names of 679 local men aged between 18 -45, giving their ages, occupations, addresses and in some cases the number of children they had [under10]..

What was a local Militia List?

Around 1803 at the height of the Napoleonic wars, it was feared that Napoleon would invade Great Britain. Parliament proposed a new type of militia, the "army of reserve" consisting of 50,000 men in England and 10,000 in Ireland. Local men between the ages 18 and 45 were to be conscripted into this local militia by means of a ballot.

The selection was made by Hundreds and then by parishes or other clearly defined units. The Forest of Rossendale was one such area, within the Blackburn Hundred. It consisted of Higher Booths; Lower Booths; Newchurch (i.e. Dedwen Clough, Bacup Tunstead and Wolfenden); Cowpe Lench, New Hall Hey and Hall Carr; Musbury; Yate and Pickup Bank, [now part of Darwen & Blackburn],; Rising Bridge [a detached part of Lower Booths]; Henheads, and Dunnockshaw, but not Haslingden which was never in the Forest, or the Brandwood area which was in the Parish of Rochdale within the Hundred of Salford.

To gather the names of the men and their details, it was necessary for a kind of census to be taken listing all the eligible men.

The population of the Forest of Rossendale in 1811 excluding Brandwood was made up as follows

Cowpe Lench etc. 786

Dunnockshaw 63

Henheads 195

Higher Booths 2568

Lower Booths 1178

Musbury 589

Newchurch 6930

Yate and Pickup Bank 1230

Total 13, 539

Unfortunately this complete "census" has not survived and I do not know what percentage of the eligible men were conscripted or whether they were drawn pro rata from each Township.

The selected men lived at home with periods in training. They remained separate from the regular militias although the government made every inducement after they had been trained to encourage them to transfer to the regulars, with varying degrees of success. One man Gilbert Rushel, 28, cabinet maker, Newchurch, named on the list, has the word "Inlsted" written against his name.

The militia list includes a separate group of men who are indicated as being, "Poor & liable to local militia only" If they had more than one child under 10 years of age, they were not liable to be transferred to the regular militia in event of invasion.

The categories were as follows:

259 aged 18 - 30 plus 1 listed in error,

40 Poor and four apprentices [liable for local militia only]

89 aged 30 - 45 plus 245 Poor

27 Paid a fine for exemption..

19 Exempt by reason of incapacity.

A hotel in Blackburn was appointed for the hearing of appeals and all persons who thought themselves aggrieved could appeal but anyone neglecting to appeal was subject to a £5 fine. It was dated 10th August 1810 and signed by James Collinge, Greave of Rossendale. Witnessed by H. Fielden & J.F. Hindle.

After I had typed up a copy of this militia list I took the original to Rawtenstall Community History Library to be photocopied for their records. I discovered that it had been loaned to them previously c1962. The then Borough Librarian Jon Elliot had made an analysis of the available information, names, occupations etc.

The Volunteer Movement

According to a book entitled "The Volunteer Movement" written in the 19th century Thomas Hayhurst of Bury:

"Volunteers sprung up from every quarter of the realm, 40,000 citizens offered their services in defence of our coasts.Lancashire took an immense step forward in volunteering. be it remembered that she raised 14,3000 infantry, together with 360 cavalry and 260 artillery, a total of 15,500 men. Bury, Heywood, Ramsbottom, Tottington, Radcliffe, Bamford, Rossendale and Haslingden all contributed to this magnificent total"

Anyone interested in this subject can obtain more information and a list of surviving records from Militia Lists and Musters, 1757 - 1876: a Directory of Holdings in the British Isles, by Jeremy Gibson and Mervyn Medlycott. Published by the Federation of Family History Societies. 4th edition 2004 £4.50