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 May 2000

The Petition of the inhabitants of the Forest of Rossendale to His Majesty King Henry Vlll (c1510) which set forth the reasons why a church was desirable:

Whereas the Forest of Rossendale was replenished only chiefly with Foresters and Keepers of the Deer... (since then) the Forest was deforested and let forth in divers sorts and Whereas the Forest and Keepers of the Deer and other Savage and Wild Beasts and since by Industry of the Inhabitants has grown to be Fertile Ground well replenished with People, the Castle Church of Clitheroe being their Parish Church is twelve Miles distant and the Ways very Foul, Painful and Perilous and the Country in the Winter Season so vehemently Cold, that Infants borne to the Church are in peril of their Lives and the aged and impotent People and Women great with Child not able to travel so far to hear the Word of God and the Dead Corpses there likely to remain unburied at such Times for want of Carriage, till such Time as great Annoyance doth grow thereby....

The Chapel was built in 1511 on the slopes of Seat Naze in Dedwinclough The population at that time was said to consist of 80 souls. This first Chapel was named All Souls. This probably amounted to 11 or 12 families, they were probably all inter related and there can be few old Rossendale families who are not decendended from this hardy group of people.

In the time of Edward VI some 40 years later a Commission of Pius Uses was set up. There was no difficulty in justifying the presence of a Chapel in the Forest. The population had already grown from 80 to 1000 persons. The Commission ordered that the inhabitants of the said Forest and the inhabitants of the Lenches, Cowpe, Brandwood, Rockcliffe, Greave Clough and Tong adjoining the said Forest should have the use and enjoyment of the said Chapel above specified, together with the parcel of ground inclosed and invironed with a hedge and called Chapel Yard for ever.

The name of the church was changed to Our Saviour. A second church was built in 1560 near the original site, named Holy Trinity (it was enlarged in 1753) The present church was built in 1826 and dedicated to St. Nicholas. The Church of Newchurch in Rossendale has given its name to the neighbouring village and to the larger Township of Newchurch which covers a vast area of the former Forest.

Did you miss...

Our AGM and talk

We were very pleased to see so many of you at the AGM. The Committee were all re-elected as before. Pauline Holt and Kathlen Ashburner have agreed to share the post of Rossendale Representative on the Executive Committee. They will ensure that we are kept informed of the decisions made by the Executive and also of events taking place in the other branches of the society. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, I have now resigned as General Secretary. I shall therefore be able to spend more time organising at a local level and assisting our out of town members.

Michael and I were well received after our talk on Newchurch. It created a lot of interest and we have since dealt with several enquiries.

Rossendale Ancestry

1. Mr D. Ratcliffe, 11 Llys Clwyd, Bangor Road, Penmaemawr, Conwy LL34 6AF writes to ask if anyone can tell him anything about the early Ratcliffes of Haslingden (particularly of Grane) where they lived etc. He says he has had his family researched back to James Ratcliffe 1686 - 1757 but he knows little of Haslingden and its history. As he is now in his 70s and confined to a wheelchair he would appreciate any help. There is a Ratcliffe Fold and a Ratcliffe Street in central Haslingden, on either side of Blackburn Road. Does anyone know how they came by these names?

2. Mrs J. Small, 59 Rothesay Ave., Tile Hile, Coventry CV4 9FH has been seeking her Ralph Duckworth, a carter, father Richard, for many years. He married in Burnley in 1876, but had left his wife before 1881. The age he gave at marriage (bn 1841) tallied with that of another Ralph Duckworth (son of James) born in Haslingden. She has now discovered that a Ralph, described as a carter with a brother Jonathan died at Stake Lane, Musbury in 1883. This Ralph was born in Edenfield 1836 and was also buried there. His father was Richard Duckworth a fulling miller. Anyone with a knowledge of this family please contact me.

3. Mrs. Dowling of Bacup is in her 80s. She is looking for the gravestone of George Haworth of Acre Hill who died in 1863. His wife was Peggy. There is no record of the grave at Newchurch although she found it 40 years ago. Mrs Downing says her information was stolen in a burglary 2 years ago. They even took 2 family Bibles. Ken Simpson will passon any information.

Coming events, talks, conferences, exhibitions.

Thursday 11 May and Monday 22nd May

Lancashire Record Office is holding a series of brief presentations giving an introduction to the following computer software:

- Family Search (on CD-Rom)

- 1881 National Census Returns (on CD-Rom)

- Finding Folk (on CD-Rom)

There will be demonstrations of Family Search and Finding Folk at 3-45pm followed by the 1881 National Census returns at 4-30pm. All sessions will be suitable for people with little or no experience of using a personal computer.

To book a place contact the LRO on 01772 263038.

Saturday 13th May

LFHHS One Day Conference and AGM at the University of Central Preston.

Full Day £14.50. AGM only, Free.

Full details were in your journal.

Saturday 24th June

York Family History Fair will be held at the Racecource.

Saturday 9th September

The North Wales Family History Fair Conference Centre, Llandudno ++++++10.30am-4.30pm