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 2007

Programme: 2007

Wenesday 2nd May

The Edwin Waugh Society

Alison Bailsworth & Sally James

Wednesday 6th June

A peep into a Diary

Babara Riding

Wednesday 4th July

Derivation of surnames.

Leo Turner

Wednesday 1st August

Research Evening

Coming Events

Saturday 12th May

The NW Group of Family History Societies

Annual Conference 2007

hosted by the Family History Society of Cheshire at the Memorial Hall, Chester Way, Northwich

9.30am – 16pm

Guest Speakers on a theme of Working Lives

Cheshire Cheese & Farming – Charles Foster

Mill on the Trent & Mersey Canal – Michael Walton

The Life and Times of Railway Workers 1830 -1948 – Dr. Diane Drummond

FHS Displays and Bookstall.

Free Parking. Entrance fee £9 with buffet lunch £18.

Early booking essential, further information www.fhsc.org.uk

Friday 18 May

Opening the Catalogues.

Join us on a Voyage of Discovery. Want to feel confident in using catalogues and other finding aids. Interested in finding out more about how and why we catalogue?

This catalogue awareness event in two sessions will be held at

Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston PR1 2RE

10.00 – 12.30 and again 14.00 – 16.00.

For full programme or to book a place contact Sandra Porter on (01772) 533027
or email record.office@ed.lancscc.gov.uk

Saturday 19th May

Lancashire Family History and Heraldry Society

One Day Conference and AGM

The Foster Theatre, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire

10.00 – 1700.

Speakers for the day, Fergus O’Connor, Martin Baggoley and Society Members.

Full details were in your February Magazine.

Conference with lunch £17.60, without lunch £7.60

Applications before 28th April to A.D. Walkden, 2 Butterlands, Preston, PR1 5TJ 01772 792224


Haslingden Roots meet every Tuesday Evening at Haslingden Public Library from 6.30 – 8.30pm.

There are 10 Computers which are bookable one week in advance which have access to the Ancestry Web Site through the Library Edition. These sessions are run with support from the group but please remember we are volunteers and cannot always guarantee you one to one help and advice.

If you are new to family history or unable to use a computer then you can book a one to one session.

To gain access to our records or to find out what we hold please contact the Secretary

Jackie Ramsbottom - 21 Shap Close, Baxenden, Accrington, BB5 2TL Tel 01254 394794

email: jax@grane92.freeserve.co.uk

Census E-Petition. Response from HM Government.

Those of you who signed the online petition to gain access to the 1911, 1921 and 1931 census data, after 70 years, rather than 100 years, will have received a reply from the Prime Minister. He states that assurances of privacy were given at the time the censuses were taken; unless people believe that their personal data will remain confidential and secure, they may be reluctant to provide sensitive information. "You might like to know however, that the 1911 census was not taken under this Act. These census returns are held by the National Archives. Plans are underway to set up an online research service of the 1911 census by 2009, although personally sensitive material will not be released until 1911. The National Archives will respond to certain requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act. On a sadder note, the 1931 census records were destroyed by fire during the Second World War."

Facts from the Federation - 1911 Census

The National Archives is delighted to announce that Scotland Online will partner the UK government's official archive in the forthcoming project to put the 1911 census for England and Wales online.

From 2009 there will be a phased release of the information in the 1911 census starting with the major conurbations. This will include images and transcription data, but with sensitive data redacted in line with the Information Commissioner's recent ruling. From 3 January 2012 the public will have full access to the entire 1911 census, including the information not accessible in 2009.

Researchers anywhere in the world will be able to search across the fields of the census by name, address or The National Archives reference, and download high-resolution digital images.

For more information on this and the status of the 1911 census for Scotland and Ireland see the April edition of FFHS Ezine

To subscribe to the FFHS's new Ezine visit www.ffhs.org.uk/ezine/subscribe.php

Rossendale Miscellany

News, Notes and Queries

Following the Branch AGM, the Rossendale Committee remains unchanged from last year, except that Kathleen Ashburner has resigned as branch representative on the Society’s Executive Committee. Changes are being made to the management structure of the Society and we do need representation. If you feel you can travel to Preston four times a year, to represent our interests and report back to us, then please contact me. Also, if you are a member of the Society and would like to receive the Society’s minutes and other relevant information, let me have your email address and membership number, so that I can forward these items.

My thanks to Marie Ives for her account of Luke Ralph and Sons. My father’s cousin Thomas McIntyre worked as an apprentice for the firm in the early 1940s. I was told that his mother was horrified to find him practicing his welding techniques on the kitchen table, at the rear of their small shop in Laburnum Street.

If you are a member and have a story or any questions about Rossendale don’t hesitate to contact me.

Rossendale Ancestry

from Marie Ives, 4 Carr Mount, Bury Road, Rawtenstall, Rossendale.

Luke Ralph & Sons

I have recently had chance to look at an old ledger that belonged to the firm owned by Grandfather and his father before him, namely Luke Ralph and Sons. They were tinsmiths in Haslingden for about 85 years, established at the bottom of Chapel Street and before that at Pickering Street. There are over 50 mills with whom the firm had accounts listed in the book. They were mostly in Haslingden, Rossendale and Helmshore. The book dates from 19/20 -1931, and is one of 6 or 7; but the others are more up to date. The firm also did work for Haslingden Cooperative society and Haslingden Borough Council as well as the local brewery.

My grandfather came from Burnley as a child, with his father, mother and brother, four more children were born in Haslingden in the early 1880s. They lived in Warwick Street for a spell, later moving to Clegg Street. When my Grandfather married, he lived in Piccadilly Street, first at No. 6 and then at No. 49, where he died in 1958. His only son Craven carried on the business until the premises in Chapel Street were compulsory purchased by Rossendale Borough Council in the mid 1970s, and the business then closed down.

The firm in the 1920s supported all the family and one or two tradesmen who worked for them. Luke Ralph’s youngest son trained to be a saddler with Saddler Green who had a shop on the corner of Chapel Street and Bury Road, adjacent to the New Inn. All the other sons (William, Harry, Tom and Luke) worked for the family firm for a while. After a family fall out, William set up in opposition to his father and brothers on Grane Road; Tom died in the early 1930s; Luke married and went to live in Rotherham, he died in 1939 and Craven (the saddler) never returned from the first World War. Great Grandfather Luke himself died in 1934 and my grandfather Harry carried on the business, taking his son Craven as an apprentice. The two sisters in the family (Mary Ann and Jane) at some time of their lives worked in the mills, even though they were both deformed. They both married late in life.

With a lot of help from two Ralph relations, we have traced Luke Ralph’s forbears back to Burnley and before that to Settle, to one William Ralph who was born there in 1580. There were lots of tradesmen amongst the family, mainly joiners and blacksmiths but also paupers as well as servants and mill workers.-------------------------

To be continued next month with extracts from Luke Ralph’s Ledgers.