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 November 2000

Did you know you it would cost 2/6d to take the train from Haslingden to Blackpool in 1879. Of course you had to be on the platform by 5.15 am. Perhaps you would prefer the charabanc. The journey in the 1930s was 7/6d and if it rained you were in real trouble.

Last month Harry O'Neil showed us his slides of old Haslingden, Helmshore and central Rawtenstall. They included May walks, horse drawn fire engines, street markets, slums, lamp lighters, knife sharpeners and knocker uppers (men who banged on the window to get you awake for an early start at the mill) begging the question, "who knocks up the knocker upper?"

Rossendale Ancestry:

1. Jim Walsh writes that he will be happy to hear from anyone with an interest in Rossendale. He has identified a WALSH family with 8 children in the 1861 - 1881 censuses. All the children were born Newchurch. He has a marriage certificate dated May 8, 1854 for Michael and Catherine Walsh. They were married at St. James the Less RC church and lived at Bridleway, later they were on Burnley Rd. Jim says "I am interested in finding a death certificate and other details about the death of Michael Walsh sometime between 1871 and 1881. I do have a death certificate for an army pensioner of that name who died at Taylor Home in Stackstead. I need to find out more about this person to know if he is the one I am looking for. He is given as 37 at the time of his death in 1878. Whilst place and time are appropriate the age is not quite right." email JWalsh5755@aol.com

2. Marilyn Dearden has details of a marriage at St. James, Haslingden in September 1824; when Thomas HAWORTH married Alice HEAP. Marylin would like to identify the Benjamin Heap who was given as witness at the wedding. I have found some connections between the Heap family and the Deardengate congregational church but cannot find a link with Alice. Any ideas? email NIN@antemal.freeserve.co.uk

3. Ron Hayhurst tells me that Wilf Day has emailed him with some really useful information. Wilf has found details of John Henry HAYHURST and those of his wife, Mary in the records of St. Mary and All Saints at Goodshaw. "My father told me a little about JHH for whom he had high regard. JHH was the son of of Eleazer Hayhurst my 2 X g.grandfather. He was a great (amateur) musician and would accompany soloists and play with choirs at local events." Ron is also delighted to have received from Wilf obituaries of these persons. He would like to make contact with anyone else researching the Hayhurst name. email Ron.Hayhurst@tesco.net

4. I have recently done some research on the family of Henry Hargreaves HOYLE, carrier of Haslingden; he died February 1906 aged 77. His obituary states "His father was occupier of what was known as Coal Hey Farm. He farmed the land between Prinney Hill and Charles Lane bordered by Blackburn Road". I would like to verify this statement.

Hunting for ......

Samuel Heys Huntsman I have had this plea from Jackie Ramsbottom, Secretary of Haslingden Roots.

"An interesting family tree is being researched at the moment. James Heys first appears in Haslingden in 1861 living at Rakefoot. At that time he was a widower, aged 36, living with his daughter, his occupation was 'Potter' (later he became a fishmonger- and a purveyor of illicit alcohol). The census stated that he was born in Bacup and on his marriage in 1867 to Susannah Ingham, his father is given as Samuel Heys, Huntsman. In all the later censuses he maintains this Bacup connection; on each of his wedding certificates (four in Haslingden) his father is named as a Huntsman. An extensive search of census details for Rossendale 1841 & 1851 has been carried out but there is no sign of James Heys of his father Samuel."

If you can help contact Jackie at jax@grane92.freeserve.co.uk

Thousands of Rothwells?

(from "Lancashire" Oct.1980):

"There lives on the new line of road from Bacup to Rossendale a man called Henry Rothwell, aged 84 his wife is 83. They have 14 children , the youngest of whom is 36. In the family are 170 grandchildren - all alive. A short time ago the old man was to have gone to church accompanied by the whole of his descendants, but he subsequently declined, thinking that it would be too great a show off."

Extract from the Bury Times 16th May 1857.

submitted by Rita Hirst

N.B. If they carried on at that rate there should be thousands of descendants by now, surely some must be our members.

COMING EVENTS... talks, conferences, exhibitions.

Friday 20th - Sunday 22nd April

"The Cup of Love" - the Spring Conference of the Federation of FHS will be held at Leicester University, Oadby. The theme of the conference will be to explore some of the more extraordinary goings-on of our ancestors. Lectures titles include: The Oldest Profession; Something for the weekend, sir; The wrong side of the blanket; Sex lies and registration; Within the prohibited degrees, evidence of incest ; Sin and sex, the bawdy courts; The Fleet marriages; Good faith and truthful ignorance - identifying bigamy; Sex, sin and senation in newspapers; The masque of beauty; Bottom's ass - from the bawdy to the naughty in Shakespeare.

Details are available from Mrs. Y J Bunting, Federation Conference, Firgrove, Horseshoe Lane, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hampshire GU12 5LL Please enclose a stamped A5 envelope.


I have been informed that Blackburn Public Library (including the Society's Library) is now open every Sunday 11.00 - 15.00.

I f you wish to reserve a microfiche/film reader contact the library Tel. 01254 587920.


Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before & wiser than the one that comes after it.

Attributed to George Orwell.