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 October 2002


Tonight - 2nd October

Members’ Miscellany

6th November

On board HMS George V A WW2 talk by Norma Cowpe.

4th December Christmas Celebration

Coming Events:

Saturday 12th October

A Local History Seminar will be held at the Rolls Royce Social Club, Skipton Road, Barnoldswick. 10.00am - 4.30pm.

This event is hosted by the Earby & District Local History Association.


Eric Higham - Migration of Dales families to the mill towns.

Susan Wrathmell - Traditional architecture of the area.

Then a choice of Jean Ingham- A Family History work-shop or A tour of Bancroft Mill Engine Museum.

Fee: £12.50 including lunch. Further details from Lynda Simmons 01282 816100 and from local libraries and tourist information centres.

Sunday 27th October

This year the annual Family History Fair hosted by the N.W. Group of Family History Societies will be held at Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester. 10.30am - 4.30pm

There will be the usual variety of stalls. Also Refreshments and Free street parking. Admission £2 - children free.

Volunteers are need to help run our stall at this event. Please contact Ron Chapman, Chairman of the Exhibitions Sub Committee; 01257 453087

Did you miss....

The Other 1851 - Rossendale Census our talk by John Dunleavy?

John is a Haslingden man, who now lives in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. He has lectured in Oxford, Melbourne, New York and Budapest.

The subject of his talk was new to most of us. It seems that in 1851 the Home Office decided to take a census of all the places of worship in the country. This was to include every church, chapel and meeting house of all denominations. The census information includes the address, date of establishment and size of each congregation on the 30th March 1851.

John was able to check the original records at Kew but they are now on microfilm. They are arranged by Poor Law Union. In our case this is "Haslingden" an area which covered Accrington, and most of modern day Rossendale. The returns are incomplete as some ministers did not take part in the exercise. Out of 18 million people in England and Wales only 7,250,000 attended a religious service on census Sunday (some would have attended more than once) this was a surprise and a disappointment to the authorities. No other ecclesiastical census has ever been taken.

Originally, it had been planned to ask people their religion on the census form. This was considered too intrusive. Considering the number of people who put "Jedi" on their 2001 census form, it is probably still considered too intrusive but it would have been handy to know that granddad was Baptist or Presbyterian.

John’s main interest is the Roman Catholic Church at this time the only Catholic church in the area was St. James the Less in Rawtenstall. He went on to tell us about the early church buildings at Bacup, Rawtenstall and Ramsbottom. He also traced the subsequent career of Father Thomas Unsworth who went from Rawtenstall to the Crimea and later became an army chaplain based at Aldershot.

If you are interested in the Ecclesiastical Census you can obtain an Information Leaflet from the PRO. The PRO Reference is HO129.

Quaker Records

Following my report in the August edition of "Lancashire" on Julia Hoyle’s talk. I have had several requests for more information on Quaker Records in the valley. 

Go to our section on local Churches for The Crawshawbooth Meeting House and follow the links at the bottom of the page.

Rossendale Ancestry:


Vicky Barlow (the LFHHS Membership Secretary)

6 Mowbreck Lane, Wesham, Preston, PR4 3HA,

says she is looking for information on her g.g. aunt Susy Heys.

"Have you ever found a person in your family history research who sticks in your mind until you become fascinated (obsessed by them?) To me Susy is such a person.

She was born in Crawshawbooth 5th Sept. 1821 and baptised at Rakefoot Wesleyan Church. Her mother was Eve Heys, a milliner, her father unknown. Eve married Thomas Kay at Newchurch 19 Sept. 1825. Eve and Thomas Kay then had 9 children. Their youngest child was James Kay, my g. grandfather.

1841 - Susy was with the family at Bank Top, she was a Female Servant. c1846 she had a daughter Eve Heys (father unknown), it must run in the family.

1851 - this child was described as a niece of Thomas Kay. Susy was given as his daughter.

1861 - she was living alone with her daughter at Holme Terrace.

By 1871 Susy’s daughter Eve had married Francis Firth. They were all 3 at Holme Terrace.

1881 - They are living at Isle of Man Terrace, Higher Booths. Susy is given as ‘servant’ to Francis and Eve Firth.

1891 - They are at Forest Holme, Lumb. Susy is back as ‘Head’ and Francis and Eve are ‘Lodgers’. By now aged 69, she has living with her, James Caleb Kay (17), his sister Eve Kay (12), and his brother John Robinson Kay (10). They had been orphaned when my g. grandfather James Kay died.

I have never been able to trace Susy’s date of death.

Please does anyone recognise Susy? I am also confused by the addresses on the census. Are some of them the same?"


June Thompson is researching her grandfather’s family who were living at Waterfoot. In 1881 Henry Schofield was aged 29, a seal skin and carpet printer. By 1891, he had become a Dry Salter and Druggist living at Irwell Terrace, Cloughfold. He was born at Newchurch. His family consisted of wife Ellen, 46, born Burnley; children William, 17; Sarah Jane, 16; Edmund, 13; Arnold H., 11.

email: june.g@btinternet.com


Jane Coop, from West Yorkshire, says "I am interested in the name Cowp and have recently discovered ancestors baptised at Newchurch in Rossendale. I am wondering if anyone else is researching this surname." Jane is interested in James Coop baptised 9th Feb. 1765 married Susanna Hargreaves 24th April 1787 at St. Mary’s Bury. He is son of Richard and Sarah Cowp of Newchurch. There is a marriage at Newchurch of Richard Cowp to Sarah Piccop 24th May 1764 which seems to fit, but the baptismal registers give a possible earlier child, 3rd Feb. 1761- Alice dau. of Richard and Sarah Cowp, of Shuttleworth. For further details email: jane.fiesta@talk21.com


Tickets will be on sale next month price £2.00

We need some new, bright, imaginative idea for the Christmas event - New Quizzes, New Games.

Give your ideas to Kathleen Ashburner at Our November meeting.


In the August edition of "Lancashire" Tony Foster appealed for someone to co-ordinate a lookup service. Fiona Hall of 6 Willowherb Close, Prestbury, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 5LP, has agreed to undertake this task.

The Society plans to develop a database, listing the names of volunteers who have offered to do limited research for fellow members of the Lancashire FH & Heraldry Society. Requests for help must be accompanied by a membership number. The service is to be run on an expenses only basis and will not be an ongoing research facility. If any of you have areas of expertise and would be willing to offer advice, or a detailed knowledge of an occupation, military history or an ability to decipher old handwriting or even a knowledge of Latin, please contact Fiona. Email: fiona.j.hall@btopenworld.com

As Branch Secretary, I will of course continue to co-ordinate Rossendale enquiries.