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 2009

Programme: 2009

Wednesday 7th October

A tale of Derring Do.

W.J. Taylor (Society Vice President)

Wednesday 8th November

Members Evening. 10 Minute talks.

Wednesday 2nd December

Christmas Festivities.

Tickets are now on sale £3.50 each

Wednesday January 6th 2010

To be announced

Coming Events

Tuesday 13th October

Local and Family History in the Modern World

Day School on Local Studies Skills

£20 including lunch.

The Meeting Room Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston PR1 2RE Whether you are new to working in this sector, an experienced worker or an interested user, this day school will have something for you.

Contact Maureen Burns, Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre, Central Library, Old Street, Ashton-Under-Lyne, OL6 7SG Tel. 0161 342 4242

Research and Advice Sessions

at Rawtenstall library every Tuesday 1.30 – 3.30

Rossendale Branch has a group of members who are on hand very Tuesday, to assist members of the public with their Family History enquiries. You will find us upstairs at the library adjacent to the new Community History facilities..

If contacting us with an enquiry, please include your membership number.

Haslingden Roots - Please Note

Haslingden Roots is having a break from the Monday night meetings at Haslingden Library over the winter months.

We will be holding some Saturday afternoon sessions during this time and if you would like details of the dates please contact Jackie Ramsbottom Jax@grane92.freeserve.co.uk


News Notes and Queries

Newchurch Registers Update

I recently heard from Craig Thornber who tells me that he has received his CD-ROM of Newchurch-in-Rossendale 1773-1812, listed as Volume NC4, so it should now be distributed to all members of the Lancashire Parish Register Society. Then it will be available for non-members to order from the LPRS. His last volume Newchurch-in-Rossendale 1606-1723 will replace the original Volume 45. This includes addition pages as the original publication had not been checked against the bishops’ transcripts.

Craig says "It is about three years since I started and it has been a challenging task but now in sight of the end". For full details of availability check the Lancashire Parish Register Society website. There are several suppliers. The full set of Newchurch registers could make a good Christmas present.

Out Visit Report.

Our visit to Bacup Natural History Society was very successful. Despite the dreadful weather about. 20 of us assembled at the Society’s premises on Yorkshire Street, Bacup. Ken Bowden, former Bacup Librarian, explained how the museum had evolved from a collection of natural history items to local and social history Wendy Watters the Society’s librarian then showed us the Society’s newspaper collection. They have recently received back numbers of the Bacup Chronicle, to supplement their run of newspapers from of Bacup Times. The newspapers all date from around the mid 1860s. Our own Ken Simpson conducted the party upstairs. It is impossible to describe the range of items crammed into one small room. They range from fire-irons to firearms, from washing machines to ancient bones. One group was overheard discussing ration books, and the merits of different types of gas masks. If you have any questions on Bacup or the "Nats". You can contact Wendy Watters on her website www.bacuptimes.co.uk

Richard Ashworth’s Letters from America.

The letters have been supplied by Valerie Maxwell member (164)

She can been contacted by email at maxy16@ntlworld.com

Richard Ashworth’s Final letter was written from Fisherville on May 13th 1873

Dear wife, I got your letter on the 12th. I can assure you that I was glad I could not read the letter without sobbing. I am very uneasy to be so far away from you and the children but perhaps, I may get over it by and by. I am not doing as well as I expected yet but there is plenty of chances for me, if I will only wait patiently. I should like it better if I could only sleep at night. I never feel sleepy, I can stay up night after night and never no difference.

You can tell my brother Henry that I was surprised to see Newchurch at the top of the list and more so to hear that Rawtenstall had objected to Cloughfold. You can tell your brother Henry that I have been talking to a spinner today and one last night and the last one said he could earn thirty shillings per month and his board, the first one said he could earn many dollars in a weeks time as would make fifty of spindles & the counts but they are about the length of the old ones at New Hall Hey. They are something like they are at home in make but they are made either in Fall River or in Providence.

Tell Elizabeth Ormerod, that I am very glad that she had a bit of thought for my wife and I hope they will get along very comfortable as I knew she would feel lost when I had come away. I hope you have got the presents I sent for the children. I was sorry to hear that Margaret Jane had a sore eye but I laughed when I read she had dreamt about me. Tell Alice Ann I was glad to see she was going to school & when her little sister is able to go, she must take care of her. The children in this country, go to school free. I will tell you about the people, work, wages and all, when I write again. I have sent you a post office order of 22 dollars & you will have to draw about four pounds. You will have to go to the post office and ask if there is an order for Mrs. Susannah Ashworth and you will get it, if it has landed. You must send word back as soon as you get it.

Give my regards to all & tell the dyers I will write to them shortly. You can tell them I am a little homesick and I will try to wear it off. From your dear husband, Richard Ashworth.

Richard Ashworth came back home. The 1881 census shows him living at Spring Terrace, Rawtenstall. He was listed as a 38 year old, Oat Cake Baker, his wife Susannah was 35, and there were 3 daughters and a son, Alice Ann aged 15, Margaret Jane, 12; Lilly 3 and Edmund aged 1.

Cunliffe Family of Cloughfold and Newchurch

I am researching the family of Henry Cunliffe (1824 – 1889) and his father Robert Cunliffe (1792-1873). Both were born in the Rossendale area and lived in the Newchurch and Cloughfold area. They were involved in the woollen industry and had, at various times in the 1800s, links with Bridge End Mill and Lumb Holes Mill in the Waterfoot area. Henry lived in a house known as Cross at Cloughfold. He had several siblings, including Abel, Alice and Maria (who later married a Mr Ormerod). The family had strong links with the Sion Baptist Church at Cloughfold and were among the first scholars to attend the Sunday school there.

Karen Roberts (LFHHS Member no.: 9008)
49, Lakeland Park,
Cumbria, CA12 4AT.

John Heap Newchurch and St. Annes-on-the-Sea

Margaret Heap librarian of the Pendle and Burnley Branch tells me that me that her late husband was a descendant of Servetus Heap, brother of John Heap.

John Heap was one of the many Rossendale men who came to St. Anne’s after "The St. Annes- on -the -Sea Land and Building Company" was established in 1874, by seven Rossendale entrepreneurs [see our newsletter of February 2005]

His obituary in the St. Annes on Sea Express states that he died on New Year’s Eve 1905. aged 65. He is described as a "St. Anne’s Pioneer, and a Useful Public Man, Occupier of the First Rated House"

He was a builder and contractor of the Pioneer Saw Mills, St. Andrew’s Road South, and Chairman of the St. Anne’s Overseers of the Poor.

He left a widow, three daughters Sarah J, Mary A and Nancy also five sons. Three of his sons Henry William, Wilson and John Albert worked in the business, Frank and Fred were in Johannesburg.

John Heap was born in Newchurch in Rossendale in 1840. His father Henry Heap was a shoemaker (born in Haslingden in 1815) He played the violin and had a fine tenor voice which he used to good purpose at Rossendale gatherings. John was the eldest of Henry’s sons and the last to die. The others were Thomas born c1842; William Henry c1845; Servetus c1850 and James c1855.

Although he came from a Unitarian family in Newchurch, Mr Heap was involved in the Baptist Church at St. Annes, where he became a deacon. After visiting the Holy Land he gave a talk at the (Sion) Baptist Chapel, Cloughfold.

Margaret Heap’s address is 27 Manor Road, Colne, Lancashire, BB8 7AS