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 September 1999


Sunday 19th September 1999

This will be the third time we have attempted to organise a walk round Grane. It doesn't always rain on the moors above Haslingden. It just seems like it. Why do we keep trying? Because Grane Moor and its reservoirs are very special. Not only is it a very beautiful place, it is steeped in local history. This time the walk is being combined with a trip round the Water Treatment Works. Please assemble at the Works at 1.00 pm on the 19th September. If you are unfamiliar with the area, you will find the turn off just beyond "The Duke of Wellington." on the same side of Grane Road. Please add your names to the list held by Kathleen Ashburner. Let us hope it is third time lucky.


The Society's chief project co-ordinator Tony Foster has given me some project forms to be completed by anyone undertaking any work on behalf of the society.

Tony says it is essential for projects to be registered, otherwise you are not covered for accident insurance. Also it prevents duplication of effort.

Finished projects should be sent to the publications committee for microfiching and then three copies will be bound, one for the society library, one for the church and one for the public library (unless they prefer to do their own binding), this is at no cost to the branch. Paper and other requirements can also be claimed back.

The sale of microfiche contributes greatly to the society's income; the purchase of microfiche is one of the benefits that can be enjoyed by out of County and overseas members.

Haslingden Library Learning Centre

Haslingden library has acquired 12 personal computers for use by registered borrowers over 16 years. There is no charge except for printing (10 p. per sheet) and 60p for downloading files onto a floppy disk. Access to the internet is limited to one hour. It is possible to use the e-mail and also a flatbed scanner is attached to one PC. Staff are on hand to assist customers to get started. It is advisable to book in advance. I have some leaflets issued by the library if anyone is interested.

The 1881 Census on CD-ROM and Vital Records Index

Wilf Day has agreed to keep charge of these CDs. If you would like to have an item checked, please contact Wilf. A small donation to the society would be welcome.

Coming Events. Talks, Conferences, Exhibitions.

Friday 15 October. The LFH&HS's annual dinner will this year be hosted by the Lancaster and Morecambe Group. A special evening of "Lancashire fare" will be held at the Clarendon Hotel, Marine Road West, Morecambe.

The after dinner speaker will be Ian Dewhurst. This event costs only £10. It is worth that amount alone just to hear Ian Dewhurst speak! I am told that on this particular evening "clogs, shawls, waistcoats and flat caps will certainly not be out of place."

Saturday 30 October 1999 NW Group Family History Fair (previously known as the Stockport Fair) will this year be held at the Guild Hall, Preston.

The Public Record Office

The PRO is to put its entire catalogue (of 8 million documents) on the web. It is hoped to achieve this by the end of the year. Once this has been achieved, some of its most popular documents will also be put on line. These include William Shakespeare's will, Guy Fawkes' confession and the crew and passenger list of the Titanic. The catalogue gives a brief description of each file and its location. It will be possible to order a document online so that when you go to Kew it will be ready and waiting.

1901 Census

The PRO also intends to put the1901 census online. This is due to be released for public consultation in January 2002. It is estimated that the PRO Family Records Centre at Myddelton Street will have reached saturation point by 2003, even without the impact of the release of the 1901 census returns. There are more than 32 million names on the 1901 census covering 2.5 million pages. Because of the potential increase in demand at the FRC it has been decided to digitise the census and make it available to researchers via the internet as well as at the FRC. The PRO believes that most people now have access to the internet at home or at work. They also have the option of accessing information in local libraries.

The only way to finance a project of this size is to seek commercial partnership. A detailed invitation to negotiate has been issued to a short list of bidders and their submissions are now being considered. The PRO has consulted with Family History Societies, one of the major points made repeatedly, was the need for records off site. They are keen to receive the views of anyone with an interest in historic censuses.

Rossendale Ancestry.

1. Mrs Joyce Lee of Accrington is looking for information on James Ormerod Heyworth bapt. 6 January 1829 son of Lawrence Heyworth.

2. Mrs Alison Fitzgerald, 27 Clivedene Street, Matua, Tauranga 3001, NZ is seeking information on Hannah Booth. She married James Thornton at Towneley Chapel 8th July 1834. On the 1851 & 1861 census returns at Preston her place of birth is given as "Hareholme Forest of Rossendale." In 1851 a Thomas Booth, clerk, aged 27 of Constable (Lee) was living at the same address . E-mail abfitz@bopis.co.nz