Lancashire Family History & Heraldry Society

Issue No.12 - Dec/Jan 2004        PENDLE & BURNLEY BRANCH         Editor Billy Cox


 1   Editorial 11  Diary Dates (What's on Where)
 2   Happy New Year 12  Appreciation Bouquets
 3   AGM - 31st March 2004 13  Rest in Peace
 4   Lancashire BMD Project 14  Branch Open Day
 5   Questionnaire Results 15  Audit of Services
 6   Programme for 2004 16  Bits & Pieces
 7   Projects 17  Societies must Adapt or Face extinction
 8   Resources 18  Catholic Churches
 9   Certificates 19  Query Corner
10  Silver Jubilee Booklet 20  Items for Publication


As you will be aware there has been a vacancy for Editor of this newsletter.  I, for my sins, seem to have managed to volunteer and be accepted within a short space of time.  I have now come to realise why no one else put their name forward! 
Some of you may have met my better half, Dawn Cox, at the monthly meetings, but if not, I am sure you soon will.  Articles for publication can be submitted by:- 

I would like to thank the previous editor Derek Mills for his services to the society. I aim to try and attain his high standard of publication but please bear with me until then!

A Happy New Year to all our members

Have you remembered to renew your membership to the Society?  If not, then why not do it now.  Membership Fees were increased this year.  Renewal forms were included in the November issue of 'Lancashire', the Society's magazine.  If you have lost your membership renewal form then you can get one via the Society website or from the Branch Secretary. Membership fees for 2004. 

Ordinary UK 12 Overseas 14
Family UK 13 Pensioners and Students 9.50

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In order to maintain continuity within the Branch, at the AGM 2003, it was proposed and accepted, that half the committee will be elected in the 'odd' years (2003, 2005, etc) and the other half will be elected in the 'even' years (2004, 2006 etc.). To fulfil these criteria the following officials will be elected at this year's AGM. To serve for TWO years: Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Minutes Secretary, Librarian, Executive Liaison Officer, Programme Secretary, 1 Committee Member. Nominations, with consent of nominee, (preferably in writing) should reach the Branch Secretary by one week before the AGM.

    The current committee is 

Chairman Jean Ingham   Projects Coordinator Christine Windle
Vice Chairman David Taylor   Publications Officer Christine Haworth
Secretary Brenda Hustler   Gazette Editor Billy Cox
Treasurer David Hustler   Executive Liaison Officer David Hustler
Minutes Secretary Margaret Heap   Committee Members Mary Jackson
Librarian Margaret Heap     Derek Mills
Programme Secretary Tony Mason      

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Work has begun on this project.  Volunteers should contact the coordinator
    , 2 Langholme Close, Barrowford, Lancashire. BB9 6DH 

    The LancashireBMD website is at


In the questionnaire asking how members would like to receive the newsletter (issued with the September edition of The Gazette) it stated that failure to respond would be taken as an indication that you did not want to receive the newsletter.  There was a 67.3% response to the questionnaire.  Several members who still attend meetings have not responded.  So, if you did not reply, this will be the last newsletter that is sent to you.

Analysis of Replies
Sent Replied Website Email Post Collect
171 115 (67.3%) 20 (17.2%) 29 (25%) 34 (29.3%) 32 (27.6%)

Thank you to all those who sent donations to help defray the cost of postage and printing of the newsletter

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The Programme of Events for 2004 is now available as a card handout and can also be viewed on this website 

Tony Mason, Programme Secretary.

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A start has been made on cataloguing transcriptions that have already been published and that are available in the local libraries.  A project to produce a name index for the 1901 census for Nelson is in progress at Nelson Library.  Anyone wishing to volunteer for this project should contact Christine Carradice, the Reference Librarian at Nelson Library.

Transcribing Parish Registers by our Branch is an ongoing project and volunteers to transcribe or check transcriptions are always welcome. 

Christine Windle, Project Coordinator

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New items received for the library. 

All branch resources are available for monthly loan but it is essential that the correct procedure is followed for booking out and booking in. Details of the procedure can be found in The Gazette, Vol 11, Sept 2003 or contact Margaret Heap, Society Branch Librarian.

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The Branch has a collection of certificates which members have donated.  Recent additions to the collection are:- 

Anyone interested in seeing these certificates should contact Margaret Heap for details at any branch meeting.

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Members are asked to send any recollections, amusing and otherwise, of happenings within the Branch over the past 25 years to Brenda I Hustler so that they can be included in a commemorative booklet.

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Saturday 13th March 2004, 9.30am - 4 pm at The University of Central Lancashire, Preston 

Organised by LFH&HS. All welcome. The speakers are 

Cost including buffet lunch and refreshments is 17.50 Booking form available at Branch Meetings, from the Society's website - or from the Branch Secretary.




Saturday 20th March 2004 at The Resource Centre, 2 The Straits, Oswaldtwistle, Lancs. BB5 3LU 


Please Note:- As last year, numbers are limited.  Please let Margaret Purcell know if you wish to attend.  Payment 5.00 each may be made on arrival.  Bring a packed lunch or if preferred, one may be bought locally.  Bookings and Enquiries to Miss Margaret Purcell, 128 Red Bank Road, Bispham, Blackpool FY2 9DZ 

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Huge thanks to you and LFHHS.  After my message was read out at the last meeting, Shirley Oldfield's family matched me with fellow member Peter Harris (turns out to be a third cousin!), and thence to my Dad's first cousins.  Both of them are still living, and I've talked to them over the past few days.  Wonderful.  I really appreciate everyone's help.  So, off to do some more transcription for FreeBMD, as a small token of my appreciation. 

Cheers, Katrina Hodgson, Canada (Member No 7314)

See Katrina's request in Query Corner 


The website is most interesting and informative.  I would like to thank everyone involved in putting the information Online. The main branch website is also good.  It is quite some time since I last came on to the site and it is greatly improved since then.  I am an out-of area member so do not attend meetings. 

Yours sincerely, Maeve Hawkins (Member No 263)

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Many new family historians do not realise the importance of establishing the deaths of their ancestors, and perhaps even more important, the location of their burials.  Apart from it being good genealogical practice to confirm their last resting-place it may also provide new information and clues for other lines of research. 

Previously unknown members of the family may be sharing the grave, and nearby graves may be those of other family members of an earlier generation.  

The burial register may yield other valuable information.  Extra notes written by the Vicar, such as "Interred a Roman Catholic & no ceremony performed here" leaves no doubt as to the religion of John EASTWOOD buried in 1820 at St. Peters, Burnley.  Even the name of an officiating clergyman, if different from the usual Vicar, could be significant.  For example a non-conformist ancestor might have had a local minister of his faith officiating at the burial.  This could then lead to a search for baptisms of the family in non-conformist records. 

When Robert WINDLE of Salterforth was buried at Thornton in Craven in 1822, noted in the margin is "Found drowned, warrant from Wm. TINDEL Coroner".  More information about his death may be available in a Coroner's report if it still exists. 

It isn't always easy to find a burial.  Unfortunately, death certificates give no indication of the deceased's place of burial, and people are not always buried in the area where they actually died.  For example, burials of people who died many miles away took place at Thornton in Craven, suggesting a strong family connection with the Thornton area.  For the period 1850 and 1868 four infant children of the KIRK family of Burnley were laid to rest in Thornton churchyard.  Four members of the SOWDEN family of Bradford were buried there.  Whilst WADDINGTONS and BAILEYS were all brought back from as far away as Liverpool. 

If you are having difficulty finding that elusive burial, the answer is (Yes you've guessed it!) Extend Your Search.  The National Burials Index on CD (on the branch computer) might be worth checking but unfortunately it contains only a fraction of the total number of burials that have taken place.  Many Family History societies and Local History groups have spent long hours tramping round damp, overgrown graveyards recording memorial inscriptions.  These M.I.s as they are more popularly known have then been put onto microfiche or into book form.  Contact the Family History Society in the area of interest to find if any M.I.s have been recorded. 

Not all our ancestors were wealthy enough to have a gravestone but where they do exist they can provide an abundance of genealogical information.  Some gravestones may have very brief details of the deceased just showing names and dates of death, but others give a great deal of information about the occupants of the grave and may mention family members buried elsewhere. 

In my own research I found the burial register at St. Peter's, Burnley gives only the bare fact of the burial of John Landless of Hay Head, Little Marsden who was buried on 18th Dec 1819 aged 25 years.  However the inscription on his gravestone in the churchyard reveals that "he was killed by the explosion of a steam engine boiler near Blackburn."  Also commemorated on the stone are his parents, his brother and his daughter-in-law.  This helped to confirm family relationships and led to a search in the Blackburn Mail for Dec 1819 where there was a detailed account of the inquest into his death and the three other men who lost their lives with him.  The gravestone was the only way that I was likely to discover this. 

In spite of all this advice I still haven't found the burials of my 4 x gt.Grandparents William and Mary (W)ROE.  So, please, the next time you wander round a graveyard, don't just look at rows of graves, but help me out and look for graves of (W)ROES!

Submitted by Jean Ingham

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Our Open Day held at Nelson library in November was judged to be a great success.  We had many visitors who wanted help of various kinds in either starting their family history or solving problems with their research.  Christine Carradice, the Reference Librarian at Nelson, estimated that over 100 extra people came into the library on that day.  Our thanks go to all those who came along to help out on the occasion.

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Our Society is undertaking an audit of its various services and is currently reviewing its various types of publication - microfiche, journal and website.  We would like to hear from any of our members who have any disability that makes it difficult to read any of our publications .. Is the typeface easy to read?  Is the font size too small?  Does the use of colour cause you any problem?  Please provide any additional information that could be of use by the Society in supplying publication material in a form that overcomes your difficulty. 

Please send or give your comments to either the Branch Secretary or the Executive Liaison Officer by the end of January 2004 

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Error in the microfiche of the Memorial Inscriptions for Briercliffe, Haggate and Hill Lane Baptists. 

Microfiche - B7 4,  Entry No C94 Headstone.  

The information that is incorrect is - MARIA was only 42 when she died.  Her husband was DICKEY STEPHEN not DICKEY HENRY.  Grandson Hiram was aged 3 weeks not 3 years. 

The correct inscription should read - 

HENRY SIMPSON of Brightville Terr. Harle Syke, died March 5th 1900 aged 65 years / GRACE his wife died August 17th 1909 aged 78 years / MARIA their son's wife died June 23rd 1915 in her 43rd year / DICKEY STEPHEN SIMPSON beloved husband of above died August 17th 1948 aged 78 yrs / Grand-children MAGGIE, aged 4 yrs/ ALLEN aged 2 yrs / HIRAM aged 3 weeks.

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The challenge for Family History Societies as they face the future is to embrace new technology and serve their members' needs - Guy Etchells gets all Darwinian

Many times in recent years I've heard it said that the Internet will sound the death knell for family history societies - it provides access to records in a way that societies cannot, ultimately making them obsolete.  That is only true if the societies do not meet their members' needs and/or refuse to adapt to the new technology.  This means catering not only for members who are able to come to the monthly meetings but also providing value to members who may be in the same town or thousands of miles away but are unable, for whatever reason, to attend the meetings.  The Internet provides this opportunity both by allowing for pay-to-access parts of FHS websites and free-access databases. 

The majority of societies now have a website in one form or another, from those that merely give information about the society to those who include a mailing list or forum for members to ask questions and help each other online.  A few of the better sites even provide a range of databases that may be searched online; this concept should be pursued further.  

It is possible to develop a website that provides open-access pages which may be viewed by all users of the Internet; password-protected pages that may only be viewed by the entering of a password (which would come with society membership); and pay-to-view pages which may only be accessed upon payment of a fee.  Some, of course, already offer this latter facility through the Federation of Family History Societies website.  

Developing a website is not in itself going to save societies, to do that they must provide a unique and valued service for their membership.  This may mean drawing away from the standard baptism, marriage and burial - and even census indexes - that have formed the backbone of society production, as these are being efficiently provided elsewhere in a manner with which the societies cannot compete. Instead, the societies should perhaps turn to other forms of records or add extra value to make their offerings more appealing.  

Resources that could be provided include apprentice's lists, poor law records, various tax lists, newspapers etc.  Take, for example, this advertisement from Cresswells Nottingham and Newark Journal of May 1775: 

"Whereas Robert Marriott, of the parish of South Normanton, in the county of Derby, f.w.k., about three weeks ago left his family, which is become chargeable to the said parish:- He is about thirty years of age, near five feet five inches high, dark coloured flank hair, fresh faced, had on when he went away a light coloured coat and sheep skin breeches... "

Such advertisements are a boon to the family historian - they provide details of an ancestor not found elsewhere. The time spent compiling a database of such entries makes this an uneconomical exercise for profit-based organisations, but not necessarily for family history societies. There is myriad of similar material stored in archives up and down the country which never sees the light of day - but which when made easily available will flesh out the bones of your ancestors. 

One such database could be provided free on a society's website and would give added value to those members who can't attend meetings. It may also work as a loss-leader and entice people to view the rest of the family history society's website and perhaps even join. 

Any society that does not address the needs of its members, does not create enthusiasm within the membership, without enthusiasm there can be no projects, without projects there is eventually no society. The challenge is there: Adapt or Decline. 

Reprinted with permission of the author - Guy Etchells. 

Published in "Your Family History" magazine, December 2003, page 47 

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This may be of interest to members with Catholic ancestors in the Diocese of Salford which includes the old Hundreds of Salford and Blackburn, and other areas, as far north as Slaidburn and Dunsop Bridge. 

For the last 20 to 30 years, church-going in general has been declining, and the Catholic Church has suffered just as the other churches.  The Bishop of Salford initiated a consultation process with the clergy and people of the diocese about the future.  The falling numbers attending church and the diminishing number of priests means that there has to be some reorganisation of the deaneries in the diocese, that some parishes would no longer have a resident priest, that some parishes would merge and that some churches would be moved and others would be lost. It was recognised that some churches held a special place in peoples' devotions, e.g. St.Mary, Mulberry Street (The Hidden Gem) and it was proposed that the special church in each Deanery would be designated a Gem church.  There was no diocese-wide plan but it was for each deanery to produce a plan that would work for that Deanery. 

St.Gregory's Deanery, Burnley has produced a plan for its future. Some parishes will be amalgamated and the parishes grouped into clusters to work together.  There will be some changes in church buildings.  

The Gem church for the deanery will be St.Mary (Burnley) 

Holy Trinity Church at Brierfield has been closed (for Health and Safety reasons.  The last mass at Brierfield was held at the end of December 2003.  St.Ursula (Cotton Tree) - Chapel of Ease served from Sacred Heart, Colne, was closed at the end of December. 

The following parishes will be amalgamated, but initially the existing buildings in each parish will be kept.  A formal process of establishing new parishes may take place later. 

The following parishes will be 'clustered'. 

Information from Jim Lancaster & Brenda I Hustler

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Articles for publication can be submitted by:- 

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LFH&HS Pendle and Burnley Branch 2004