The Gazette
Pendle and Burnley Branch
  Issue No.20 - November 2005 Acting Editor Brenda I Hustler    


 1   Membership Renewal 12  Strays
 2   Christmas Festivities 13  Probate Indexes in Colne Library
 3   Vice Chairman 14  Santa was a Rag Gatherer
 4   Irish Ancestry Group 15  Searching for Peter Briant
 5   Open Day 16  Electoral Registers
 6   Attendance at Branch Meetings 17  Pen & Ink Drawings
 7   Programme 18  Query Corner
 8   Library 19  Email Addresses
 9   Projects 20  Items for Publication
10  LancashireBMD Project 21  Programme 2006
11  Diary Dates (What's on) 22  Stop Press


    Its that time of year again. Membership renewal forms are in the November edition of "Lancashire" the society's journal.  Please help to ease the work-load of our membership secretary, by renewing your membership promptly. Christmas is a busy time for everyone, so do it sooner rather than later.


    You, the members, voted to have a speaker followed by cake and mince pies.  The speaker will be Mrs Sarah Greenwood talking about Christmas Cards.  Tickets are 3 each including a free raffle and these will be on sale at the November meetings.

Top of page


    David Taylor, our vice-chairman, has had to retire from the committee due to "real" work commitments.  The branch would like to thank him for all the work he has done in the past years as vice-chairman, programme secretary, Christmas party organizer / caterer and all the other jobs that he has done behind the scenes to aid the smooth running of the branch. Consequently, we now have a vacancy on the committee for a vice-chairman.  

    Volunteers to fill this vacancy should form an orderly queue in front of Jean at the next meeting.  

    And just to remind you, we still need an editor for the Gazette.

Top of page


    Do you have Irish ancestors in your family tree?  Are you having difficulty researching them?  You can get help and advice with your research if you go to the workshop and research afternoon being held by the Irish Ancestry Group at the Straits, Oswaldtwistle (about 200 yards from Oswaldtwistle Mill) on Saturday 3rd December 2005 from 1pm - 4.30pm.

    Cost 1.50 including tea/coffee and biscuits.  Please contact Margaret Purcell, 128 Red Bank Road, Blackpool FY2 2DA if you plan to attend or e-mail

Top of page


    The branch had another successful "Open Day" on Saturday November 12th, although it was not as busy as last year.  Barnoldswick library gave us the use of two computers for the day so Mike Howarth and Bob Dodgson were kept very busy accessing 'online' databases to do searches of the census.  Bob, Christine, David, Jean, John, Ken, Lynn, Margaret, Ralph, Tony and Brenda were joined by Ada Hannam, who has extensive knowledge of the Barnoldswick area.  Thanks to all who helped out at the event in whatever capacity.

    Thanks also to the staff at Barnoldswick library for the use of their facilities.

Top of page


    The chairman of the Society recently asked for attendance figures at our branch meeting for 2004 and 2005.  The results were as follows .. ..

  Overall average Meetings with speaker Practical workshops AGM (include the committee)
2004 40 44.9 30.75 24
2005 44.1 49.9 20.3 31

Top of page


    The Programme of Events for the coming meetings is shown below and can also be viewed on this website 

    16.Nov.2005        Trench Art - John Hartley

    30.Nov.2005        Practical Evening

    14.Dec.2005        Christmas Festivities (ticket only)

    Next year's programme is printed at the end of this Gazette.  Please keep this as your reference list.

Tony Mason, Programme Secretary.

Top of page


New acquisitions received for the library ..

    Book No 357 (Section 2) - "Writing Up Your Family History". 

New CDs: 

    CD001 - "The Young Family Historian by Bill Taylor 

    CD002 - " Church and Clayton-le-Moors Cemetery, Dill Hall Lane, Church, Lancs. Burial Registers 1889-1999


    An anonymous donor left a set of CDs for the 1891 census for London at Colne Library.  The branch would like to thank whoever made this donation.  It is a welcome addition to our resources.

Margaret Heap, Branch Librarian.

Top of page


    Work continues on several projects. 

    Haggate Baptist Chapel Registers for burials (1786 to 1857) and births (1762 to 1820) have now been corrected and transferred to a database from the old printed copies. 

    Brierfield Congregational Chapel Baptisms are now completed. 

    Earby Cemetery MIs were recorded by Rolls- Royce FHS some time ago and these have now been checked at the cemetery and updated. The information is in the process of being transferred to a database. 

    Burnley Cemetery Memorial Inscriptions - Checking of the 1400 MIs in the old part of the cemetery are almost complete. 

    Transcription of the 1901 census for Pendle District is nearing completion. 

    Colne St.Bartholomew's Church marriages and Newchurch-in-Pendle St Mary's Church, baptisms, burials and marriages are still in progress. 

    Trawden St Mary the Virgin Church - baptisms, burials and marriages have been transcribed and are being checked.

    Thank you to all those working on projects. 

Bob Ellis. Project Coordinator

Top of page


    The problem with uploading the Church of England marriage indexes up to 1900 onto the Internet has now been resolved.  The Register Office marriages will follow shortly.  A group of checkers is now visiting the new registration office in Preston to continue work on the births.  It is hoped that the births for Burnley will be complete by Christmas.  Births for Padiham, Pendle, Nelson, Barnoldswick and Colne will be started in the New Year.  This will be followed by work on the death indexes. 

Christine Windle, Lancashire BMD Project Coordinator

Top of page




    Local history day at St Peter's Church, Burnley Saturday 26th November 2005 10am - 4pm Fee - 10 including a cold buffet lunch three lectures 

    "Writing Down Memories , Lancashire People in the 1950s and 1960s" - Dr Alan Crosby 

    "Mary Hindle and her Transportation to New South Wales" - Mr Bill Turner 

    "Recording History in the 21st Century", including a practical workshop - North West Sound Archives 

    Booking form available in August from Margaret Jones, 46 Harewood Ave, Simonstone, Burnley. BB12 7JB


    New Earswick Folk Hall 10am to 4pm Saturday 26th February 2006. Admission 1 For further details contact Jan Wood on 01653 628952, e-mail:  


    The Memorial Hall, Chester Way, Northwich. Saturday 11th March 2006 Admission 1. For more details e-mail


Civic Hall, Pudsey Saturday 11th March 2006 10am to 4:30pm


Hulme Hall, Bolton Rd, Port Sunlight, Bebington, Wirral Sunday 12th March 2006 10am to 5pm Admission 2 (accompanied children under 16 free) 


The Centre in the Park, Norfolk Heritage Park, Guildford Avenue, Sheffield S2 2PL Saturday 1st April 2006 10am to 5pm Admission: Free 


Stockport Town Hall, Wellington Rd South, Stockport Sunday 2nd April 2006 10am to 5pm Admission 2 (accompanied children under 16 free)


The Victoria Hall, Keighley 10am to 4pm Saturday 22nd April 2006

Top of page


Submitted by David Threlfall 

Whilst checking and correcting transcriptions and indexes of the MIs for St.Cuthbert's Parish Church, Churchtown, Southport, I have come across the following entry which may be of interest to someone in the Pendle FHS

    "In loving memory of MARY BROADHURST (late of Colne) who died Sept 15th [191-].  Also of ANN LEIGH relict of late WM. LEIGH (late of Burnley) who died Sept 19th 1916."


Submitted by Jean Ingham 

    In this article I want to draw your attention to a little known family history resource housed in Colne library; Probate Indexes to Wills (officially known as Calendars).  This index is a record of all wills proved in England and Wales since 1858.

    Many family historians think that their ancestors never had enough money to leave a will and so neglect to search this source of family history.  If there was a will it could prove to be a genealogical treasure chest. 

    Your ancestor might have always pleaded poverty and then surprised his contemporaries by leaving a small fortune in his will.  Your interest in finding this document lies not just in how much money he had but in the possibility that it could just confirm a family relationship.  To ensure that any bequests went to the right people precise relationships would be specified.  Relatives in other parts of the country might also be mentioned. 

    Prior to 1858 wills were proved in an ecclesiastical court but since1858 they have been proved in a civil court.  Once the will has been authenticated in this probate court a Grant of Probate is issued so that the executors can distribute the legacies etc.  Anyone can then obtain a copy of a will.  It seems a little unfair that through life a person's financial affairs can be private but once they die, their will becomes a document available to public scrutiny. 

    A search in the Probate Indexes will indicate whether or not your ancestor actually left a will.  These Indexes list all the grants of probate which have been issued since 1858.  They have been compiled annually and are in alphabetical order of surname of the deceased.  

    The information in the indexes has varied over the years but essentially each entry will have the following: full name and address of the deceased, date of death, type of grant issued, the date of issue of the grant and at which Probate Registry, and the gross value of the estate.  Extra information at some period might be the addresses of the executors and their relationship to the deceased.  As in the following example from the Probate Index for 1887:- 

    "WILDMAN Robert, 1 June.  Personal Estate 996 16s 7d.  The Will with a codicil of Robert Wildman late of Colne in the County of Lancaster Bank Manager who died 4 January 1887 at Colne was proved at Lancaster by Ann Wildman of Colne Widow the Relict John Bayley Lees of Oaklands Church-lane Handsworth in the County of Stafford Iron Merchant and James Lascelles Wildman of Colne Bank Manager the Son the Executors".

    Sometimes the grim reaper caught someone without warning and the poor chap didn't have time to make his will. If the deceased did not leave a will i.e. died in testate but had above a certain amount of money or property a Grant of Administration would be issued by the Probate Court.  These are also recorded in the Probate Indexes.

    Entries are made in the calendar in the year in which either the grant of probate or administration was issued but this may not be the year in which the deceased died.  It means that a search may have to be made one, two or even several years after the date of death.  

    After consulting the indexes a will or a grant of administration may be bought for 5 by applying by post to the Probate Registry in York at:- The Postal Searches and Copies Dept, The Probate Registry, Castle Chambers, Clifford Street, York, YO1 9RG (DX720629 York 21) 

    (If for any reason you are unable to consult Probate Indexes, providing you definitely know the deceased's date of death and last address, you may still apply to York and the office will conduct a 3 year search) 

    A complete set of Calendars 1858-2004 is available for the public at First Avenue House in London, and most district Probate Registries and County Record offices have partial sets which do not cover the more recent years.  Colne library is in the rare and fortunate position of having one of these partial Probate Indexes, in this case for the period 1858-1943.  These can be searched during normal library opening hours by prior appointment.  Be warned, they are quite large and weighty volumes but it does save a journey to the County Record Office in Preston.  As the indexes include all grants issued throughout England and Wales, even if the will is of a butcher in Basildon, a carpenter in Caerphilly or a joiner from Jarrow it can be found right there in Colne library. 

    Note: Lancashire Record Office also have the later Indexes from 1943-1966.

Top of page


Submitted by Jean Ingham 

    This report in the Nelson Leader in the late1950s reminded me that the once familiar cry of "Rag an' Bones" is no longer heard on the streets.  Donkey stones were the normal payment for rags but this ragman was a bit more enterprising. 

    Santa Claus was fined 5 at Colne Court on Wednesday. 

    For this Santa - Nathaniel Wood, of Leeds - was a rag gatherer beneath his red robe and white beard. 

    It was disguised as Father Christmas that, according to School Attendance Officer James Dixon, of Park School House, Wood got "quite a crowd of children" gathered round him in Rutland Street on November 15th.  He was, Dixon told the magistrates, handing out small pamphlets inviting them to bring rags and woollens with them when they returned to school.  "It seemed to me rather a despicable trick," he said.  After lunch the witness watched from a side window and saw the children bring rags and suchlike to Wood.  If they had a jar they were given goldfish; if not they were given toys such as 'peepscopes'.  Very few of the children were accompanied by adults. 

    Wood was summoned for distributing toys to children under the age of 14 in exchange for rags, Mr Alan Haigh saying; "There is a very real danger of spreading this disease by this practice.  There is quite a good return for these rags and people can usually afford to ignore the law by giving toys worth a few pence in return for rags of considerable value.  They know that the maximum fine is 5."  

It was the maximum fine which the magistrates imposed on Wood.  "We are determined to stamp this sort of thing out," said Councillor John Shepherd.

Top of page


Submitted by Brenda I Hustler 

    Earlier this year I received a request, from Mary and Brian Jackson in Australia, for help in finding information on Henry JACKSON, who was born in Burnley 1805 to 1808 and was transported for seven years in 1830 for the felony of theft.  Mary also asked for advice on how to find a living person, namely Peter BRIANT.  Perhaps some of our members may have ideas on tracing this person. 

    Mary's aunt was a Nursing Sister at Berry Street Foundling Home in Melbourne, Australia. In 1937, she arranged for Mary's mother, then Miss Doreen Mandeville, to escort two-year-old Peter BRIANT to England.  The pair sailed on "The Orford" on the 5th January 1937.  On arrival in England, they were met by a member of the Travellers Aid Society, who took the young orphan to be cared for by grandparents.  Mary has some photographs of young Peter taken on board ship during their voyage and would like to give them to Peter. 

    Unfortunately, Mary's mother was not given the name of the grandparents nor where they lived.  A search has been made for Peter Briant on the electoral roll on and Mary has written to those found, but as yet has had no reply.  The Travellers Aid Society will not give her any information because she is not a relative and the Salvation Army say they are unable to help.

    Please contact me if you have any ideas, e-mail or write to Mary Jackson, 4-111 Through Road, Camberwell 3124, Victoria Australia.

Top of page


    Proposed changes to the Representation of the People Regulations 

    In 2002, the Government introduced new regulations concerning access to and the supply and sale of Electoral Registers.  This caused some confusion at the time in Library and archives services and also resulted in the withdrawal of the full version of the Electoral Registers from the shelves at the FRC.  Under the 2002 regulations, two versions of the Electoral Registers have been produced annually - a full version and an edited version.  The full version contains the names of all electors in every Parliamentary constituency but its distribution and usage has been restricted.  The edited version, which can be purchased by anyone for any purpose, does not include the names of members of the public who choose to have their names excluded [rather like a Telephone Directory which does not include ex-Directory numbers].

    The Consultation Paper, which was issued on 30th August 2005, proposes limited changes to the 2002 Regulations in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  The main proposals, as far as family historians are concerned, are:

  - To provide the National Library of Wales with a copy of the Full Electoral Register in the same way as the British Library and the National Library of Scotland are presently entitled.  After 10 years copies of the registers may be supplied to others for research purposes.  

  - To provide public libraries and local authority archives services with copies of the full registers if requested and to permit them to make the registers available for inspection under supervision.  After 10 years copies of the registers may be supplied to others for research purposes.

  - To provide the General Register Office in Scotland with a copy of the full electoral register in the same way as the Office for National Statistics is presently entitled.  FFHS Response to Consultation Paper can be found at: 

Top of page


    Ralph Peacock, one of our branch members has two pen and ink drawings by E CRAWFORD and dated 1922.  They are of HOLME HALL near Burnley & PIG HOLE FARM near Burnley and are shown below.  If anyone has any interests in the above properties or the artist, Ralph is willing to pass them on - e-mail  

    Does anyone know where Pig Hole Farm is? We hope the name is not a description of the farm.




Top of page


   Geoff's grandmother, Maggie BLAKEY was born in 1890 in Burnley.  She was the daughter of Joseph BLAKEY and Ann (nee DIXON).  Geoff has traced the BLAKEYs and DIXONs back to the late 17th century, living in Barrowford and Colne.  Some years ago, his grandmother gave Geoff an old family photograph album but as often occurs, there were no names on the photographs.  Geoff asks if anyone can recognize the people on these photographs.
   Marie's father Ronald HALSTEAD was born in Barrowford in 1910, but left the area in 1938.  She has inherited many photographs, but as usual, there are no names on them.  Can you help by identifying these young men?  The two shown in full were the best friends of Ronald HALSTEAD.  The one on the right is called Tom and if still alive will be about 95 years old. The other photograph is of two WW1 soldiers and it is thought that the one on the right is Varley HALSTEAD, Ronald's father but who is the one on the left.  Marie has several photographs of this young man and hence thinks that he must be part of her family.

Top of page



When the last issue of 'The Gazette' was posted out, several messages "bounced" and were returned as undeliverable.  If you have changed your e-mail address, please inform the branch secretary by e-mail.  This also applies to members who have their research interests posted on the branch website.


Items for publication should be sent to the Acting Editor - , 49 Stone Edge Road, Barrowford, Nelson Lancashire BB9 6BB

Top of page



3rd & 5th Wednesdays at COLNE Library at 7:30pm
18.Jan.2006 Photographs of Old Colne Colne Camera Club
15.Feb.2006 Victorian & Edwardian Leisure Ian Dewhurst
15.Mar.2006 A.G.M. & Practical Evening  
29.Mar.2006 Easter Eggs, Bonnets & Bunnies Ron Bolton
19.Apr.2006 Skeletons in the Cupboard Bill Taylor
17.May.2006 Outvisit . . . To be arranged
31.May.2006 Practical Evening  
21.Jun.2006 Scottish Ancestors Dan Muir
19.Jul.2006 Open Night  
16.Aug.2006 Local Canal Andrea Smith
30.Aug.2006 Practical Evening  
20.Sep.2006 Mother Ann Lee (Shaker Movement) Pat Colman
18.Oct.2006 Yorkshire Roots Michael Fisher
15.Nov.2006 Reluctant Soldiers (Conscription) Fred Holcroft
29.Nov.2006 Practical Evening  
13.Dec.2006 Christmas Festivities
    (by ticket only)

Top of page


    In the centre fold of your November edition of "Lancashire" there is a member's interest form to fill in.  Please note that this is a SOCIETY list.  


    If you want your interests listed on the BRANCH LIST, then you must fill in one of the branch forms available as a download on the branch website or obtainable as a paper copy from the branch secretary. 



Top of page

LFH&HS Pendle and Burnley Branch 2005