The Gazette
Pendle and Burnley Branch
  Issue No.31 - July 2008 Acting Editor: Brenda I Hustler    


 1   Annual Dinner  9   Projects
 2   Local History Fair 10  Help Tutorials
 3   Branch Open Day 11  Diary Dates (What's on)
 4   Situations Vacant 12  A Soldiers Memories
 5   Society Resource Centre 13  Lancashire Record Office
 6   Programme 14  Query Corner
 7   Library 15  Federation News
 8   LancashireBMD Project 16  Items for publication



Friday 12th September at 7.30 pm.
Rochdale Town Hall, The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AB

Speaker on the night will be Ian Tootell, M.B.E. talking about "The humour of police work" 

The Society's Annual Dinner has been organized this year by Rochdale Branch. Details of the menu and a booking form for the event were in the May edition of "Lancashire", the Society's journal. Why not join other members of the Society at a social event? You will more than likely enjoy yourself and it could then become a habit.



A celebration of the 60th anniversary of the society
Saturday 1st November 2008 11 am. to 4 pm. St Peter's Church, Burnley


Saturday 8th November, 10 am to 3.30 pm, Colne Library

    The branch "Open Day" will be held at Colne Library this year. It will be on the library balcony with the use of computers. There will also be the use of all the resources in the local studies area. It is hoped that we will be able to set up an exhibition prior to the event. Our open days are usually very busy events with members of the public wanting advice on family history research. Can you help out at the event, even for just an hour or so? You will enjoy it. Please let Jean know if you would be able to help.

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  •  The role of the Programme Secretary is to provide a varied and interesting programme for the following year.  The main activity is contacting and booking speakers for the branch meetings.  This is fairly straightforward as a list of potential speakers is available and also our members sometime recommend speakers they have heard at other meetings.

  •  Invitations to speakers are made initially by phone or post.  Envelopes, stamps etc. are provided.  The fee required is agreed and any equipment the speaker might need is noted.  This is then followed up with a confirmation letter by post with directions, and possibly a map if the speaker hasn't ventured into our area before.

  •  A week to 10 days before the actual meeting the speaker is contacted, usually by phone, to confirm that everything is in order (and just to make sure they have not forgotten!).

  •  On the night, the speaker should be made welcome and given any assistance required.

  •  The other part of the job is to arrange our annual out-visit.  Local places visited in the past have ranged from museums and castles to breweries!  This is not as difficult as it might sound, and for the first year I would be more than happy to help with this.

  •  The Programme Secretary is a very enjoyable and worthwhile post, especially satisfying if you like meeting people.  Full assistance will be given as long as required and already half the bookings have been made for 2009. 

Submitted by Jean Ingham

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    The resource centre is now open every Thursday afternoon from 1pm to 5 pm.

    More volunteers are needed to staff the centre so that it can be opened on other days, possibly Saturday or Sunday.  If you have not already been to visit the LFHHS Resource Centre, it is near to Oswaldtwistle Mills.  The following is a link for a map of the area:

    If you would like to volunteer to help out, please contact or see Brenda or David Hustler.

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

     •  20 August Open Night & Practical Evening
     •   3.September Out-visit to Lancashire Record Office
  (Limited number of places, pre-booking essential)
     •  17.September Early Loom-shops - Kathy Fishwick
     •  15 October World of Antiques - Derrick Sanderson
     •  29 October Practical Evening
     •  19.November White Feather - John Hartley
     •  10.December Christmas Festivities (by ticket only)

Jean Ingham, Acting Programme Secretary.

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    I would like to say "Thank you" to everyone who sent their good wishes following my recent accident.  Special thanks to Mary Jackson who acted as librarian during my absence.

Margaret Heap, Branch Librarian.

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    All Non-Conformist marriages are now on the website and work is ongoing for Church of England marriages from 1900 to 1950.  Many thanks to all involved in this project, especially to those who have taken over my work when I have been unavailable.

Christine Windle, Lancashire BMD Project Coordinator

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    A marriage index for Burnley St Peter's 1812-1837 has been completed and work continues on the transcriptions of the registers for Earby Cemetery; St.Mary's, Newchurch-in-Pendle; St. John's, Great Marsden; Holy Trinity, Burnley; and Baptisms for St.Mary's, Nelson.

    Thanks go to all those working on these projects. Will anyone interested in working on branch projects, please contact me.

 Bob Ellis, Project Coordinator

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    As we now have several members who are new to family history, we are having a short tutorial lasting about 20 minutes at every branch meeting.  This is held during the research time, after the speaker.

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4th Celebration of Family History, Saturday 2nd August 2008
    11 am to 5 pm Astley Hall, Chorley - Admission Free
    There will be 5 short talks during the day in the Great Hall
   • 11:30 Notables in the 1881 Census
   • 12:30 DNA Basics
   •  1:30 DNA & Family History
   •  2:30 Using Family Tree Maker 2005
   •  3:30 Using Family Historian V3
    For more information see: Email - Tel - 01257 262028


All meetings are held at The LFHHS Resource Centre, 2 The Straits, Oswaldtwistle on Saturdays
Saturday 9th August 2008, 1 pm to 4.30 pm

  • NURSES AT THE CRIMEA 1854-1856
    Speaker Maureen Fitzgibbon
    Saturday 11th October 2008, 1 pm to 4.30 pm
    Enquiries to Miss , 128 Red Bank Road, Bispham, Blackpool, Lancashire FY2 9DZ


    Gateshead International Stadium 
    Saturday 13th September 2008, 10 am to 4.30 pm 
    Admission £3.00, Accompanied Children under 15 Free 


    The Milton Rooms, MALTON, North Yorkshire 
    Saturday, 20th September 2008, 10 am to 4 pm
    Admission £1 Accompanied Children under 16 - Free


    3rd Floor, Clayton House, 59 Picadilly, Manchester M1 2AQ
    Saturday 27th September 2008, 11 am to 3 pm, Tel: 0161 236 9750


    Crossgates Community Centre - Seamer
    Saturday, 11th October 2008 10 am to 4 pm
    Admission £1 Accompanied Children under 16 - Free


    Also celebrating 08 Liverpool Capital of Culture, St George's Hall, Liverpool 
    Saturday 1st November 2008, Admission £2, Under 16 free
    Talks by Dr Nick Barratt - Family History & the Media
    Mr David Stoker - The World in One City? Family History Sources and Services in Liverpool Record Office
    Rev Professor D Ben Rees - The Welsh Immigration to Liverpool (1750-2007)
    Admission £2 on the door, £4 for those wishing to hear any of the talks.
    Seating for talks limited to 70 - first come first served.


    The University of Hull
    Saturday, 22nd November 2008 10 am to 4 pm
    Admission £1 Accompanied Children under 16 - Free

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    Binders for your ‘Lancashire’ journal are on sale only £3.50 each, see David Hustler


Submitted by Arnold Slater

    My grandfather, George Cammell, seems to have spent his working life in uniform.  He enlisted in the army at the age of 16 and served in three wars.  When he wasn't in the army he was working as a tram driver.  He is the reason that I became interested in my family history, when a relative asked me if I knew what had happened to George's poem about the Boer War.  I inherited "George's Box" which contained several items of his memorabilia, and amongst them was the poem, hand-written by him, of his experiences during the Boer War.

George's Poem


I have been asked, for a slight account, how we bore the Battles Brunt
I'm afraid I cannot tell you all we went through at The Front
But I will try my level best, as my memory still seems clear
To tell a tale, of the TRANSVAAL WAR, that you might like to hear

T'was a Southampton's dismal evening, when our food ship sailed away
And after twenty-one days at sea, we sighted TABLE BAY
The day before we left the ship, we were running here and there
As fatigues are very common, when disembarking anywhere

At last came the final orders, to parade at eleven and three,
These orders were given and taken by every-one with glee
If I said it was more like a picnic, I should not be far from right,
Instead of just commencing one of England's Greatest Fights

The time went by very slowly, whilst waiting for that train,
Which had to take us to the front, to help in our Country's strain
Every-one of us were eager, and all ranks in good trim
Only waiting for the pleasure to get our first shot in

We were packed away in carriages, some First, some Second, some Third
My place was very unpleasant, for this you must take my word,
About 4 p.m. we steamed away, not certain where too
What matter, so long as we had to fight, or what hardships we went through

We rushed along from place to place, just stopping for a feed,
It seemed as if the whole army depended on our speed
For two long days, with dreary nights, eight of us tried our best,
To sleep in this compartment and get our needed rest

We were not sorry when we ceased our long and cramped up ride
The language that was used that day from you I'll try and hide
We detrained all in good order and paraded every man
And marched up to our precious Tents on this Far Famed Field GRAS-PAN

At this place we got the order for the following day to march
Which proved as we expected both long, and stiff as starch
The first day's march was easy which we did without a shiver
But worst of all, during the War was from RAM-DAM to RIET RIVER

Some said that march was not so long but as sure as I'm alive
Instead of being fifteen miles I'll swear twas twenty-five
It was here we ran short of water and the horrors of thirst we felt
As many of our finest men were scattered about the VELDT

We arrived in camp about five o'clock with sore and blistered feet
And found our haversacks empty with nothing there to eat
We looked at each other for some time asking, Whatever made us Enlist?
As between us, and our rations there seemed to be a mist

We went on out-post, that very night far too hungry there to sleep
Next morning to our great relief we espied a herd of sheep
We turned our camp to a slaughter house with our knives we took the lead
And killed, and skinned, and cooked the meat and enjoyed our hard earned feed

From this place we had a night march in several drenching showers
And marched to a drift called WATERFALL in just about seven hours
We did not think much of this march as none of us did tire
Only falling over rocks & stones and tripped up with barb-wire

Next morn we heard we had to fight as Boers meant to stop our advance
But they failed in this as they did before and we made them fairly dance
I am not going to boom it up but tell the truth I shall
They galloped off at their full speed when we entered JACOBSDAL

15th of February, we entered this place and orders received, pleased each rank
As we heard by our good marching we'd got on the enemy's flank
Our hearts filled with pride as we heard it and knew in the end we should gain
As the Boers were in position at their famous MAGERSFONTEIN

The morn we meant to attack them what we heard could not be believed
As they had left their strong position and KIMBERLEY was relieved
They cheated us out of this fight as we wanted to see the fun
But what does it matter to you or I so long as the day was won

During our stay in Jacobsdal we often went hungry to bed
At this place rations were scarce we'd forgot the taste of bread
Still we have had a lot of fun and laughed for many an hour
Whilst mixing and knocking into shape our half a pound of flour

We had this issue about six days making pancakes and dumplings like lead
When we were told some bakers were going to bake us bread
Whoever called them bakers tried to boom up their profession
As they made our bread like Lydite Shells and gave us indigestion

We had wood fatigues and picquets parades to occupy our mind
And often down the river a rifle there we'd find
We'd little crime while stationed here as no one thought of lashing
Still I was sorry for those men who ate their Emergency Ration

We got wet through, a good few times with bivouacks blown to the ground
And generally at meal times a sand-storm could be found
It is not a very nice flavour for sand to be mixed with Beef
But remember, its Active Service and any feed is a relief

The Brigade was one day ordered to leave old Jacobsdal
And march South-East for 23 miles to a camp they called BRANSVAAL
We'd gone about some seventeen miles when a drift seemed to blow our way
So we laid on the Veldt there shivering waiting till break of day

We arrived in camp at seven am. or about that I should think
Patiently waiting for the time when we could get a drink
We do not term this drink as beer as that we seldom see
You must remember on the field all soldiers are T.T.

Next day at one pm we marched and we twenty - two miles we dealt
To find it like the other one another night on the veldt
These nights were not very pleasant but we all seemed to be in a drove
When about 6 am we entered our camp at POPLAR GROVE

This march was interesting at least that's what I heard
We passed where CRONJE had his fight on the hills of PAARDIBERG
We gazed at this place for a time where our troops were bravely led
Thoughts of our Brilliant Victory and of our GALLANT DEAD

A few camps I shall have to leave as there's nothing striking to tell
For some of them I can't pronounce never mind me trying to spell
But KNEEKOP was one in fifty where water was not to be had
Except at a pool four miles distant some raced to this water like mad

For when you are awfully thirsty with parched lips, and throat very dry
You feel that it would be a blessing to lay down quietly and die
But when a good drink is brought you your life seems at a stake
But you bear it all like a soldier for your Queen and Country's sake

Thirst is one of our great hardships while going through any campaign
But we always keep this to ourselves and seldom we complain
Of course we have other hardships but I shall not mention them
For we bear them like no others can as true born British Men

At one camp where we called at seemed very strange to me
As the water we had for drinking was the colour of our Kharki
It was Kharki this, and Kharki that from morn till late at night
I think I am quite justified to call this a Kharki fight

We had long and tiring marches which put us to a test
When we arrived at POUNDISFORD we got a few days rest
We did not want to be stationed here as our object we'd yet to gain
So we were not sorry when we marched and camped at BLOEMFONTEIN

We almost got washed out here being camped on a level plain
You can easy picture Bivouacks during a drenching rain
Duty here was very easy except parades just now and then
But this was a big Garrison of about 35000 men

You would laugh to see us shopping when we tried to do our best
But this above all other work we heartily detest
You should have seen us carrying bread with no cover for it to hide
We thought more of our appetites than of our Military Pride

No matter what we asked for seemed to thrill us with a fear
As everything we wanted was exceptionally dear
All we wanted was some eatables the price struck us with dismay
We could not get so very much on one and three per day

I am sure we should be bankrupt if they had not moved us then
And sent us to a shady part a place they called THE GLEN
It was here we got some splendid news for the following day to fight
As the Boers were in position to our front, and left, and right.

This march was not so very long as the position we could see
But not the Boers in waiting for us around KARREE
You know the way the Boers fight on hills, behind a boulder
Before they try to pop us off with their rifles at their shoulder

We advanced, over a little hill and got nicely on the plain
When a good few Mauser bullets said we must cover gain
We retired a couple of hundred yards and laid down there until
Our artillery had opened fire and shelled about this hill

Our second advance was very good considering such a position
It seemed as if we had to march on ne'er heeding the Boers decision
When we got the order for the Charge determination was on every face
We did not think when we reached the top we'd be challenged for a race

But just our luck they galloped off performing a very good wheel
They did not want to see the fun of how we use cold steel
A retirement is their best movement when our advance they cannot stay
So they took the chance while they had it giving us a victorious day

Our loss that day was about eighteen five of our men were killed
But we have to pay for victory as their death it was so willed
They gained a soldiers grave that day and their glory shall not cease
While they are laying on that hillside may they all rest in peace

At the end of a fight there is sorrow and many a poor heart sad
When the wife is deprived of her husband and the fond mother of her lad
But some must fall in action to uphold our Country's Laws
Write their names with the list of heroes who has fell in England's Cause

We cannot speak too well of them now they are dead and gone
And cheer their friends the best we can whom they are parted from
They nobly did their duty which could be plainly seen
Whilst rushing that position for their Country, Home and Queen

We went on out-post shivering with cold and stayed out there all night
This was the finishing touch of our great Karree fight
Our appetites they seem to swell when we have not much to eat
But they generally get satisfied with a biscuit and tinned meat

We had five weeks stay around Karree what some people called a rest
Which proved to be just simple work when we tried to do our best
We made some roads and Sangurs when we'd have liked to sleep
And when we went on piquet they kept us near a week

We'd fatigues, patrols, and sentries by day as well as night
To keep in touch with the other piquets on our left and right
Our clothes by this had worn right out when we thought of sugar bags
To make a better suit for us as our others were all rags

I got quite tired of patching while we were in this station
So I was with the other ones with plenty of ventilation
You would laugh to see us sewing with Thread, Black, Red, and White
And the terrible size of patches were not a pleasant sight

One day we got a full rig out from a new suit to a pair of laces
Our old ones we had to burn for fear of leaving traces
Our tents arrived one afternoon but our stay in them was short
As we'd received the final orders to march, and take BRANDFORT

This march was very near eight miles which we did with a good will
And about 11 am had breakfast under cover of a hill
We were laying about this hillside when a fifteen pound Boer shell
Came rushing along like a whirlwind and in rear of our Regiment fell

They used them very freely after they'd tried the first
But the greater part of all their shells fortunately did not burst
We received our orders later to take a position that was hot
Where we managed to dislodge them without firing a single shot

Another day's work was over for our Country, and our Queen
Then we marched down to a quiet place and camped at ZUARFONTEIN
We expected to leave the following morn without the slightest jest
But we were told about 8 pm we had another day's rest

The next march was nearly twenty-three miles which we found both rough and hard
As we were on that awful job they call the Baggage Guard
We reached our camp just after dark having marched at a tidy pace
ENGENVONDEN was its fancy name but such a horrid place

Our marches after this were long making the best of those so drear
You must remember I am in the 1st East Lancashire
We had marched about two hundred miles over that sandy plain
When we pitched our camp one evening at a place called ORFONTEIN

There were few of us who would fall out although some of us were ill
No matter what disease we had we got a number 9 pill
These pills were very mysterious and they are very hard to beat
As we got them when we'd fever and when we had sore feet

A place we stayed the night at its name is not at hand
But I think its somewhere on the map just south of River ZAND
We were nicely settled down in camp some passing the time with song
When someone said in a quiet voice put your Boots and Puttees on

A Regiment had gone to hold a drift to prepare for our next days fight
And we were going to help them at a moments notice that night
But they did not require our assistance as the Boers kept away from them
So they left us in camp till morning when we left about 5 am

About 8 o'clock that morning we had reached that River Bank
When the Boers opened fire from a Battery directly on our flank
But our guns were there in an instant and rushed well out on the plain
And poured forth their Deadly Mizzles at the Boers again and again

They stood well to their guns in the open and their courage we all must admire
As the Battery was almost out of sight being covered with shell fire
But each of them knew their duty and stood by their dangerous task
Yes ! selling their lives for their Country and would have stood till the last

The positions were strong against us being shaped like a side-ways S
You ask did we manage to take them my simple answer is yes
Two Kopjies we took in succession and our loss was very light
One of our men was killed that morning and buried about seven that night

There were five more men who were wounded during the action that day
The Boers suffered awful, They told me so that I can truly say
Heard their loss was sixty odd and smashed up a Pom Pom
But the news was never yet confirmed that we captured a Long Tom

The poem seems to be unfinished or perhaps the last page has been lost.  A map is shown of where George served in South Africa

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Map courtesy of

Copy from Nelson Leader, March 7th 1941

    The interment took place in St.Paul's Churchyard, Little Marsden, on Saturday, of the remains of Mr.George John Cammell, of 74 Halifax Road, Brierfield, whose death, at the age of 66, occurred on the previous Wednesday.

    For over 30 years he was employed as a tram driver by the Burnley Corporation tramways Department, and will be well remembered by the travelling public.

    At the age of 16 years, Mr.Cammell joined the Army, and served in India for a time, spending Christmas, 1895, at Lucknow.  At the outbreak of the South African War he was drafted to that country, serving throughout the campaign.

    Returning to civilian life, he became a member of the staff of the Tramways Department.  He had finished his period on reserve when the 1914 war broke out, but he rejoined the Army, and was posted to the 9th Batt.East Lancashire Regiment.  After serving in France for about two months, he was transferred to Salonika.

    He rose to the rank of sergeant, which he retained to the end of hostilities.  During the present war he was again anxious to serve his country in an active role, and was one of the earliest members of the Home Guard, taking part in the formation of the Brierfield section, in which he was given the rank of sergeant.  His Army experience stood him in good stead as an instructor, and he had charge of the armoury department.

    A member of the South African Veteran's Association, he frequently figured in their parades, carrying the banner of the British Legion.  He had held the office of secretary in connection with the Earl Haig Poppy Fund.  A popular member of the British Legion and the Conservative Club, he will be much missed.  He leaves a widow, one son and two daughters.

    Mr.Cammell's remains were interred on Saturday in St.Paul's Churchyard, Little Marsden.  The Rev.E.Pugh conducted the service at the house and at the graveside. The Home Guard, in which the deceased had been a sergeant, formed a guard of honour, being in charge of Lieut.B.Ingham (Commander) and Sergt-Major Plant.  They fired a volley over the grave, and the buglers, Messrs.W.Keeting and W.Ingham, sounded the "Last Post" and the "Reveille."  The bearers were members of the Home Guard, Quartermaster Roche and Sergeants Jordon, Stevenson, Taylor, Curry and Buck.  The firing party comprised Cpl.Bates, L/Cpl.Gale and Privates G.Sumner, W.Robinson, H.Waddington, W.Taylor, A.Lyons and W.Bartle.

George Cammel (left) and his tram

The mourners were :-
    Mrs.Cammell, Mr.W.Cammell, Miss D.Cammell, Mrs.Slater, Miss J.Cater, Mr.and Mrs.Meecham, Mr.and Mrs.Jarrold, Mrs.Sunter, Mr.Aldred, Mr.Watts, Messrs.R.Moore (Conservative Club), J.Thistlethwaite (Brierfield Working Men's Club), A.Butcher (British Legion), Councillor W.Dixon (Benevolent Committee, British Legion), 'Bus Inspector Simpson, Messrs.Birtwistle, Dawe and Baldwin (checkers), McAuly (drivers), Ablett (conductors), Mr.Holmes, Mr.Fishwick (South African Veterans' Association).

Floral tributes were from:-
    Wife, family and Jessie; Sister Annie, Ben and family; Sister Nellie and family; Polly and family; Fred and Amy; Bob, Laura and family; Evelyn and George; Mr.and Mrs.Slater (Bournemouth); Laura (London); Jack and Flo; Fred and Annie; Mr.and Mrs.Lindow; Mr.and Mrs.Carman; Mr.and Mrs.Pollitt; Mr.and Mrs.Moore; Mr.and Mrs.Taylor; Peggy and Betty; Annie, Arnold, Keith and Howard (Burnley); Mr.and Mrs.Wright; Mr.and Mrs.Bert Ingham, Mr.and Mrs.Dixon and Annie; Mr.and Mrs.Chapman; the neighbours; Peter and Shirley; Jeanie Norton; British Legion Benevolent Fund; Conservative Club members and committee; officials and committee, Walter Street Working Men's Club; members and committee, British Legion Club; officers, N.C.O's and men of the Home Guard; Transport and General workers' Union; Jennie, Billy and Eddie (Reading).

    The arrangements were carried out by Mr.W.Dixon, Pickering Street, Brierfield.

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Saturday opening dates - Office open from 10 am. to 4 pm

 9 August 2008, 13 September 2008,  11 October 2008, 
 8 November 2008,  13 December 2008,

LANCAT - Lancashire RO online catalogue is now available at ..


DDX 1344 acc.10380 : Pupil cards and files for Burnley Grammar School, 1919-1981 including photographs from around 1959 and for Burnley High School for Girls, 1923-1981 including photographs from 1956.

DDX 2586 : SCOTT family papers relating primarily to the Scott family of Burnley.  The Collection includes correspondence; employment records; memorial cards; rent books for property in Burnley; accounts sales particulars and plans for Naze Mount Farm and Estate; accounts and agreement relating to Sir John Thursby's acquisition of John Hargreaves Colliery.

DDX 2663 : Photographs of medieval scratch dial at St.Michael's C.E.Church, Bracewell, 1991

CUBF : Brierfield Congregational Church, (formerly Providence Independent Chapel, Little Marsden) - Baptism register 1836-1979, marriage register 1931-1984, church meeting minutes 1969-2000

DDX 1863 acc.10356 : Notebook belonging to Lawrence HALSTEAD of Marsden Heights - detailing accounts of his business.  The notebook includes an assessment of inhabitants in Little Marsden in 1806, 1803-1953

DDX 2661 : Postcard of a procession by the congregation of "St. Mary's" through Burnley 7.Jul.1914

P 197/1 : Copy wills of John LANDESDALE /LONSDALE of Padiham, Yeoman, 1651 (probate 19.Sep.1653) and Edward HOLT of Sefton Town, gent, 1652 (probate 15.Sep.1653)

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    Federation of Family History Societies, PO Box 8857, Lutterworth  LE17 9BJ

    to bring more British Historical Records to a Worldwide Audience
    UK family history website has announced the start of a new partnership with US-based FamilySearch (  The two family history organisations have been awarded licences by The National Archives of the United Kingdom (TNA) to digitise and make available both the 'Chelsea Pensioners' retired soldiers records between 1760 and 1914, and the Merchant Seamen's collection of records dating from 1835 to 1941.

Chelsea Pensioners and militia records
    The three-year digitisation project will scan eight million images from the War Office's 'Royal Hospital Chelsea Soldiers' Service' documents dating from 1760 and 'Militia Attestation Papers' documents from 1870, through to 1913.  These records bring to life the comings and goings of pensioners in the Royal Hospital Chelsea, including each ex-serviceman's name, age, birthplace and service history, as well as details of physical appearance, conduct sheet, previous occupation, and in some cases the reason for discharge. After 1883, details of marriages and children may also appear.

Merchant Seamen records
    The partnership will also digitise the Board of Trade's merchant seamen records from the periods 1835 to 1844 and 1918 to 1941.  The documents will be made available online to enable people to easily search the names, dates and places of birth of ancestors who served as merchant seamen.  Many of the twentieth century records include portrait photographs of the sailors as well as personal details and summaries of the voyages they served on.  The records include people of many nationalities and women's service records.  Nearly a third of UK families have ancestors who served as a merchant seaman, this series of records are of huge importance to the nation's heritage and history.

Digitisation partnership will create indexes and transcriptions to enable members of the public to easily search the records online at both and, while FamilySearch will be responsible for scanning the images on site at The National Archives.

    With effect from 1 April this year the General Register Office (GRO) ceased to be part of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and became part of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS).  There are now plans to integrate the GRO website into the DirectGov website which acts as a portal for many different Government websites - see   The FFHS was invited to give its thoughts on this, which it did at the beginning of May. Concerns have been expressed over the possibility of the GRO website being lost among many other websites and so much more difficult to find.  Perhaps the point should be made that entry via DirectGov should be an additional option rather than the only one.

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    The National Archives has been leading a review and revision of the records management code of practice, issued in November 2002 under section 46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.  You can contribute your views to the review by visiting:

    Consultation on the revised code of practice opened on 10 June 2008 and will close on 2 September 2008

    The National Archives' (TNA) has published a new Online Strategy.  It sets out how TNA will respond to changes affecting the organisation's online services over the next three years.

    The National Archives website will be restructured into a 'family' of websites, to reflect the organisation's different functions and meet changing customer needs.  A team is working across the organisation to develop the new websites, and to ensure there is minimum disruption to services and all links are redirected from the old to the new location.

    For more information visit:

    Ministry of Defence asks for views on transfer of historic records to TNA  The Ministry of Defence has launched a public consultation process regarding the transfer of historic Armed Forces Service Personnel records to TNA.  Members of the public are being asked for their views on the process the Ministry of Defence has developed to transfer to TNA records of soldiers, sailors and airmen who served in the Armed Forces between the two World Wars and for those who were members of the Home Guard during the Second World War.

    For more information visit:  Links to the various consultation pages can be found on the right hand side of the above webpage.

    Scotland Online, the internet services business and the parent company of family history website, has re-branded as brightsolid, in recognition of its evolving position in the UK business market.  brightsolid has recently acquired the leading family history company  The company also won the contract to digitise, license and publish the 1911 Census of England and Wales from The National Archives in Kew.  In addition brightsolid operates, which is a partnership between the General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon.

    brightsolid is owned by publishers D.C.Thomson (DCT) and Noble Grossart Investments (NGI).

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    In January 2009, the British Library will be starting a Collection Moves programme of low-use items. This is the largest programme of moves that have been undertaken since the opening of St.Pancras in 1998.

    The transfer of low-use items to a new storage facility in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire, will take place in phases.  This first phase will see 10.6% of their total collection transferred to Boston Spa.  During the first phase, these low-use collections will become unavailable to Readers.  The embargo period will start in January 2009 and last for a minimum of nine months.  This period of restricted access will not affect St.Pancras' high-use material such as rare books, manuscripts, maps, sound archive and music scores.

    The collection moves are taking place as the British Library needs to vacate current leasehold storage buildings. Firstly, they fail to provide adequate environmental conditions.  Secondly, the Library does not have the opportunity to extend the leases.  The moves will allow the British Library to rationalise their collection storage, provide future growth space and continue to act as guardians of the national collection.

    The planned closure of the newspaper library in Colindale and the transfer of the newspaper collections form a part of Phase Two of the Collection Moves programme, starting at the end of 2009.  The material stored at Colindale will be transferred on a staggered basis, and will only be unavailable to Readers whilst in transit.  This is expected to be a matter of weeks.  Moving the hard copy collections to the state-of-the-art storage conditions in Boston Spa will considerably improve their lifespan.  Microfilm will be stored and available at St.Pancras.

    More information on this can be found at:

    The background to Colindale Newspaper Migration Strategy can be found at:

FamilySearch and Team to Publish New Images and Enhanced Indexes to the U.S.Censuses
SALT LAKE CITY and FamilySearch, have announced that they will exchange records and resources to make more historical records available online.  The first project is a joint initiative to significantly enhance the online U.S.Federal Census Collection (1790 to 1930).  The original census records are among the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    FamilySearch is digitally converting master microfilm copies of the original U.S.Federal Censuses from 1790 through 1930 and, under this agreement, will give these improved images to  All census images and indexes will be available on for subscribers.  As projects are completed, images will be available for free in NARA reading rooms and FamilySearch's 4,500 Family History Centers., which currently offers indexes and images to the entire publicly available U.S.Federal Census Collection, will give FamilySearch copies of its existing census indexes.  Through its online indexing system and community of volunteer indexers, FamilySearch is already indexing select censuses.  FamilySearch will merge the indexes with the new FamilySearch indexes to create enhanced census indexes, which will be added to both sites.  Indexes to the enhanced censuses will be free on for a limited time as they are completed. Indexes will also be available for free on

    The first census exchanged is the 1900 U.S.Census.  FamilySearch completed a 1900 index in addition to's original.  In the new index, FamilySearch added several new fields of searchable data, such as birth month and birth year, so individuals can search for ancestors more easily.  The two indexes will be merged into an enhanced index, available on both sites.  The new 1900 census images are now available on The enhanced 1900 index will be available for free for a limited time at and ongoing at will also provide FamilySearch its original 1920 U.S.Census index.  Using the index as a first transcription, FamilySearch will create a new second index with added fields and arbitrate any discrepancies between the two indexes.  The 1920 project is currently in progress.  Individuals interested in helping create the improved index can volunteer at  Once completed, the enhanced 1920 index will be available on both sites and will link back to images on

   The 1850 through 1870 (partial) and 1880 and 1900 U.S.Censuses can be searched currently at; all publicly available U.S.Censuses are already available on

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FamilySearch Teams with and others to Broaden Access to All Censuses for England and Wales.  Online Volunteer Indexers Sought to Improve Select Collections.
    FamilySearch have announced that it is joining forces with, The Origins Network, and Intelligent Image Management-companies that specialize in providing online access to British family history resources-to make significant British historical record collections more broadly available online.  The first joint initiative seeks to publish online indexes to censuses for England and Wales from 1841 to 1901.  The 1841 and 1861 Census indexes are the first targeted under the agreement and are accessible now at and

    In the agreement, FamilySearch, in conjunction with The Origins Network, will provide digital images for the 1851, 1871, and 1881 Censuses.  It will also extend the 1871 Census index. will provide FamilySearch copies of its English and Welsh Census indexes from 1841 to 1901.  The Federation of Family History Societies will help complete the index for the 1851 Census.

    Initially, users of will be able to do a free search by record type, given name, surname, age, gender, place of birth, and relationship to head of household (relationship was not recorded in the 1841 Census).  The free search capability at will include additional fields of data in the future.  Users will be able to search the full indexes and view original images for free at FamilySearch's 4,500 Family History Centers or for a nominal fee at

    The addition of's English and Welsh Census Collections to FamilySearch's online databases will increase the use of the valuable record sets and increase traffic to

    FamilySearch will utilize its impressive online community of volunteer indexers to add more fields of data to select censuses.  When finished, the improved census indexes will be available on,, and  Individuals interested in volunteering as online indexers for British historical projects can do so at is the leading UK family history Website (formerly and has been instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today.  It has 800,000 active registered users, millions of historic document images, and 600 million records online dating back to 1538.  The comprehensive collections include military records, census, migration, occupation directories, current electoral roll data, birth, marriage, and death indexes.  It manages the Website for The National Archives of the United Kingdom and offers a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily.'s parent company is brightsolid (formerly Scotland Online).

    Intelligent Image Management Inc.(IIM), helps companies of all sizes reduce the challenges and high costs of managing data processing and other labour-intensive, back-office operations.  It has a proven track record of delivering accurate, reliable offshore outsourcing operations.  It has delivered superior results for highly demanding clients in a wide variety of industries since 1996.  IIM has 1400 dedicated full-time employees and is comprised of privately owned companies in the U.S, India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

About Origins
    The Origins Network (formerly was founded in 1997 and offers online access to some of the richest ancestral information available to help you research your family history.  Origins Network services include subscription access to exclusive genealogy related collections on British Origins and Irish Origins, plus expert Scottish Old Parish records research on Scots Origins.  OMS Services developed and operates The Origins Network (incorporating British Origins, Irish Origins, Scots Origins) & Burke's Peerage Online genealogical database services.  Its unique, primary genealogical data for researching family history online includes marriage registers, wills, court and apprentice records, as well as downloadable images of original maps and plans used in 19th surveys.  Most of this information is not available anywhere else on the Internet.

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© 2008 LFH&HS Pendle and Burnley Branch