The Gazette
Pendle and Burnley Branch
  Issue No.36 - October 2009



  Image : St.Mary's Street, Nelson .. courtesy of North West Heritage Trust  

  1  Branch Open Day

  2  Diary Dates (What's on)

  3  Programme

  4  Library

  5  LancashireBMD Project

  6  Family History Surgeries

  7  Projects

  8  Publication Successes

  9  Towler Family part 2

10  Parkers of Holden

11  Lancashire Record Office

12  Federation News

13  Query Corner

14  Saving a Century

15  Resource Centre 

16  Items for publication

17  And Finally ..



Saving a century
celebrates 50 years
of The Victorian Society

More details, back page


Saturday 7th November,  10am to 3.30pm

    Barnoldswick Library,

    Fern Lea Avenue, Barnoldswick  BB18 5DW 

The branch "Open Day" will be held at Barnoldswick Library this year.  It will be on the library balcony with the use of computers and access to "Find My Past" will be available for that day only..  There will also be the use of all the resources in the local studies area.

An exhibition will be on display for the month of November.

Our open days are usually very busy events with members of the public wanting advice on family history research.  There will be a time limit of 20 minutes per person.  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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All meetings are held at The LFHHS Resource Centre, 2 Straits, Oswaldtwistle on Saturdays

    Saturday 5th December 2009, 1pm to 4.30pm

Enquiries to Miss , 128 Red Bank Road, Bispham, Blackpool, Lancashire FY2 9DZ

    St.George's Hall, Liverpool
    Saturday 24th October 2009 10am to 4pm.
    Admission 3 (Children under 16 free)

    Danum School, Armthorpe Road, Doncaster  DN2 5QD
    Saturday 24 October 2009,  9am to 4pm,   Admission 7.50 Lunch 7.50

Talks by:
   Richard Thornton -"Albert, Adultery and an Architect"
   Paul Jennings - "The History of Yorkshire Inns and Pubs"
   Susan Deal - "How Victorians Invented Christmas"
Limited research facilities available during coffee breaks and lunch

    Staff House, University of Hull, Inglemire Lane, Hull  HU6 7TS
    Saturday 7th November 2009, 10am to 4pm

    Batley Town Hall, Market Place, Batley, WF17 5DE
    Saturday 14th November 2009, 10am to 4pm
    Admission 2.00. Accompanied children under 16 free.
    There are plenty of free, long and short stay car parks in and around Batley

FAMILY HISTORY DAY hosted by Yorkshire
    The Arboretum, Castle Howard, near Malton, North Yorkshire  YO60 7DA
    23rd January 2010. 10am to 3pm
    Free admission. Free car parking

    Malpas Road, Northallerton  DL7 8TB .. One of a series of monthly talks
       Pray for the Poor of this Parish - Geoff Keeble A look at the historical records
       of poor people in an Upper Dales parish, including sources from the Record Office
       and elsewhere
    29th January 2010, Starting at 12.30 and lasting about 45 minutes.
    Entry fee 2 including light refreshments.
    To book places contact John Sheehan on 01609-771878

    International Slavery Museum, Albert Dock  Liverpool L3 4AQ
    7th August 2009 to 28th February 2010  Free admission

    London's Olympia Fri 26th-28th
    February 2010 at 10am to 4pm
    Further details at

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PROGRAMME FOR 2009 / 2010

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

  18.November Family Life in the Industrial Revolution - Alan Crosby
   9.December Don't you wish you hadn't said that! - Cliff Astin
    followed by Festive refreshments (Ticket only - 3 each,
    wil be available at the October and November meetings.
  20.January The Early Life of Winston Churchill - Smith Benson
  17.February Small Business families in the North West, 1760-1820 - Hannah Barker

 Jean Ingham, Acting Programme Secretary

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    Due to the closure of Colne Library for renovations lasting 16 weeks, all books, CDs and microfiche belonging to our Society have been packed up and are now being stored at the private homes of four members.  These will not be available again until our January meeting when the Library reopens. (Scheduled for 04 January 2010)

    Thanks to all who helped with the packing and transporting and grateful thanks to those members who have been able to provide storage.

Margaret Heap, Branch Librarian

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    The Register Office marriages have now been completed and forwarded for inclusion on the internet.  Recently Christine Broughton, Superintendent Registrar, brought to our attention a number, 177 in fact, of closed church and chapel registers that had not been transcribed; fortunately most are quite short.  So as not to break off the team working on transcribing the birth registers, Mary Jackson and Janet Knowles are inputting the information from these marriage registers directly onto the computer.

    This work is then checked and amended the same day, averaging 10 registers per day.

Christine Windle, Lancashire BMD Project Coordinator

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    Wednesday morning help sessions for family history will be held at Nelson Library on 28 October 2009 and 25 November 2009 10am to 12noon.

    Further sessions will be held at Colne Library when it re-opens in January.

    If you are willing to help out at these sessions, please let Chairman Jean know.


    Projects Officer still required - Any volunteers?

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    The branch website is "recognized" by Google's search engine so information and names published on the website will be listed in a search.  This includes items listed in the Gazette.  In recent months there have been responses to messages posted in past issues of the Gazette.  One of these was over two years old, the other over five years old.  So it pays to have queries printed.  The following messages have been received in recent months.

    From: Elizabeth Kamerin          To: editor @
    Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 7:17 am
    Subject: Emmett/Emmott family information

    Hello!  I just found your newsletter on line and have been actively searching information on my Emmett family relatives in Burnley.  Our furthest record is of Richard Emmett, born in Burnley c.1850.  Married to Emma Wragge (Ragg) (Sons James, Richard and Bernard all emigrated to the United States).  How would I go finding additional information through your newsletter?  The web popped on the Newsletter No.13, February 2004 regarding Bernard Emmett.  Would you mind forwarding my information to Glenda Goulden, Newmarket, Suffolk  CB8 0PX?

    Thank you in advance for your help, and for such a wonderful newsletter!

    Dinuba, California, US

    Research indicates that there is a strong possibility that Elizabeth and Glenda
      have the same Emmett ancestors.


    To: editor @
    Sent: Friday, September 18, 2009 3:55 am
    Subject: STANWORTH family books

    I read the portion in the Gazette from the lady with books she wants a Stanworth family member to have.  Your listing was "Stanworth Family Books"  My maiden name is Stanworth.  I am the family genealogist in the family and would love these books if they are still available.  Can you connect me with Alison Manley who sent out the query?

    These are definitely relatives of mine.


    P.S.  Can you also connect me with someone in your circle who can assist me with Stanworth genealogy lines there?

    Alison's article appeared in the October 2007 issue, and two years later
      it was found by a lady in America.

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    LFHHS has notified us that they will produce a directory of websites which can be used for genealogy
      (but don't hold your breath waiting for it !)


Submitted by Colin Beech

Part 2 - continued from the July edition of "The Gazette"

    There are other Towlers who may be connected with William, Thomas, Henry and David.  The following is an extract from "A Short History of Independent Methodism 1905" Colne and Nelson District, Blacko.

    "The Church at Blacko began about the year 1849, under peculiar conditions.  About this time, a Wesleyan Preaching Room was in existence in the village.  Amongst its members were William Towler, Thomas Stevenson, Mrs Stephenson, Christopher Wood, and others.  About 1849, Messrs, Everett, Dunn, and Griffiths were expelled from the Methodist Conference.  A certain portion of the members of Blacko church were in sympathy with the Conference, the rest in sympathy with the expelled ministers.  Among the latter was Thomas Stephenson.  A Reformed Wesleyan Church had been established at Waterside, Colne and Stephenson had been invited to preach for them.  At the quarter-day, subsequently held in Colne Wesleyan Chapel, he was questioned by the Superintendent Minister as to his preaching at Waterside, and asked if he was sorry for having done so.  He replied that he was not sorry.  The Superintendent then informed him that he was no longer a member of that meeting.  This action naturally increased the breach at Blacko until ultimately one party agreed to stand aside and allow the other to work the cause. 

    Mr Towler and his party, advocating the old Wesleyan principles, failed to succeed.  It had been agreed that if this party failed they should step aside and allow Stephenson, and those in sympathy with him, to have a trial in the same direction, the room and furniture to belong to the successful party.  The Church at Blacko continued to prosper until the old room became too small. About the year 1865 a plot of land was secured, and the present building erected thereupon and opened for public worship in March 1868.  This building is still standing albeit with only two stories, the top floor having been removed.  It was visited by the writer in September 2004.

    There is yet another reference to a William Towler, this time in America and associated with Hugh Bourne, one of the founders of Primitive Methodism.  In "Memoirs of the Life and Labours of Hugh Bourne," there is a reference to a brother Towler.  "I was with brother Towler - come from England - and at a class. Friday, the 13th (1846) I went with brother Towler to see the American liner ship the 'Montezuma;' and he spoke for a steerage passage to Liverpool .. "   Later in the same book there is a letter from William Towler, to Hugh Bourne, dated "South Shields, March 16th, 1832," on the subject of sending a missionary to the Norman Isles, &c; (I believe these to be the Channel Island).  It is not clear just which William Towler is referred to here but it is clear that whichever William it was, the influence of Methodism had spread very wide indeed in that family.

    In addition to the Towler family there are several other families who were connected, over a period of more than two hundred years, to Methodism.  They include, the Haworth family of Accrington, and the Beech and Yates families of South Yorkshire.  John Haworth is by far the most significant person to be associated with the history of the Towler family.  His daughter Jane married David Towler's son Edwin in 1891 and his son Walter married David's only surviving daughter Beatrice in 1892.  David Towler and John Haworth were both married in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, Accrington by Henry Smallwood, the then minister.  Jane and Edwin married at the same Chapel, but Beatrice married in the Wesleyan Chapel, Beesley Road, Warrington.

    John Haworth formed a close connection to the Methodist church when he was very young.  He was the son of Joseph Haworth and was probably born in Oswaldtwistle in 1829.  His father, Joseph, is listed in the 1851 census as a general labourer and John as a Power Loom Weaver.  In "The Story of Local Wesleyanism" by R.J.Wylie, there is an entry regarding John which reads as follows:

    "Some 70 years ago (1855) John Haworth (Blackburn Road) of the Haworths of Oswaldtwistle, joined the Union Street Society and was devoted to the cause, which his father Jonathan (I have Joseph as John's father) Haworth, and relations so clearly espoused, becoming a very prominent figure in the church.  His father, Thomas Shutt and others were the principal workers in connection with the Society at Green Haworth.  His son, John's connection with Methodism, began at "Hippings" where he became a teacher in the Sunday School (1845) when at the age of 17 he mounted the desk for the opening of the school.  As the years grew on he left his occupation at Foxhill Bank Print Works and entered into business at Accrington.  John Haworth was first a teacher in the Sunday School, and on the creation of a new trust deed became one of the trustees.  After the death of Henry Gill he was appointed a leader and some years after the decease of John Cronshaw was looked to by the class and the society as a most suitable for the post.  The Sunday Afternoon Class of which he then became the leader owed much to him for his Christian zeal and sympathy.  John Haworth died on May 4th 1889, aged 61, and the Rev T Hepton then spoke of him as one who had been a pillar and ornament to the church - a man who was established in the faith and maintained that faith to the very last."

    John's life reflected both the commercial success and personal tragedy of David Towler.  Beginning life as a Power Loom Weaver he moved to Accrington and became a grocer.  He appears on the 1861 census as such and is living with his sister Sarah who is his housekeeper and his three children, Joseph, Elizabeth and Martha.  Their mother Alice, his first wife, died in September 1860.  John married Alice Whittaker in November 1862 and in the census of 1881 they are shown with several more children, including Jane, my wife's grandmother and their grandchild Henry Haworth Roberts, the son of Henry Roberts and Martha, John's third child.  The Roberts had a book shop in Kendal which remained until recent years under the control of the Roberts family.  After his subsequent remarriage, a second child John William died in November 1867.  On their joint tombstone in Accrington Cemetery, John and Alice have inscribed: "Death is but sleep a gentle waiting to immortal life."  A poignant memorial to a much loved child.

    David Towler was born in 1837.  At a similar time, 1841, Alexander Grant, the grandfather of the Alexander Grant who was Elsie Towler's second husband, was in Berwick on Tweed.  The Grant family, as may be expected, originated in Scotland but it is not at all clear just where.  The first reference to Alexander Grant is in the census of 1841 where he is shown as a gardener, married to Susan with three children, Jean, Elizabeth and John.  Subsequent births reveal the maiden name of Susan was Marshall but extensive research has failed to find their marriage.  Jean, the eldest child is shown as aged 6 in 1841 therefore born in 1835, which predates the start of civil registration by two years.  In 1861 census, Alexander is shown as a Provision Dealer in Scotswood Road with several more children, including Alexander aged 1.

    The same Alexander appears on the 1881 census in London at Haggerstone where he established a plumbing business.  This subsequently became the vehicle for his son's apprenticeship and ultimate leadership of the business which was known as A.Grant and Sons, one of the three top Sanitary Engineering firms in the country at that time.  Fred, Will, Jack and Archie were his brothers.  All worked in the business except Jack, who became British Consul in Vigo having served throughout the First World War as a Private.  He started his career as a Customs Officer, rising through the ranks, to become an MBE and Consul.  Although the business thrived Alexander, the eldest son, partly through ill health and partly through conscience, lost a good deal of money as a result of the second world war.  Although his younger brother Jack had been a serving soldier, Alexander, a deeply spiritual and philosophical man, was a convinced pacifist and became a conscientious objector.  He was saved from prison or worse because he had had tuberculosis in his thumb which rendered him exempt.  He had met Elsie Towler, before she married Bernard Rothwell but for reasons unknown to me, had not pursued marriage.  Only after her subsequent divorce, did they marry and have Helen and Barbara.

    Although neither Elsie nor her husband, Alexander, were members of a conventional religious group they were both deeply interested in matters of religion and had strong pacifist and philosophical convictions.  They were both well informed on religious matters, Elsie particularly with her literary background.  What Alexander had lacked in formal education he more than made up for by his pursuit of all he could learn about the nature of spiritual and intellectual life.  He was familiar with the teaching and preaching of many of the religious leaders of the day and had for some time in his younger years been a supporter of the Salvation Army.  Elsie's mother Jane, who spent half her time with each daughter after the disappearance of her husband Edwin and the marriage of her daughters, remained a Methodist until she died. 

    The first firm date I have for the Beech family is of my own great grandfather James Beech.  He married Jane Woolhouse in 1832 in Ulley a village in South Yorkshire.  They had ten children, the second youngest of whom was my grandfather, Henry Beech, born in 1854.  He married Sarah Kenyon in 1874 and they had two children Annie (born 1875) and George (born 1877).  In the 1881 census, the family are in Clowne, Derbyshire and living with them is Joseph, Henry's younger brother.  Sarah died in January 1886 of pulmonary tuberculosis and in November 1886 Henry married Elizabeth Butt nee Noon, the daughter of James & Frances Noon.  What happened to the children Annie and George is not known but they are not with Henry in the 1891 census.

    Elizabeth was the daughter of a second marriage for her mother as her previous name was Hitchcock formerly Foster.  Elizabeth Butt had two children when she married Henry, Lilly and Arthur Butt.  Her husband George hailed from Peterborough and died in 1880.  Elizabeth earned her living as a seamstress until she married Henry in Zion Primitive Methodist Chapel, Worksop in November 1886.  They had two children Sarah and Joseph, my aunt and father respectively.  Timothy Yates, my great grandfather on my mother's side was soon to marry and Elizabeth Butt, my grandmother was about to make her second marriage to Henry Beech who was also embarking on his second marriage.  While some may think it to be true that a second marriage is a triumph of hope over experience, in the case of the Towler/Grant, Beech/Butt and Haworth/Whittaker families nothing could be further from the truth.  In each case the offspring of the families have provided local preachers and leaders of the community who would not have been born had their respective parents not re-married after the loss of their first spouse by death or divorce.

    The first information available for the Yates family, is that of a marriage between Timothy Yates and Sarah Anne Whittingham in Willenhall, Staffordshire in 1851.  They had at least two children, Benjamin born in 1865 and Samuel born in 1869. Timothy Yates was shown as a "Forge Labourer". Nothing further can be discovered about the family.  The two boys, Benjamin and Samuel appear on the 1881 census living in Featherstone with Thomas Clay and his wife Sarah.  Thomas is shown as a miner.  Even more interesting, Clara Webb, who Samuel was to marry was also born in Willenhall to John Webb, Coal Miner and Rachel Webb, formerly Knowles.  She is also shown living in Featherstone in 1881 at 21 Allisons.  On a map of Featherstone in a book "Featherstone and its 1893 Disturbance" by Tony Lumb, Allisons and Arundel are shown as being adjacent to each other.

    Samuel and Clara married on 25th December 1891.  They had several children, Rachel Clara born Sep 13th 1892 died Sept 25th 1892, Timothy John born and died Aug 25th 1893, Annie Elizabeth 1894, Samuel born 1900 died in 1902 aged seventeen months, Ivy May born 1903 and finally Ruth, born 1915. In ten short years Samuel and Clara had lost three children.  The tragedy of late Victorian families is highlighted in these figures.  Three boys were born to Samuel and Clara and none survived yet this did not affect their Methodist Faith.  Like the Towler, Haworth and Beech families, Sam Yates was a staunch Methodist.  He died in March 1922 and the report in the Pontefract and Castleford Express, Friday 31st March 1922 reads:-

FUNERAL OF MR.S.YATES. - The mortal remains of Mr.Saml.Yates of 92 West View, were laid to rest at Featherstone Cemetery on Saturday afternoon.  Mr Yates had been ill for seven months, and had undergone an operation at the General Infirmary Leeds for an internal complaint.  The first part of the service was held in the North Featherstone Primitive Methodist Chapel, with which the deceased was connected.  The Rev.N.M.Faid officiated.  The deceased had been a deputy at Featherstone Main Colliery since 1906, and many of his fellow deputies were present.  The "North" Primitives were also well represented, Mr Yates having been Sunday School superintendent, and he had also held other offices.  Suitable music was played by Mr.C.Barker, including the "Dead March" from "Saul," as the mourners left the chapel.  The chief mourners present were the widow; Misses I. and R. Yates, daughters; Mr and Mrs J Beech, daughter and son in law; Mr and Mrs B. Yates, brother and sister in law; Mr W.  Yates, brother; Mr J Webb, brother, Chesterfield. There was a large gathering of friends. Floral tributes were sent by the widow and family; "Joe and Annie and Frances;" "George, Mary, and Kiddies;" "A Friend;" and there were artificial wreaths from Mr.  And Mrs.B.Yates and the North Featherstone U.M.Church.  Mr J.Daniels had charge of the funeral arrangements."

    The Beech family, headed by Joseph Beech and Annie Beech nee Yates had eight children.  Like her mother before her Annie experienced early bereavement.  Dennis her second son died within a few weeks of his birth but seven of her children survived.  Two of them to become Methodist Local Preachers and one an ordained minister.  All her daughters became nurses, one of whom was to receive the MBE for her services to nursing.  Of the grandchildren, presently two are active in the church as preachers, one as a Lay Reader in the Anglican Church and training to be an ordained priest and one in training to be a Local Preacher.  A tradition of preaching and service to the church can be seen to span over two hundred and fifty years from the date in 1748 when James Dyson, Hagar Towler's father became a leader of the church in Roughlee Lancashire to service in Somerset and Middlesex by the latest generation.

    Quite apart from the continuing thread of faith commitment there is the impact of Methodism on at least four families.  They grew from humble origins as weavers and coal miners to be the parents and grandparents of generations who were successful in business and society as leaders and servants.  They count in their midst two MBE's one recipient of the Queen's Maunday money for service to the community, another helping to found a Library in Hoddesdon, a Director of Nursing at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children; a second world war pilot mentioned in despatches; a founder member and several supporters of the Local Preachers Mutual Aid Association; at least eight preachers and ministers in the Anglican and Methodist Churches; one doctorate, three MA or MSc degrees, at least six first degrees and a number of professional qualifications, quite apart from leadership in their local communities as Councillors, Parliamentary Candidates, Stewards in their local church communities and so on and so on.

    The change in the fortunes of the Towler, Haworth, Beech and Yates families are clear evidence of the social impact of Methodism in the 18th and 19th century.  For the first time ordinary families were able to take their place as leaders of what came to be known as the "Non-Conformist Church."  The opportunity offered by the separation from the control of the establishment of their day was an unintended consequence of John Wesley's revival.  It is my view that it was the effect of the dramatic news, brought by John Wesley and others, that there was a direct route to faith which did not require a deep understanding of complex theology or obedience to the obscure rules of the established churches of that day.  This released the energy, hitherto shackled, even crippled, by a strictly hierarchical society.  The whole thrust of the rapid changes in industrial, commercial and agricultural life, led to the growth of Methodism and was the source of much of its impact on the life of the nation, an impact which is still there.  Unfortunately it is again being stifled by those who wish to re-impose a strict orthodoxy or fundamentalism on people who are born as children of God, who are not in need of "salvation" but who need to believe that we are all created equal and with the potential for virtue, goodness and service.

Part one of this item was published in the July 2009 edition of "The Gazette"

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    Tim Hadfield has kindly sent an update of his research on this family.

    Brenda, You were kind enough to print two pleas for information concerning the relationship between my Parkers and the PM of New Zealand, Sir Sidney Holland, before I was a member.  Having now cracked the problem members may be interested in the solution.

   Kind regards Tim Hadfield (9309)

    The common ancestor in the connection between the Parkers and the Hollands is one James Smith a baker/confectioner of 34 St Peters Street, Burnley in 1861, born in Scotland in 1811.  He had six children, the first three born in Liverpool and the last three in Colne.  The eldest, James was born in 1831, and next came Mary born in 1834. 

    James married Alice Whitehead at St Peters Church, Burnley in 1851.  They had eleven children, the sixth, being Henrietta born in 1865.  Henrietta married Hartley Parker in 1886 and their fifth and last child was Catherine born in 1896.  It was Catherine Jobling, as she became on marriage to John Jobling, from whom the story of a relation who became a Prime Minister of New Zealand.

    James' sister, Mary, married Edward Eastwood, born 1840 in Burnley, in 1860 at the Aenon Chapel (Baptist) and had a daughter, Jane born in 1862.  Edward and Mary left Burnley, probably, for New Zealand before the 1871 census.  It is not known whether they had more children.  Jane married Henry Holland in 1885 in Christchurch, NZ.  He was born in Nafferton, Yorkshire in 1859.  Henry and Jane had Sidney George Holland (Sir Sidney Holland) in 1893.  Hartley Parker was the youngest brother of my great grandfather William Parker, a builder in Blackpool.

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Saturday opening dates 

    Office open from 10am to 4pm on the second Saturday in each month (except April) 

    Please note that no documents will be produced between 12.30 and 1.30pm

14. November.2009 12.December 2009  9.January.2010
13.February.2010 13.March.2010 10.April.2010
 8.May.2010 12.June.2010


LANCAT - Lancashire R.O. online catalogue is available at ..


    Places are still available on the two remaining sessions this year, which will be held on Thursday, 5th November & Thursday, 3rd December at 3 pm.  Each session is FREE and will last 1 - 2 hours.

    Places are limited so advance booking is essential.  To book a place please telephone on 01772 533039 or email the record office at

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Free access to the 1911 census

    Free access to the 1911 census has proved too popular.  The TNA purchased a fixed number of credits for seven record offices.  Manchester RO and Tyne & Wear Archives have now run out of credits so free access at these two offices has now ceased.  It is still available at the following locations, until their credits run out.


Birmingham Archives & Heritage

Devon Record Office (Exeter)

 Manchester Record Office 

Norfolk Record Office

Nottinghamshire Archives

The National Library of Wales (Aberystwyth)

 Tyne & Wear Archives 


    Before planning a trip, visitors are urged to contact the relevant institution to find out when the service will be available.

New census records available online from

    1901 census is now completed for England & Wales - 24 counties added.  A brand new transcription of the 1901 census with newly scanned high-quality images is now complete on  You can now search the census in full at -

    This new transcription has already helped researchers to find many individuals whose names have been wrongly transcribed in earlier versions.  The completion of the 1901 census brings a crucial step closer to a full set of 1841-1901 England and Wales censuses.  The 1851 census - the only remaining incomplete census - will be available in full within the next few months. recently added records of 180,000 individuals from the Manchester, Chorlton, Salford, Oldham and Ashton-Under-Lyne registration districts, previously never filmed and missing from all other versions of the 1851 census.  These pages were severely water damaged many years ago by flooding, some so badly that no writing was visible and many were too fragile to be scanned.  Volunteers from the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society (MLFHS) transcribed the records.

British Library Appeal

    Can you help the British Library to save Sir John Narbrough's naval journal from sailing away?  Narbrough, a skilled mapmaker was sent to explore the possibilities of trade in South America during his voyages from 1666-71.  His journey through the Strait of Magellan was intricately mapped out with drawings of native animals and people with sophisticated depictions of the coastlines.  This journal is exceptionally important to the history of exploration and discovery, thus the Culture Minister has placed a temporary export bar on the item until 7th November.  The British Library have one final chance to raise the funds and house the journal at the British Library where it can continue to be researched and appreciated by all.

    The journal is on sale for 310,000 and donations are urgently being sought from individuals to help the British Library acquire it before the export bar is lifted in November and this important piece of our naval heritage is sold overseas.

    If you can help by donating any amount you can, every penny will go directly towards this acquisition.

    For more information please visit or contact the Development Office on +44(0)20 7412 7238

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The Public Record Office NI (PRONI)

    PRONI will be moving to a prominent position close to the Odyssey Arena and adjacent to the Gateway building at the entrance to the Titanic Quarter, Belfast.  It is scheduled to open to the public in May/June 2011

    In preparation for this, customers of PRONI are being given twelve months notice that there will be a temporary change to service delivery between September 2010 and May 2011.  To help alleviate the inconvenience to customers during a period of on-site closure the amount and range of material available on-line will be extended.  This will include the Belfast Street Directories (pre-1901) going on-line in September 2009 which will make the contents of 27 street directories for Belfast and provincial towns available to a worldwide audience.  Additional databases scheduled for completion in 2009/10 financial year include 1766 Religious Census Returns, 1775 Dissenters Petitions and the pre-1910 Coroners' Inquests.

    More information can be found on the PRONI website at

The BBC World Service (Radio)

    The BBC World Service (Radio) is launching a new daily history programme at the end of October.  It's to be called Witness and will focus on the memories and testimonies of people who lived through historic events.  We'll mix those testimonies with material from the BBC's audio archive - to tell personal stories on air.  Not just the war, but scientific discoveries, social changes, sporting events, art, fashion really we're interested in hearing from anyone who has a story to tell.  Obviously, as the international arm of BBC radio we'll be talking to people all over the world but we don't want to neglect the UK. 

    If you are interested, the person to contact is Kirsty Reid, Editor, Analysis, BBC World Service Radio. +44(0)207 557 1497

brightsolid acquires Friends Reunited group

    brightsolid is owned by DC Thomson, who publish The Dandy and The Beano.  In early August, brightsolid announced that it is to acquire Friends Reunited Group from ITV plc for 25 million.  The completion of the deal is subject to clearance by the competition authorities.  Friends Reunited was launched in 2000 and the sister site, Genes Reunited, was launched in 2003. 

    The acquisition of Friends Reunited Group would create Britain's leading genealogy business by bringing together Genes Reunited and (which operate the official 1901 and 1911 Census websites respectively in association with The National Archives) and ScotlandsPeople in partnership with General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon.

    In 2007, brightsolid acquired  The company also successfully launched, the online passenger lists records resource, for The National Archives in January 2006.  brightsolid recently launched the group's first, and Scotland's only, online magazine " Discover My Past Scotland."  In early September, brightsolid won a three-year deal, starting in September 2010, to manage

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Strike 1984 Exhibition

    At the Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottingham

    The first ever museum to tell the story of the miners' strike from all sides Open to the public: Saturday 19th September 2009 to August 19th 2010

    For the first time in its history Scotland Yard's Crime Museum (formerly known as the Black Museum) will be loaning objects to be used in an innovative and multilayered experimental exhibition blending aspects of the traditional museum interpretation and contemporary installation at the Galleries of Justice museum, in Nottingham. 

    This exhibition will examine the police's involvement in the strike.  It will also examine the plight of all the miners (both striking and non striking).  By providing a balanced view of all parties involved, this thought-provoking exhibition will enhance the understanding of how and why violence escalated on the picket line.

    For further details: 

Irish 1911 Census : All thirty-two counties are now online

    All counties have now been added to the National Archives of Ireland's free 1911 census website.  The 1901 and 1911 censuses are the only surviving full censuses of Ireland open to the public.  Both censuses cover the entire island of Ireland.  The 1911 census was taken on 2 April 1911.

    Ireland's census records are unusual in that the original household manuscript returns survive.  These are the forms filled out and signed by the head of each household on census night.  Most other countries only have enumerators' books, where family details were transcribed by the person charged with collecting the census information.  In Irish records, you can see your ancestor's handwriting, assuming that he or she was the head of household at the time.

    By end-September, the National Archives of Ireland expects to be re-developing the site to include full transcription of all of the data on the household forms for 1911, including religion, occupation, relationship to head of family, literacy status, marital status, county or country of origin, Irish language proficiency, specified illnesses, and child survival information.

    1901 Census material, with all data transcribed, will be launched between late 2009 and early 2010.

    You will find the National Archives of Ireland's 1911 census website at:  

Latest release by the Heritage Hub in Hawick

    My Secret .. The private and personal diary of Hannah Charlotte Scott Douglas 

    April 1st this year saw the launch of the Voyage of the Vampire by the Heritage Hub in Hawick.  The online blog featuring the diary of George Henry Scott Douglas of Springwood Park Estate by Kelso continues to unfold in real time with his daily adventures around the Greek Islands and Turkey in 1846 with his ship The Vampire.  The Scott Douglas collection, which was given to the Heritage Hub by Ian Abernethy, also includes another delightful diary which was written eleven years later by George's sister, Hannah Charlotte Scott Douglas.

    In complete contrast to her brother George's stories of shooting, fishing and exploring foreign lands, Charlotte 's is an eventful, emotional journey from a young lady's heart.

    Her diary begins with accounts of her daily life in Edinburgh where she lives at 38 Melville Street with her stepfather Mr William Scott Kerr and his family.  As a young lady of the aristocracy, her life consists of attending lectures and concerts, going to parties, visiting friends and taking singing lessons.  Throughout her daily scribblings, however, there is often reference to her dreadful secret which eventually reveals itself and is the driving force behind many of her life choices. 

    The diary will be launched online on Monday 17th August along with her brother's on the Voyage of the Vampire website and will be revealed weekly in narrative threads every Monday until December.

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Change at The National Archives (TNA)

    Following a period of consultation, TNA has now announced its firm plans for change which will begin to take effectfrom the end of this year. Details can be found on TNA's website at :

    From 4 January 2010 the reading rooms will be open five days a week (Tuesday to Saturday), with longer opening on the days they are open. From 5 January 2010, opening and document ordering times will be as shown in the table below.









Opening times


09:00 - 19:00

09:00 - 17:00

09:00 - 19:00

09:00 - 17:00

09:00 - 17:00


Document ordering times


09:00 - 17:00

09:00 - 16:15

09:00 - 17:00

09:00 - 16:15

09:00 - 16:15


    A charge will be introduced for use of the public car park.  From April 2010, there will be a charge of 5 per day and discounted annual tickets will be available.  Some more of the microfilm and microfiche records will be moved to storage at the end of this year, providing primary access in the reading rooms through digital means.  This is part of an ongoing programme that has been running for several years to replace film and fiche with digital images.  For those who need to see the microform it will still be available, on request.

    Records experts are available to visitors when they are most needed.  Expert advice will continue to be provided in the Map and Large Document reading room during opening hours.  Elsewhere records expertise will be focused on busier periods of the day, when it is most needed.  A new streamlined online record copying service will be introduced in late 2009/early2010.  This will help simplify the current online and telephone ordering processes.

    Further information can be found at

33m saves the World's Greatest Newspaper Collection for the Nation

    The British Library has announced that it has received a commitment of 33m from the Government to preserve and make accessible the world's greatest newspaper collection. The money was announced by the Prime Minister as one of a number of capital projects for the cultural and creative industries. 

    More details at 

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    (Continued from page 1)

    This exhibition of photographs from Lancashire and around the country shows examples of the best Victorian and Edwardian buildings and structures that the Society has campaigned to save.  These buildings demonstrate the society's success in changing public attitudes towards architecture of the nineteenth century and the continued relevance and use of this for the twenty-first century.

    The Victorian Society is the national charity campaigning for the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment.  For information go to The Victorian Society website

    Victorian Society members will have free entry to the Museum if they take a copy of 'The Victorian' magazine with them.


    The centre is open every Thursday afternoon from 1pm to 5pm.  If you have not already been to visit the LFHHS Resource Centre, it is near to Oswaldtwistle Mills.  There are four PCs with internet access to Ancestry (Worldwide), a set of all the Society's microfiche plus some from other societies and hundreds of reference books.

    The following is a link for a map of the area: 

    If you would like to volunteer to help out, please email  

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    Items for publication should be sent by email to the or
    by post to the Editor, c/o 49 Stone Edge Road, Barrowford, Nelson, Lancashire  BB9 6BB


    One beautiful December evening Huan Cho and his girlfriend Jung Lee were sitting by the side of the ocean.  It was a romantic full moon, when Huan Cho said "Hey baby, how about playing Weeweechu."  "Oh no, not now, lets look at the moon" said Jung Lee. 

    "Oh, c'mon baby, let's you and I play Weeweechu.  I love you and it's the perfect time," Huan Cho begged.  "But I rather just hold your hand and watch the moon." 

    "Please Jung Lee, just once play Weeweechu with me."  Jung Lee looked at Huan Chi and said, "OK, we'll play Weeweechu."....

    Huan Cho grabbed his guitar and both sang ....


   " Weeweechu a melly Chlistmas,

     Weeweechu a melly Chlistmas,

     Weeweechu a melly Chlistmas, and a happy New Year."



        (And all those with wayward thoughts - shame on you!)

Author Anon

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2009 Pendle and Burnley Branch of LFHHS