The Gazette
Pendle and Burnley Branch
  Issue No.40 - October 2010


  1  Branch Open Day

  2  LRO Open Day

  3  Diary Dates (What's on)

  4  Resource Centre

  5  Programme

  6  LancashireBMD Project

  7  Query Corner 

  8  A Letter from the Temporary Editor

  9  Spanning the Census

10  Census Poem

11  Genealogists' Prayer

12  Corner of Yorkshire

13  Lancashire Record Office

14  Archive News

15  TNA News

16  Federation News

17  Items for publication



Saturday 6th November 10 am to 3.30 pm Nelson Library, Market Square, Nelson

    The branch "Open Day" will be held at Nelson Library this year.  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.  Can you help out at the event, even for just an hour or so?   Please let Jean know if you would be able to help.  For more information phone 869815

    In conjunction with Nelson library, on Lancashire Day 27th November, we are helping at a "Family History Drop In" session 10.00pm - 12.00noon.  Volunteers are needed to help out.  Contact Jean if you can help at either of these events.


It is 70 years since the first Lancashire Record Office opened it's doors.

To celebrate, there will be an Open Day on Lancashire Day,

Saturday 27th November 2010 10am to 3pm

    There will be exhibitions, behind the scenes tours, refreshments and a chance to meet representatives from:

    •  Lancashire Certificate Services

    •  Lancashire Museums

    •  Lancashire Local Studies Library Service

    •  Various local and family history societies

    •  This event is free and everybody is welcome.

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    All meetings are held at The LFHHS Resource Centre, 2 Straits, Oswaldtwistle

    Saturday 4th December 2010, 1 pm to 4.30pm

    Enquiries to , 8 Liddington Close, Newfield Park, Blackburn  BB2 3WP

    Danum School, Armthorpe Road, Doncaster, DN2 5QD.
    Saturday 30th October 2010, 9am to 4pm Admission £7.50 Lunch £6.80

    •  Elvira Willmott - How newspapers can be useful in family history research

    •  Lizzie Jones enacts her ancestor, Mary Webster's life during the Popish Plot

    •  Eric Houlder - re-creates the era of stage and mail coaches from 1786

    Limited research facilities available during coffee breaks and lunch

    Chester Northgate Arena, Victoria Road, Chester CH2 2AU
    Saturday 6th November 2010 10am to 4pm.
    Admission £3.00 (Accompanied young person under 16 - free) plus £1.00 for those wishing to attend a talk. 
    Tickets are limited for the talks and will be issued on a first come first served basis. 
    Car park 50p on production of entry ticket.

    •  11am Dr Di Drummond - Tracing your Railway Ancestors: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of 'Railway Archives'.

    •  2pm John Benson - Do we have news for you? Using Newspapers for Family History

    Batley Town Hall, Market Place, Batley  WF17 5DE
    Saturday 13th November 2010, 10am to 4pm 
    Admission £2.00. Accompanied children under 16 free

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    Opening hours - every Thursday afternoon from 1pm to 5 pm and for a trial period, the first Saturday of every month from 1pm to 5pm

    Go to for a map.

    Internet access to Ancestry (Worldwide) and Findmypast (available on one PC, so you need to book.  To do this, leave a message on the Straits answerphone 01254 239919.  During busy times, sessions may have to be limited to 30 minutes.


    Back copies of the Society's journal from 1984 to 2009 are available at reduced rates:

    •  1 copy 50p (plus p&p) 
    •  5 copies £1.00 (plus p&p) 
    •  8 copies £1.50 (plus p&p) 

    An index to articles is available, for details see  

    To order, email Tony Foster via , who will confirm whether the journal is available and the cost postage and package.  For full details see

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PROGRAMME FOR 2010 and beginning of 2011

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

•  17 November The History of Midwifery - Sylvia Vida
•   8 December Christmas Festivities at the Birtwistle Centre .. (Note the Date & Venue)
Stick around - Brian White
Tickets available at the November meeting
•  19 January The Role of the Coroner - David Smith
•  16 February Oddie's Bakery - Lara Oddie

    Monthly Family History sessions at Colne library will recommence on Wednesday 27th October and continue on the fourth Wednesday of each month (None in December) until March 2011.  Drop in any time from 10.00am to 12noon.

 Jean Ingham, Acting Programme Secretary

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    Over 13 Million records are now on line, almost half of them ours!!

    All the Births 1900 to 1925, including the maiden names, are now on line.

    Work has recently commenced on the Deaths from 1900.

    Three members of Preston Branch are now helping to type up the indexes.  Thanks to everyone involved.

Janet Knowles, Lancashire BMD Project Coordinator

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    The first edition of the branch newsletter was published in February 2001 with the late Derek Mills as the editor.  The first few editions were just two or three pages but as time went on the number of pages grew.  In mid-2003, however, eyesight problems forced Derek to relinquish the job.  This meant that we needed a new editor.  Despite many appeals, no one has volunteered to do the job. So, since September 2003 I have acted as editor and have produced the quarterly branch newsletter.  I have now decided that it is time that someone else took over.  I will produce the next newsletter in January 2011 and that will be my final issue. Unless someone volunteers to take over, there will be no more branch newsletters after the January issue.

    The purpose of the newsletter is -

    1 - To report the proceedings of the committee meetings to the Branch Members to keep them informed of decisions made on their behalf.

    2 - To update the branch members on items relating to family history within the branch, the society and nationally.

    3 - To provide a vehicle for members to publish their stories.  The newsletter is published four times per year.  Each issue is printed on paper, published on our website and emailed as an attachment to suit the preferences of the recipients.  The contents of the newsletter rely to a large extent on the Editor.  Members are encouraged to submit articles for publication and any submissions are attributed to the member who has submitted them.  Research queries, from members outside the area, are usually sent to the branch secretary and may or may not be subsequently published in the newsletter.  Any queries sent to the webmaster are put on the Message Board of the Branch Website.

    The advent of the Society Members' Forum means that very few queries are now sent to the branch.  Also, more and more members are now becoming computer literate and are using broadband to access the Internet.  This means that they have access to most of the information that is researched and published in the newsletter.  Perhaps it is time that there was a change.

    The newsletter could consist of a single sheet, published monthly and distributed at branch meetings.  It could contain any notices that need to brought to the attention of the members.  This would not only save time at the branch meetings but would mean that members were able to "take away" the information, to think about at home.  Many other branches already use this format.  Any member wishing to have an article published could send it to the editor of "Lancashire" and in that way all members of the society would be able to read it, not just the Pendle and Burnley branch members.  A few of the articles originally published in "The Gazette" have been submitted to and published in "Lancashire.

Brenda I Hustler, Acting editor

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Submitted by Pat Dyson

    I recently read an article relating to family history in which the author wondered if other researchers had records of any individual through all the available censuses from 1841 to 1901.  As an example of a kinsman who is recorded in every available census, I can offer Christopher Eltoft of Accrington, Lancashire.  Already twenty (actually twenty-three) in the 1841 census, he was born in Burnley to Thomas and Isabella Eltoft, neither of whom could manage more than a cross to sign the marriage register.  Christopher's determination to rise above his parents' level of literacy is shown by his choice of profession - in 1841 he was lodging in Grange Lane, Accrington with Thomas Bowker, a printer, and working as a letter press printer[1].

    On 7th August 1845, he married Catherine Ann Fentiman at Burnley Parish Church of St.Peter but continued to live in Accrington, although on census night in 1851 he was visiting his brother, William, in Burnley[2].  His wife and children, Tom and Fred, were at home in Oak Street, Accrington[3]. Another son, Charles Adolphus, had been born and died in 1850. Christopher is described as 'printer-compositor' but by 1858 the Post Office Lancashire Directory shows that he was branching out.  In that publication, he lists himself as printer, grocer, lodging house keeper and agent for gutta percha (a newly patented rubber material).  This is confirmed by his obituary which says that he was foreman at Enoch Bowker's printworks for a number of years, then left and opened a small shop[4].  His fortune was founded on taking advantage of the novelty of using gutta percha for soling boots and shoes.  It was claimed to be more durable and flexible than leather and was certainly cheaper.  By the time the vogue waned, Christopher had established himself with 'Eltoft's Boot and Shoe Emporium', making and selling all types of footwear.

    In 1861 the family were at 54 Oak Street and Christopher was still down as Letter Press Printer, but more interestingly Catherine was the Shoe Dealer and the two boys were both shop assistants[5].  It seems that Christopher was still keeping his options open.  By 1871, the family had moved to 21 Blackburn Road.  Christopher had committed himself and was now a Boot maker employing 4 men and 1 boy with Fred as shop manager[6].  He was never a cobbler, the despised artisan of the industry, and he may not have known how to put a shoe together, but he was clearly a good businessman.  Catherine died in 1878 and Fred married Jane Gaukrodger from Yorkshire, in late 1871 so 1881 saw Christopher alone at his new house at 47 Avenue Parade with Eleanor Fentiman, who was, I assume, Catherine's sister, looking after him[7].  He was still a 'Boot manufacturer employing 4 men' - the boy may have graduated by then.

    In 1880 Christopher's elder son, Tom, with a promising career in the teaching of chemistry, had died in London at the early age of 35 leaving a widow, Emily, and two children, Edith and Norman.  For a time Emily kept a lodging house in Lytham, but by 1891 the family were living with Christopher at 47 Avenue Parade.  He was described simply as 'Shoe manufacturer'[8].

    In 1901 Christopher was still living at Avenue Parade, (the house numbered as 57) and Tom's family were still with him.  At the age of 83 he was described as 'retired boot and shoe maker'[9].  In the grant of Probate 1904, however, he is described as 'gentleman' - usually indicating that there is no longer any taint of trade.

    Fred Eltoft had taken over the family business when his father retired, but died in 1902 shortly before Christopher himself.  Fred's widow Jane and his daughter Ethel continued the business until the mid-twentieth century.  Christopher died in 1903 at the age of 85, eulogised in the local newspapers as a tradesman who had seen the growth of Accrington and contributed to it himself.  He left much of his estate to his granddaughter, Edith, who shared his interest in family history.  In a letter to the Manchester City News in 1924, answering a query about the Eltoft family, she recalled hearing stories from her grandfather about his grandfather, William, whose 'Will' she still possessed, naming all his ten children.  Alas that Will has vanished without trace along with the records of the births of seven of those children thus leaving me with a brick wall out of which the mortar may be trickling, but remaining as an obstacle to prevent the certain identification of William with my 4 x great-grandfather.

    Another relative whose life is recorded in every census released is my paternal great-grandfather, Howarth Dyson. He just made it into the 1841 census as a baby of one month old. His father, John, originated from Old Laund, in the Pendle Forest area near Nelson, Lancashire.  This was a rural area, known in the Middle Ages for horse-rearing, but by the beginning of the nineteenth century bright young men were moving down into the valleys where the new cotton mills were providing work and the possibility of riches.  In 1838 Henry Tunstill, from Wheatley Lane, had founded a firm in the centre of Brierfield, building beside the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.  It is probably this mill which brought John down into Little Marsden, as Brierfield was called then.  John and his wife Ann (neι Wood) were living with their sons, William and the baby Howarth, at Heyhead[10]. 

    In 1851 the family were at Spinners Row[11] and William and Howarth had been joined by three sisters, Martha, Isabella and Elizabeth.  In addition, John's much younger brother, Robert was living with the family.  He was a power loom weaver while John was an 'overlooker of power looms'.  In 1861 John had risen to Manager in Cotton Mill and Howarth was a 'Cleark' ditto.  Ann had died in 1855, possibly following the birth of her son, Robert, and William, now 26, had left home. Brother Robert had also left Spinners Row[12].

    In 1868 John died, but before that he had remarried to a widow with a small daughter to whom he leaves £5 in his Will and by 1871 the family had fragmented.  Howarth was now married, also to an Ann (neι Marshall) and they already had three children, my grandfather John William, Edwin Ernest and a daughter, Margaret Ann, born, like her father, just in time for the Census.  They were living in Hill Street, now described as Brierfield and Howarth was a commercial clerk[13].  In 1881 Howarth was still a commercial clerk with an additional two children, Alfred and Amelia. John Willie, as he was known, was, at 15, already described as Cotton manufacturer[14].  The address, 1 Railway View, Brierfield, was one of a row of properties owned by Tunstill Bros.

    Although still living at 1 Railway View in 1891, the family were on the way up.  Howarth was now described as Cashier while John Willie was a manager.  Edwin and Margaret were both teaching, Edwin at the local Grammar School[15].  Alfred was a pupil-teacher living in London[16].  1901 saw the reduced family at a much better-sounding address - 42 Ashfield Grove.  Howarth had left Tunstill Bros. after 46 years and set up on his own at Hollin Bank Mill and Alfred had given up teaching and joined his father in the new venture[17].  This did not last long; the cotton industry was in a cyclical downturn and Howarth, now over 60, was probably more inclined to admit defeat and settle for retirement when the mills went on short time.

    In 1901 John Willie was living with his wife Emily (neι Whitaker)[18] a few doors down in Ashfield Grove.  Having lost two daughters, they now had just two sons, Charles Bertram, known as Bertie and John Marshall (Jack) and were to have another two, Henry Eltoft (Harry) and my father, William Howarth (Bill).  John Willie was a cotton manufacturer, still with Tunstill Bros at Brierfield Mills.  In 1904 when the company became Brierfield Mills Ltd he became Managing Director and the family retained its connection with the firm until 1956 when it closed so ending the period of over 120 years of Dysons working at Brierfield Mills.

    Howarth will be on the 1911 Census as he did not die until 1918, the day after the family received news that Bertie, his eldest grandson, had been killed in France[19].

    A third relative who will be on all censuses is another Eltoft I have only just discovered: Ellen Eltoft, my gt-gt-gt aunt.  She was orphaned at an early age, her mother, Sophia Varley, dying less than a year after Ellen was born and her father, Joseph, dying in 1834 when Ellen was fourteen.  It is possible that she was brought up by her mother's sisters and lived with them in Wallasey.  This is where Ellen turns up in the 1841 Census, newly married to James Ridyard, a joiner.  The young couple are living either with or next door to two of the sisters, the elder named Pathia Varley.  This seems to be a version of Parthenia, a surprisingly popular female name from the eighteenth century right through to the twentieth. In spite of its popularity everyone from officialdom to family members seems to have had difficulty with it and this is shown by my unfortunate 4 x gt-aunt whose name is mangled at every occurrence.  She ended her days living with her niece (the 1871 Census calls her Bethania) and died in 1873.  She and her sister, Jane(!) were washerwomen or perhaps they operated a small laundry in Wallasey.  In 1851 Ellen and James were living on their own with two children, Joseph and Sophia - the names of Ellen's parents - at Hyde where they lived at various addresses until James's death in 1893.  In the 1901 Census Ellen was living in Gorton where she died in 1906.

    This is still an ongoing investigation - the census returns for Ellen and James have not yet been found for 1861 and 1891 but given that they are living in the same area in 1871 & 1881 and the records of death for James is followed by Ellen appearing in the 1901 census and her own death in 1906 shows that they are out there somewhere - possibly mis-transcribed.

1  1841 HO107/406/4 f22
2  1851 HO107/2251/546 46
3  1851 HO107/2250/471 14
4  Accrington Observer & Times
      Dec 12 1903
5  1861 RG9/3063/146b
6  1871 RG10/4144/97 19
  7 1881 RG11/4140/30 4
  8 1891 RG12/3355/52 25
  9 1901 RG13/3856/80 25
10 1841 Census HO107/509/11 17
11 1851 Census HO107/2254
12 1861 Census RG9/3077/67 21
13 1871 Census RG10/4155/159 19
14 1881 Census RG11/
15 1891 Census RG12/3379/84 9
16 1891 Census RG12
17 RG13/3868/117 10
18 RG13/3868/117 10
19 Nelson Advertiser April 6 1918

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Submitted by Diana Moorhouse

    While browsing through some back numbers of Practical Family History magazine from the 1990's I came across this poem.  It was said to have been found by a Miss E M Knowling in a book of Songs of the Dean Burn by CL Perry who was vicar of Priory Dean.  I thought it might be of interest to members, particularly those who frequently grapple with census information.

  Oh! I ain't as old as I used to be
And I shall never pass my prime
For this jolly old census enables me
To laugh at the lapse of time
There's only a month 'twixt my wife and me,
And now she has lost five years
I must keep alongside of her you see
And measure my life by hers
Sister Jane was the first of our family
When she gave her age, I smiled
For she carried us all in our infancy
And now she's the youngest child!
I know that Aunt Susan is sixty-three
Cousin Tom is forty-one
By the latest return I was pained to see
That at seven she embraced a son
If I live to Methuselah's age I fear
I never can reach four-score
Let them give us a census just once a year,
I shall soon be a child once more!

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Submitted by Mary Jackson

  We all go searching on the net
For ancestors we never met
So if one day you find them there
Just think - they might just like a prayer
(It only takes a little while -
Then go and put them in your file)
And who knows, when you do,
They might just say a prayer for you
To help you fill in some more blanks
So say another prayer of thanks
And trust you will find even more
Of all those souls who've gone before
For even if you've not met yet
They might just be living - on the net

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Published in Yorkshire Post Magazine, Saturday 5th.June 2010.
Reprinted here with permission, courtesy of Yorkshire Post, W.R.Mitchell.

    There must have been a communal sigh of relief in 1580 when a graveyard was consecrated at Muker in Upper Swaledale.  Prior to that event, the dead were conveyed to Grinton Church along what became known as The Corpse Way.  It crossed Kisdon Hill between Keld and Muker, forded the river, then ran along the north slope of the dale.  The corpse reposed in a wicker coffin.  Before a procession began, each of the relatives of the dead person kept watch over the body in turn.  If a shepherd had died, a fleece of wool was put in his coffin.

    In this picture is part of Muker Churchyard. The name Muker, which is derived from the Norse, said to mean "the narrow acre". Hereabouts, the dale is most certainly narrow.

[Editor's notes] This item was noted because of the inscription on the gravestone.

      In Loving Memory of JAMES RUKIN of Sabden Hall Farm, Fence, near Burnley
       who died Nov'r.13th 1934, aged 73 years.  Also MARGARET his beloved wife
       who died July 27th 1938 aged 77…………..

    James' death is registered in Burnley whilst that of Margaret is registered in Nelson.  Both must have been taken back to Muker for burial.  In 1901 James and Margaret are living in Muker and James is listed as a coal miner.  In 1911, they are living in Crook, Auckland, County Durham and James is a stone man in a coal mine.  Another local resident buried at Muker Church is Elizabeth, wife of Christopher Taylor of Brierfield who died September 28th 1860.  The information is recorded on a gravestone at St.Paul's Churchyard, Little Marsden.

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    It is now 70 years since Lancashire Record Office (LRO) was initially established to look after the archives for Lancashire County Council.  In the 1940s & 50s, it was housed in the basement of County Hall with an out-store building behind Preston Jail near Stanley Street.  According to one of our former members, the late Herbert (Bert) Hindle, who was researching his family history in the early 1950s, not much of the material had been catalogued.  Researchers just went down into the basement of the building and looked through boxes of documents until they found what they wanted.  About 1960, the Record Office then moved to bigger premises in the Old Sessions House on Lancaster Road.  After about 15 years there, the present office, a purpose built archives, was opened on 15th July 1975.  By this time, more cataloguing had taken place and researchers were restricted to three items, much to Bert's chagrin.

    A wide range of historic documents, relating to the Lancashire County, dating from the medieval period up to the present day are now preserved in the archives.  Some areas such as Liverpool and Manchester have their own archives.  Anyone can use the LRO and access to the research room is free and you can consult any of the archived material free of charge.  Search-room staff and archivists are on hand to provide help and information.

    Before you go to the LRO, plan what you want to find out and what documents you want to look at. The staff may be good but they are not clairvoyant!  Do your own homework before you go.  The staff can only help if you know what you are looking for.

    You will need a Reader's Ticket which is valid for four years and can be used at many other archives.  You can obtain one at the LRO on your first visit and to get this you will need to produce official evidence of your address and signature, such as a driving license, a credit/debit card and a bank statement, a utility bill or any other official communication with your address printed on it.

Opening times are ..
    •  Mon, Wed & Fri, 9am to 5pm
    •  Tues 9am to 8.30pm
    •  Thurs 10am to 5pm
    •  Second Saturday of each month from 10am to 4pm
    •  Closed on all English Bank Holidays.

Lockers, which accept £1 coin (refunded after use) are provided for your bags and belongings except for paper and pencils that you need for your research.  If you want to find if a particular record is held at LRO you can contact them by ..
      e-mail to
      writing to The County Archivist, Lancashire Record Office, Bow Lane, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2RE
      telephone 01772 533039
      LANCAT - LRO online catalogue is available at -

    Recent acquisitions at LRO relating to Pendle and Burnley area ..

    •  SMRO Roughlee Church of England school Records including log books, 1882-c2000
       (access to some items is restricted).

    •  PR3095/1/27-33 Briercliffe St.James Church Marriages 1974-1985; Burials 1894-1952;
       Confirmations 1994-2006; Church Inventories 1960 & 1967;
       Church Terriers & Inventories 1973-1994 (Restricted access to 1994 volume);
       Colour drawing of 3 windows, 1962

    If you apprehensive about using the record office, you can attend one of their "Getting to Know Lancashire Record Office" sessions where you will get an insight as to what happens there.  Sessions will be held on the first Friday of every month at 2.30pm and each session lasts about 1½ to 2 hours.  Places are limited so booking is essential.  To book telephone 01772 533039 or e-mail the record office at

The next sessions will be held  ..
      5th November 2010,  3rd December 2010
      7th January 2011,  4th February 2011,  4th March 2011,  1st April 2011,  6th May 2011,  3rd June 2011



    Over the spring and summer of 2011, there will be major work carried out to replace large sections of the heating and ventilation plant at Lancashire Record Office.  Although a detailed timetable is not yet available, there are early indications that it may be necessary to close the building totally to public access for at least some of the time that work is in progress.

    Any closures will not take place before late March at the earliest, and may not occur for several months after that.  LRO are giving as much advance notice as possible to anyone planning to visit the office, particularly if they would be travelling a considerable distance.  Information will be updated on the LRO website as it becomes available.  More details should be known by early 2011.

    Further information can be found on the LRO website.

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Anglesey Archive Service has a change in opening hours.

    From the 16th August 2010, opening hours will be:
    Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday - 09.15am - 16.45pm
    Tuesday: 14.00pm - 16.45pm (14.00pm - 19.00pm every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month)

Essex Record Office (ERO)
will be closed for stocktaking.

    From Monday 15 to Saturday 27 November inclusive, re-opening  on Monday 29 November.

    Essex Society for Family History Research room at Essex Record Office will be open during the closure of the ERO search room Monday 15 to Saturday 27 November at the following times each week:- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10.30am - 13.00pm Wednesday and Saturday 10.30am - 16.00pm

See  for further details about Essex FHS holdings and facilities available

North Devon Local Studies Centre (including the North Devon Record Office), Barnstaple

    Please note that from 25 September 2010 the office will no longer open on Saturdays.
    Revised opening times are: Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 9.30am - 17.00pm, Wed 9.30am - 13.00pm,
      (last Fri in the month 10.00am - 17.00pm)

Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives Temporary closure from Monday 27th September.

    Following building works, the library will re-open at the end of November 2010.  During the closure a limited remote enquiry service is offered via phone and email.

    Call 020 7364 1290 or Contact

Sheffield Archives Sheffield Archives will be closed from Monday, 11 Oct until late summer 2011.

    Archives fiche and film and catalogues/finding aids (but not the card index) will be transferred to the Local Studies Library from 18 Oct 2010.  From 4 Jan 2011, a limited archives document issue service will be made available at the Local Studies Library. 

Points to note: There will be no document issue service at all between 11 Oct 2010 and 4 Jan 2011 (but see below re transcribing projects).  All of our events / workshops / lectures / displays etc. will continue as normal at a variety of venues (other than an introductory session to Archives which was scheduled for 13 October.  This event has been cancelled.)

Somerset Heritage Centre

    The new centre on the edge of Taunton opened on 27th September 2010.  Further details can be found at 

    Contact details are: Somerset Heritage Centre, Brunel Way Norton Fitzwarren Taunton TA2 6SF
    Tel: 01823 278805 (enquiries) Tel: 01823 337600 (appointments) Fax: 01823 347459

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    The reading rooms at Kew will be undergoing some essential redevelopment during autumn 2010.  To allow for improvements to be carried out, the Map and Large Document Reading Room will be closed for two weeks in early December.  You can find out more at  where there is a link to some FAQs and also to a plan of the Map and Large Document Reading Room.  A new website by The National Archives (TNA) gives clearer, faster and easier access to legislation, from Magna Carta to the latest statutory instruments.  You can find details of everything on the statute book, in one place and free of charge.  Thousands of pages of Victorian workhouse and poor law records have been made available online today following the conclusion ' Living the Poor Life,' a major project by The National Archives

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    Since April 2006 the complete Oxford DNB has been available to 48 million residents in England and to all residents of Northern Ireland via their public libraries.  Another 101 lives have recently been added in the new edition.  Included are 40 individuals who shaped the history of British policing: from the Bow Street runners to the late-20th century; from beat PCs and detectives, to chief constables who led the service.  Figures now added to the Oxford DNB include the creative minds behind Z and panda cars, the flying squad, fingerprinting, and the first speed traps; and those who policed the nation during earlier terrorist threats - the anarchists and assassins of the 1880s and 1890s.  They are joined by detectives behind high-profile crimes - such as the Crippen case, which took place 100 years ago this autumn-and by colonial police officers responsible for law and order in Palestine, India, modern-day Pakistan, and British territories in Africa.  The dictionary will include life stories of:
    Sir Eric St Johnston (1911-86), head of the Lancashire constabulary who introduced unmarked Z cars and high-profile panda cars in the 1960s.
    Sir Joseph Simpson (1909-68), chief of the Met, policed London during the Sixties - a decade of rising crime, race issues, public protests, corruption, and low morale.
    William Melville (1850-1918), head of the Met's Special Branch who confronted the terrorist threat from Irish Fenians and international anarchists.
    Scotland Yard detective Walter Dew (1863-1947) who, having pursued Dr Crippen to Canada by steamship, arrested and returned his suspect for trial in October 1910.
    Robert Fabian (1901-1978), whose career as a West End detective became the basis for Fabian of the Yard (1954-6), one of the earliest TV depictions of real-life policing.
    Yvonne Fletcher (1958-1984), the WPC killed while patrolling a demonstration outside the Libyan People's Bureau in April 1984.
    Other policemen and women now added to the Oxford DNB include the Birmingham chief constable Cecil Moriarty (1877-1958), author of Police Law (1929), the standard textbook for police training which, in revised form, remains central to modern candidates' education.  Another enduring publication, the Police Review, was the creation of John Kempster (1836-1916); here Kempster campaigned for weekly rest days and a representative body for the police which came into effect as the Police Federation in 1919.  Updates to the Oxford DNB are published each January, May, and September.  The next update, which appears in January 2011, will add more than 200 biographies of men and women who died in 2007.

    Dr Nick Barratt has been appointed as Executive Director of FreeBMD, with a remit to drive the project forward and examine new ways of making an even greater contribution to the world of family history.  'Due to the enormous efforts of thousands of transcribers, the FreeBMD database now contains about two hundred million unique BMD index entries and FreeREG and FreeCEN are significant online resources, all freely accessible on the Internet.

FreeCEN SUSSEX 1861 and 1871
    The FreeCEN transcription of the 1861 Sussex Census is now complete.  The 1891 was finished a few months ago, and of course the 1881 has been available for some years.  A team of volunteers has been working hard over the last few years to make the information available for FREE, and it can now be searched via the FreeCEN website.  Volunteers are working hard on the 1871 Census.  New members of the team are always welcome, and this may be a way in which you could contribute to the world of Family Research.  If you can use a spreadsheet and send emails that's all the skill you need. (The ability to read 19th Century handwriting is a help, too!).  If you're interested please get in touch.

    A series of free eBooks has been made available in PDF format by Ancestry Ireland.  The books are as follows, with direct URLs to their locations listed below each:

  +  My Roots: tracing your Belfast ancestors (2007)
  +  The 6th Connaught Rangers: Belfast Nationalists and the Great War (2008)
  +  In search of Sperrins Ancestors (2004)
  +  Belfast & Nashville (2010)

    The following may be of interest, especially if you have ancestors who served in any of the ships listed on  The ships logs may contain more than just information about the weather.  The public are being asked to revisit the voyages of World War One Royal Navy warships to help scientists working on a JISC project understand the climate of the past and unearth new historical information.

    Visitors to will be able to retrace the routes taken by any of 280 Royal Navy ships including historic vessels such as HMS Caroline, the last survivor of the 1916 Battle of Jutland still afloat.  The naval logbooks contain a treasure trove of information but because the entries are handwritten they are incredibly difficult for a computer to read.  By getting an army of online human volunteers to retrace these voyages and transcribe the information recorded by British sailors we can relive both the climate of the past and key moments in naval history.  Most of the data about past climate comes from land-based weather monitoring stations which have been systematically recording data for over 150 years.  The weather information from the ships at, which spans the period 1905-1929, effectively extends this land-based network to 280 seaborne weather stations traversing the world's oceans.

    For further information go to

Sex Violence and Religion in the Northern Province, 1300-1858 The York Cause Papers, records of the cases held in the church courts of the Diocese of York between 1300 and 1858, are the most extensive records of their type in the United Kingdom.  For the first time detailed records of over 13,000 individual court cases covering Yorkshire and beyond are available through an online catalogue, for further details   To celebrate the launch of the York Cause Papers Database.  The Borthwick Institute for Archives is to present a one day conference bringing together leading academics working on church court records. Topics will include the use of the cause papers in local and family history, ecclesiastical lawyers, gender and memory, storytelling in the courts, tithes, penance and marriage.  There will also be an introduction to the database.

    The conference is to be held on Saturday 13 November 2010 at The Berrick Saul Building, University of York.  The price for the day is £18.00 which includes refreshments and lunch.

    Full details can be found at

    Probate calendars for English and Welsh wills between 1861 and 1941, but with some gaps. The collection covers 80 years from 1861 to 1941. with gaps for the years 1863, 1868, 1873, 1876, 1877, 1883, 1888, 1899-1903 and 1910-1911.

    Devon parish records in association with Devon Family History Society.  The Devon records include 363,015 baptism records for 1813-1839, 271,193 marriage records for 1754-1837 and 223,395 burial records for 1813-1837. 

    Montgomery parish records in association with Montgomery Genealogical Society.  The Montgomery record include 10,909 baptism records for 1601-1901, 4,202 marriage records for 1574-1837 and 8,873 burial record for 1598-1878.

FINDMYPAST.CO.UK IS TO DIGITIZE MANCHESTER RECORDS has been awarded the contract by Manchester Archives to digitize cemetery registers plus institutional (gaol, school, workhouse) records of Manchester and will work with FamilySearch International, to make them fully searchable online for the very first time.  An estimated 130,000 images and 8,000,000 records will be digitized over the next two years.  The records will cover all of Manchester and some parts of Lancashire, due to boundary movement over the centuries.  The records will include entries going back to the sixteenth century.  In the collection being released the 19th century prison registers of the area will also be made available.  Every record from cemetery registers and institutional (gaol, school, workhouse) records of Manchester will be available free at any City of Manchester library.

    The records available will include - 

  • Manchester Overseers of the Poor Apprenticeship Indentures
  • Giles Shaw transcripts for parish registers including Oldham St. Mary: Baptisms 1662-1796; Marriages 1662-1816; Burials 1662-1826

Private cemeteries (now closed) -
  • Ardwick Cemetery: burial registers, 1838-1950
  • Rusholme Road Cemetery: burial registers, 1821-1933
  • Cheetham Hill Wesleyan Cemetery: burial registers, 1815-1968

Workhouse Records  -
  • Withington Workhouse: Creed registers 1869-1898, birth registers 1857-1911, death registers 1857-1949
  • Withington Workhouse: Creed registers 1898-1911
  • Withington Workhouse: Interment Registers -1898-1915
  • Withington Workhouse: admission registers
  • Manchester Workhouse, New Bridge Street, 1881-1899
  • Manchester Workhouse, New Bridge Street, Creed Registers 1900-1911
  • Manchester Industrial Schools: admission registers 1866-1912
  • Manchester Schools: admission registers c.1870-1915

  • 19th cent. prison registers

    FamilySearch will scan original images of the registers for to then make available online at with an index search on

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And Finally

Christmas and New Year Greetings to you all



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© 2010 Pendle and Burnley Branch of LFHHS