Committee Members 2013 - 14


Currently vacant


currently vacant

Secretary & Gazette Editor

Arnold Slater

Librarian & Minutes Secretary

Margaret Heap


Geoffrey Riley

Programme Secretary

David Marshall


Colin Spiller

Committee Members

Christine Haworth

Mary Jackson

Sylvia Marshall

John Lustig

Moira Whittaker

Christine Windle

Executive Rep

currently vacant

Branch Contacts:

Family History Queries

Jean Ingham email: enquiry@lfhhs-pendleandburnley.org.uk


Arnold Slater email: secretary@lfhhs-pendleandburnley.org.uk

Gazette Editor

Arnold Slater email: editor@lfhhs-pendleandburnley.org.uk

Branch Website


Pendle & Burnley Branch AGM Reports

Once again, we had a varied programme of very well attended lectures, workshops, tutorials and outings. However, the winter Family Help surgeries in Colne library did not attract as many people as in previous years.

Last year we broke with tradition, when we changed our evening May visit to an afternoon one. On a cool but sunny day we greatly enjoyed a guided tour of Astley Hall, Chorley followed by a meal at a nearby pub.

Another very enjoyable outing was the July day trip to Bradford National Media Museum and also Bradford Industrial Museum.

November’s Family History Morning held in Colne library was a real success. We had a steady stream of visitors and our volunteers were kept busy helping them with their research.

Sadly, last year, two of our members passed away. They were Keith Baldwin, Branch Webmaster and David Taylor, past Vice Chairman and Programme Secretary. They are both greatly missed and our sincere condolences go to their families.

BMD Project

This project co-ordinated by Janet Knowles and Bob Ellis, and ably assisted by Mary Jackson, continued to make excellent progress, and at the close of 2012, the end of this mammoth project was in sight. Well in excess of a million records from the Burnley Registration District are now on the Internet, and the dedicated team of volunteers deserve a huge vote of thanks.


The housing of the branch library still presents a problem and we are very grateful to Margaret Heap for taking care of a lot of our books at her home. Meanwhile, we live in hope that Lancashire County Library Services will keep their promise to provide a lockable cupboard in the reference section of the library!

Executive Meetings

Once again, we were unable to find anyone willing to attend the Society Executive meetings.

Committee etc.

Arnold Slater offered to take on the role of Secretary, in addition to that of Gazette Editor and is doing a really good job in both these roles.

David Marshall was welcomed to the Committee as Programme Secretary and soon compiled an interesting programme for 2013.

Geoff Riley, our Treasurer, has continued to look diligently after our Finances for another year.

Many thanks to Margaret Heap for recording the minutes at committee meetings and the AGM.

After the death of Keith Baldwin, David Hustler kindly took over as webmaster, on a temporary basis.

At last year’s AGM Jean Ingham resigned as Chairman and as no one was willing to take on the role she offered to be Acting Chairman for a year.

The Vice Chairman, Projects Co-ordinator and Executive Rep/Trustee posts remained unfilled

Our grateful thanks go to our excellent, really hardworking committee who, as always, have provided their support throughout 2012 and given freely of that most precious commodity, their time. But, brilliant as they are, they would really welcome some extra help from other members.

In conclusion, a very big thank you to those non-committee members who are always willing to help at meetings, surgeries, open days and workshops. One member donated books to sell and let’s not forget the very important refreshment providers and washers up.

Jean Ingham (Acting Chairman) 20th March 2013


Membership of the Pendle and Burnley branch has in total remained fairly steady with 145 members, this does not include other family members. During the current year we have welcomed 6 new members into our branch.

There has been a noticeable drop in the number of queries regarding family history, as has been said before, no doubt due to the ease with which information (correct or otherwise ) can be found on the Internet.

As branch secretary I receive a number of spam emails every day (about 40 or 50 a week). Please be careful when using the internet, the messages allegedly from banks requiring you to send personal details come round regularly, as do the phone calls about ‘your computer has errors’.

The new Society Website is up and running but please note that you will need to register for the members area using the email address that you supplied when you became a member.

Arnold G Slater (Branch Secretary) 20th March 2013

The Gazette.

Thanks to the members that sent articles for use in the last year. More articles for the Gazette are always welcome. A reminder that if you let me know you can receive the Gazette as an email attachment in PDF format or just receive notification that the Gazette is available on the branch website. All previous copies of the Gazette are available on the branch website.

Arnold G Slater (Gazette Editor) 20th March 2013


Visit to the Police Museum in Manchester

Wednesday 15th May

For up to date details please contact Sylvia Marshall.



After almost ten years, the Pendle and Burnley Branch BMD volunteers have finally reached the end of their labours and the weekly visits to Preston will be no more!

For anyone with ancestors from the Burnley Registration District, this will be a very welcome landmark, with more than a million Birth, Marriage and Death records from 1837 to 1974 now searchable on lancashirebmd.org.uk

There have been many willing helpers over the ten year period - too many to name and thank individually - but you can all now benefit from their efforts, which will doubtless also be greatly appreciated by many generations to come!

None of this would have been possible without a great "team spirit" throughout, engendered by Janet Knowles' enthusiastic leadership and Christine Windle's organisational skills in setting up the operation in the first place, so they can be justly proud of their achievements.

Thanks must also go to the staff at Preston Registration Services for their friendly help and co-operation - it has been a pleasure to work there, albeit sometimes in rather cramped conditions!

Of course, they, too, benefit from using the website, which enables them to deal with customers more speedily.

Please enjoy this great facility and spare a thought for all those who made it possible!



The spelling of your European ancestor's name bears no relationship to its current spelling or pronunciation.

Open Day


Barnoldswick Library


2nd November

10.00am to 1.00pm

We were very busy in Colne last year and we could do with more people volunteering to help on the day.


Chester Trip

Wednesday 24th July

Cost £12

There are still seats available on the coach.

For further details please get in touch with Mary Jackson.



15 May Out Visit to Manchester Police Museum

29 May Practical Workshop

19 Jun ‘Beatrix Potter’ Margaret Curry

24th Jul Trip to Chester

31st Jul Open Evening

21 Aug ‘DNA in Genealogy’ Rodney Brackstone

18 Sep ‘Life in the Workhouse’ Peter Watson

16 Oct ‘Origins of Blackpool’ Frank Watson

30 Oct Practical Evening

20 Nov ‘Thomas Francis Bawden, Royal Marines. 1845-1880’ Brian Jeffrey

4 Dec Christmas Festivities (By ticket only)

How I became a Butlin’s redcoat’ Dee Ellis

Printed copies of the programme are available.


Change of address

Would you please ensure that the Secretary is informed of any change of address – including email address


Replies unless otherwise stated to:

Jean Ingham at enquiry@lfhhs-pendleandburnley.org.uk

Janet GIBSON would like to hear from anyone tracing the HARTLEYs of Oakworth, West Yorkshire who originated from the Trawden/Colne area.

James HARTLEY was born in Trawden c1834.

His parents were James HARTLEY and Mary WOOLER/HOOLER who married in St. Bartholomew’s, Colne on 21st June 1821.

Janet believes his grandparents were James HARTLEY and Grace STANSFIELD who married in St. Bartholomew’s, Colne on 25th December 1781


Are you descended from the BULLOCK family of Horton in Craven? John born 1800, and siblings, Thomas born 1804 and Henry born 1811. Their parents were Henry and Mary BULLOCK.

John BULLOCK born 15th February 1800 in Horton in Craven, Yorkshire married Isabella HOLGATE 9th November 1818 at Barnoldswick, Yorkshire.

It is believed that all the BULLOCK family eventually lived in Colne, Lancashire.


Does anyone know of the existence of burial records at this chapel for 1846 – 1847 ?

This photo may have been taken in Burnley, possibly in the 1920’s or 1930’s. Possible name links could be PARKER or HODGSON with possible first names being Emma or Ann.

Other possible surnames are BRABNER, HARGREAVES and PILKINGTON.

The house name on the gate looks like ----RCROFT.

Replies please to editor@lfhhs-pendleandburnley.org.uk


A number of Archives are reporting revised opening times, some to due to refurbishment and others due to the restrictions on finances. If you intend to visit any of these Archives you are advised to check the opening times and availability of the collections before arranging a visit.


GAZETTE – Editor – Arnold Slater

Articles are always welcome, I will try and fit them in as soon as possible.

The Gazette is published four times a year, January, April, July and October and is available to read on our website in HTML or .PDF format. Please let me know if you require notifying by email when the Gazette is available online.

Articles for the July Gazette by the end of June please.

Please send articles to Editor at lfhhs-pendleandburnley.org.uk or by post to the Editor,

c/o 6 Sussex Street, Barnoldswick, Lancashire BB18 5DS



(Mary Jackson’s notes from the January meeting)

Don’t believe everything you find on other people’s trees on line – unless you have checked all the details. Even though I have not put my own tree on the internet, I have found some of my ancestors hi-jacked into others’ trees where I know they do not belong! Dilemma – do I just leave them there, or “reclaim” them and possibly upset the hi-jacker?

Whatever source you are searching, do make allowances for possible transcription errors and always check the original, where possible. Many transcriptions have been done overseas and can be very unreliable! And remember that Registrars and Census Enumerators, etc., did not have the gift of copperplate writing or the use of biros, nor was their hearing as good as it might have been! They had to cope with local and not so local dialects - for example, our ancestors struggled with their “H’s” – they could take a deep breath and add an H to Aldersley, or ignore the H altogether and it sounded like Arrison! (I am certain that my Scottish ancestors would have spoken in what, to me, would now seem a completely foreign language!)

A blank bottom line on a Census page does NOT always indicate the end of that family – so ALWAYS look at the next page as there could be several more members! It also pays to look at the previous page if your family appears on the top line! If you cannot decipher the address, you often need to do this anyway.

Of course, people may have called actual relatives “visitors, lodgers, boarders “– so these are always well worth investigating further! Their ages/birthplaces can be a clue and you could actually be looking at relatives.

They also had “nephews, nieces, cousins, etc.” who were really not remotely related, or perhaps, even illegitimate. However, a “mother in law” is the “icing on the cake” revealing the wife’s maiden name, so yet another avenue to explore.

Christian names were often repeated down the generations – was it an indication of respect for an ancestor, of their religious calling, or just lack of imagination? Great expectations could account for boys being named Horatio, etc. However, no fore-thought at all was given by some parents –

a Mr.& Mrs. Head called their son Richard – enough said!

If your ancestor consistently had the same occupation throughout the censuses, you are very fortunate – unless, of course they were all Ag. Labs.! I have lots of Gardeners and Hairdressers, who fortunately seemed to have jobs for life! London Trade directories have shown them as “Hairdressers and

Perfumers”, so I imagine them curling and powdering wigs, trimming beards and dispensing much needed perfumes to the aristocracy! In contrast, the gardeners doubtless were weather-beaten, with gnarled arthritic fingers, just like mine!

However, don’t always believe ages – they lied frequently - both adding and subtracting several years, as they felt appropriate! I doubt they kept files of birth certificates and perhaps they just could not count!

Sometimes on the internet baptismal dates are given, not birth dates, so do take a second look! It was not uncommon for parents to have several children of varying ages baptized on the same day, at first glance looking like twins/triplets. Maybe the vicar did special offers, and Easter Sundays were very popular for baptisms as it marked the end of Lent. Lots of scanned baptismal registers are now on the internet.

Christmas Day was very popular for weddings - for some their annual day off.

If you find a Surname used as a second Christian name, this can be a vital clue to finding the mother’s maiden name or perhaps a grandparent. (Or it could be an indication of illegitimacy, but at least it gives you an idea of who the father might have been – so search to see if you can find that the mother eventually married!)

It was not unusual for marriages to take place very shortly before, (or even after) the birth of children! I have found instances of children born just a month or two after a marriage – I wonder how many Vicars anxiously contemplated a child being “born in the Vestry?” Baptismal records can be very enlightening with marginal notes added by a “thoughtful” vicar!

Don’t forget to look at the index of Wills on Ancestry – this can often confirm that a death you have found is really the one you are looking for, by giving an address, names of executors / relatives, and the value of the estate – they were not all well-off. I found the Will of a wife directing that her estate be administered by The Public Trustee, when her husband was still alive! It stated that she died in a Mental Hospital, but it transpired that she preferred to stay there as her husband used to beat her!

Some families lived in the same house over a long period of time, so try putting the street address into Google – I found one such house advertised by an Estate Agent in Liverpool, with photographs of it, both inside and outside! It had obviously had alterations over the years, but it was basically the same - quite a strange experience as several family members had died there!

Google can also bring up photographs and details of even remote villages where your ancestors lived and of the churches where they were baptized or married long ago. Some villages have their own web sites, which can keep you occupied for more time than you had bargained for!!

Just remember that Genealogy is a minefield, with lots of pitfalls, but keep on digging and hopefully you will eventually unearth those hidden gems and see your ancestors in a new light!

Happy researching!


COTTON STRANDS – by Rod Moorhouse

I grew up in the heavy woollen district of Yorkshire and always believed cotton manufacturing was strictly confined to Lancashire. Despite the knowledge that my Grandfather had been a foreman at Dewhurst’s cotton spinners in Skipton I thought the presence of this mill was an exception to my naive rule; in my mind Dewhurst’s had somehow strayed over the border from Blackburn or Burnley. More recently I was amazed to find that there were many cotton mills in Airedale and also in Wharfedale around Addingham and as far to the East as Burley. According to one historian a cotton mill was founded here by the river Wharf in the early 1800’s and employed children from London workhouses, many of whom stayed on and settled in the area.

More recently while researching the life of one of my Great great Uncles, Currer Moorhouse, in the 1850’s and 60’s, I discovered the presence of a cotton mill by the river at Airton in Malhamdale. At first I thought this was incredible – on old maps Airton seems to be so remote from the busier centres of manufacturing at Skipton and Keighley. Originally it had been the local corn mill until, according to the kirbymalham.info website, in 1786 a small group of local landowners equipped it with machinery to card and spin cotton. But how on earth was this mill supplied with raw cotton? The nearby Leeds and Liverpool canal was not finally completed until the 1840’s. The railways came even later so that Hellifield, some three miles to the west of Airton, did not have a station until 1849.

The supply of raw cotton to Airton in 1786 must have been undertaken by packhorse trains. These were strings of 20 to 40 small, sure footed horses that could carry about 2cwt [100kg] in panniers slung on either side of their strong backs. They transported loads as diverse as flowers, fish, lime, leather, bricks, cloth and coal along a network of routes which historians tell us linked many of the towns and villages in the North of England. So if, e.g. imported cotton was landed at Preston then a string of 25 packhorses could deliver around two tons to the mill at Airton in a matter of a few days! No doubt this kind of operation could be repeated on a regular rota.

Great, great uncle Currer grew up in Skipton. In 1842 he married Mary Cheakley. Afterwards they settled in Skipton and their first two sons, William and George were born there. But the next child, according to the 1851 census was born in Airton in about 1847. So what attracted Currer and his young family to distant Airton? Perhaps a clue to this can be found in the life story of his younger brother James, my great grandfather, “Owing to the introduction of new machinery I was thrown out of work along with others....... My parents were so poor; I had to get some work, so I left Skipton and walked to Burnley..... I was then about 21 years of age......” James was born in 1822 so this event happened around 1843. It is possible that Currer experienced something similar and this led to his migration to Airton.

The mill at Airton was owned by the Dewhurst family who acquired the freehold in 1834. They extended the mill and it became powered by a combination of water and steam. By now the Leeds and Liverpool canal had reached Gargrave so that both coal and cotton could be brought there in bulk and then delivered by roadways to Airton. In due course the extended mill must have needed another experienced carder and this was Currer’s trade. On the 1851 census among the cotton workers living around Airton two carders are recorded– one of them being Currer! It is possible that he had worked at Dewhurst’s mill in Skipton and was then offered a better job at the Airton mill.

Currer continued to work at the Airton mill for many years. He became an ‘overlooker’ and eventually his oldest children also worked there. In my mind there is no doubt that he was hardworking and ambitious, both for himself and his children. Perhaps taking advantage of the huge expansion in cotton manufacturing during the 1860’s he moved his family to Earby to work at Victoria mill as a card master.

The death of Currer Moorhouse was registered in Skipton in the June quarter of 1889. At the time of his death he was 69 years old. Some of his children continued to work in the cotton trade and can be found in later census records. His youngest son James trained as a weaver but in due time became a bookkeeper and then a manufacturer with mills at Earby, Barnoldswick, Trawden and offices in .......... but that’s yet another story!

This year is the

40th Anniversary of the Society.

On September 14th there will be an Exhibition & Conference

at King George’s Hall, Blackburn

to celebrate the 40th Anniversary

of the founding of

Lancashire Family History

& Heraldry Society.

Volunteers will be needed to represent our branch at this event

We intend using our display boards round the table but we need some ideas of what would represent Family History in the Burnley and Pendle Area.

Please let a member of the committee know if you have any ideas.

(Each board is 3ft 6ins high x 2ft 6ins wide – a total display area of 3ft 6ins x 10ft long.)

©LFHHS Pendle & Burnley Branch 2013