52 residents in 52 weeks #5 William Carter

As there are so few houses in Springhill I decided to sketch trees for the heads of household on the 1901 and 1911 censuses. Unfortunately the enumeration is too vague to make this easy before this date but hey.

These are ‘quick and dirty’ trees based on census data through time and a smattering of BMD/church records. Unfortunately funds to not permit my getting certificates for every life event of every resident, so they are a bit tentative.

1901 saw one William Henry Carter living at 4 Springhill (Polefield Cottage) with his wife Mary, five children and a boarder. He was 46 and a labourer in the gas works, presumably Rossendale Union Gas works at the bottom of Peel St about 400 yards away. His place of birth is given as Sheffield, Mary’s as Lincolnshire. His eldest listed child (Albert, age 20) was born Sheffield, the second (Alice, age 16) and subsequent born Cloughfold so presumably he came here sometime between 1881 and 1885. So far so good.

In 1911 William is at 302 Newchurch Road, Marl Pits, about 400 yards west. His daughter Harriet, now Harriet Mannion, is in Springhill Lodge, occupation housekeeper, presumably to RJH Mitchell of Springhill House, of whom more in a later. #52 residents Her husband seems nowhere to be seen… William was born Sheffield, Yorks, Mary Brampton, Lincs (scored out). They made a bit of a mess of the form, listing all their children in the ‘birthplace’ column.

Wm Carter 1911

Going back, 1891 finds him in Newchurch about 800 yards away in yet another direction. Here he is born Sheffield, (good), his wife Mary born Brampton, no county given (ok), hitherto unknown son James aged 11 b Sheffield and Albert, 8, born (illeg) Monmouthshire with sibling Sarah A, 8, b Cloughfold.


Wm Carter 1891

Well in the timeframe in question (1881 +/- 5 years) there is one Albert Carter b Sheffield and 5 b Monmouthshire, none of which appear to be in a place even remotely matching the scrawl on the 1891 census, and 2 Sarah A Carters b Haslingden (reg district including Springhill) in 1881.

So were they in Monmouthshire? And were there really two babies in 1 year in different parts of the UK? Possible.

Backwards. 1881, William and Mary are in Back Ash St, Clough Bridge, Rossendale (within a mile of Springhill).
Now William is b Sheffield (good), Mary Brampton, Yorks, (ok, but wasn’t she ‘b Lincolnshire’ in 1901?). James and Albert both b Sheffield, Sarah A does not appear.

So what happened to Monmouthshire?

1871 finds William in Sheffield, unmarried and living with his parents and siblings. Father James b Brent, Lincs and mother Mary b Tamworth, Staffs. William b Sheffield, this at least seems to be consistent.

1861 they are in Sheffield, James b Broughton, Lincs, Mary b Tamworth, Northants.

There are 3 possibles for William Carter b Sheffield. Only one is a William Henry, b Sheffield 4th q 1854.

So we have William b Sheffield 1854 ish.
We have William’s wife Mary b Lincs on 1 census, no county on 2 censuses and Yorks on the fourth.
The most likely marriage is William to Mary Glames Dec 2 1877 York. No idea if this is correct, or what they were doing up there.
And I’ve still no idea about Monmouthshire, but it seems a strange mistake to make.

give us a clue...

I am trying to determine who the parents of Adleine Clitheroe were. Preferably without buying a birth certificate for someone who isn’t a direct ancestor.

b Skipton, Yorks, q4 1886
1901 living at 1 Springhill, enumerated as Adeline Lord, daughter
1911 census…

1911 S Lord

gee thanks, Mr Enumerator, for pinning him down on that one.

52 residents in 52 weeks #4 Jordan Bridge

Sometimes a resident just gets under your skin somehow for no apparent reason. I have just such a soft spot for Jordan Bridge.

I don’t know when he was born.
I don’t know who his parents were
I do know he had brothers Adam and Christopher
He may have been a bit of a dodgy character
I do know he died in 1546
I don’t know where he is buried

Jordan was one of the first residents of the area after deforestation in 1507. He delivered a piece of land 90 feet x 40 feet unto Henry Durden in or before 1515. I would love to know where it was.

He, together with the other tenants of Deadwenclough, was elected Greave of Rossyndale in 1516. Why the office of Greave was allocated to a group rather than an individual and how this worked in practice is not recorded. Sadly.

In 1527 there was an entry in the Halmote records of the manor describing how Jordan, by ‘Synister labor, Craft and subtilite’ ‘fined and connveyed’ to deprive Adam his brother of his share of the lands on deforestation ‘value of xxs’ in Deadwenclough. The ‘false and untrue delying’ was ‘openly Kawne’. As a consequence of mediation by their friends the matter went to court which found for Adam. Jordan was ordered tom compensate Adam which Jordan refused to do
contrariety to all gud Right and conciens and his faith and fidelity and contrary to his seyd agreement thereof ‘ and the Halmote ‘pray…for…Reformacien’.
(Farrer vol III pp 58-9).

Then next year (1528) he was sued together with his brother Adam and other tenants of Deadwenchough for trespass with beasts, a common offence in the area. The common pasture was largely in the west of Rossendale and the modern rights of way numerous and complex, reflecting the various routes taken by farmers in moving their animals.

In 1534 he was fined 4d (together with 7 others) for making a ‘marle pyt’ Marl Pits field later became part of Springhill Farm and is now a sports complex. It has notoriously bad drainage, not surprising given its name.

In Jan 1536/7 Jordan, together with three others, sued 4 neighbours over partition of land in Deadwenclough called ‘The Edge’, just above Springhill. Four others were ordered to divide the land equally amongst all the parties.

1541 finds Jordan together with Adam and John Bridge being sued for obstructing a right of way and was bound over for 6s 8d to repair it before the feast of St John the Baptist. The vicar was charged with deciding which man had to clear which bit.

Jordan Bridge died in 1546. His son John was admitted tenant (fine 16s 3d, probably one year’s rent). Christopher and Frauncis Bridge forbade fine by right of inheritance. This was to granted, but John Bridge surrendered the land to Christopher shortly afterwards.

It appears that Jordan may not have been above a bit of dubious dealing. It also gives a flavour of how hard life was in the early part of C16, with people trying to exist in pretty unpromising terrain and the squabbles which emerged as the land was deforested (in 1507) and began to be inhabited.

And today? The old highways are still impassable. Rights of way are still being blocked. Marl Pits is still boggy. The vicar doesn’t usually deal with highway obstructions now though.

snowy Johnny Barn

Jan 21 2015, picture courtesy of George Kirk.

Johnny Barn 2015

organising OPS stuff

Organising family history material seems to be a hot topic at the moment. There is an active Facebook group dedicated to organising your material and last week’s #genchat on Twitter was on this topic as well. There are a plethora of systems - colour coded binders, numerous templates for extracting data, nested files both literal and digital and so on. Some use dedicated genealogy databases for organising data (as opposed to trees), others use Evernote or Excel, others good old fashioned index cards.

My own ancestry is filed by family units which start at marriage, or at the birth of the first child if, like my ggm, they never bothered with that bit. Within them is the marriage certificate, birth certs/baptism records of children in order, census entries, death certs then misc - photos, newspapers etc. It works, I can find stuff and is consistent.

Organising OPS data seems less logical. It doesn’t fit neatly into families. Significant events in the life of a given place may not fit into centuries. Even defining a place without clear geographical boundaries can be problematic - my own study illustrates that. Yet the system chosen for organising data is seen both in how the material is stored/analysed and how it is presented.

The history of the Springhill area divides into a number of relatively clear periods, most with specific start times.These are:
  • the time when the area was subject to Forest law - 1066 to 1507 when the land was deforested.
  • the ‘post Forest’ time of predominantly agricultural/home textile economy - 1507 to (say) 1750
  • the period of industrialisation - 1750 to 1896. Springhill house was built in this period (c1830) but the money was made before that date. Why 1896? That was the date of the death of Charles Patrick and so marked the end of the direct involvement of the Ashworth/Patrick families who built Springhill House, owned much of the land and had a massive influence on the life of the area.
  • the period covered by Mrs Turner’s Trust - 1896 when she inherited the estate to her death in 1923. She was much less ‘hands on’ than the Ashworth/Patrick families and willed that the estate be sold.
  • the death of Mrs Turner to the breakup of the estate and modification of many of the houses in 1934.
  • post 1934.

This gives an apparently random set of dates but they make sense in the context of the history of the place.

That then leads to questions about storing the data - for example do census data go together by resource or under each time period? I chose the latter but that may not be the best way of doing it. Newspaper extracts by date, theme or by paper? Pictures by … what?

I tend to store raw data in Excel (and loads of scraps of paper!). I have separate folders for raw material and stuff which makes the website but with otherwise identical filing system. Plans and ‘to do’s are in a notebook app on the laptop and phone (thus permitting much time wasting tinkering).

My current question is family reconstitution. I’m just starting out on this. If the data is in Excel then its a fair bit of work to transcribe it into a FH programme (and which one to use?) as families are reconstituted, but that seems necessary in order to show working and how I reached that conclusion. If I put it into the FH programme in the first place then it is harder to see links. I tried Custodian but didn’t get on with it, and now don’t want to run Windows on my mac.

These are, of course, all very first world problems… but it would be interesting to hear how other OPSer’s organise their data.

52 residents in 52 weeks #3 Elizabeth Jane Bradshaw

With the centenary of the start of WW1 last year I, like many others, started to look at the role played in the war by people from my place. I looked for soldiers and duly found them. I looked for those who contributed in the local community and found a couple of those. I looked for conscientious objectors and haven’t found any yet.

I also found Elizabeth Jane Bradshaw, whose role in WW1 I found surprising.

But to begin at the beginning.

Elizabeth Jane Bradshaw was born 1899, registered in q1.. She is certainly on the 1911 census as living with her father Richard (miner - quarry) and mother Mary Ellen in 7 Nuttall Row, Cloughfold with her 4 sisters, 2 brothers and a female servant. In 1901 Elixabeth Jane worked as a cotton weaver, age 12. Interesting that a family who could afford a servant put their 12 yr old children out to work.

The family are duly recorded in the same house in the 1901 census with the same children in the same order, except that there ‘Elizabeth Jane’ is down as ‘Margaret A’, age 2. Well the ‘age 2’ bit fits. There was a ‘Margaret Jane Bradshaw’ born q3 1899 in the Haslingden registration district (which covers our area) but she wouldn’t have been 2 at the time of the census and they obviously weren’t twins. Mmm, interesting. Elizabeth Jane at birth, Margaret A in 1901 and Elizabeth Jane in 1911? Really? Richard Bradshaw gave his occupation in 1901 as ‘coal miner’, and so may have worked for one of John Ashworth’s companies - he of Springhill House.

To return to the Great War.

Elizabeth enrolled with the QMAAC on 6/6/18 aged 20. At the time of enrolment she was living in Bacup. She was posted initially to Chadderton Camp, Royton, then 53 (YS) Bn South Wales Borderers 16/7/1918. In Oct 1918 she was moved to the dispersal Camp Shoreham-on-sea Oct 1918 then to Sommerton Camp, Eastbourne on 4/4/19. She was discharged 5/12/1919 on termination of engagement.

Her records are incompletely completed (a common feature in this study!) so we know that she was 4'11" and 100 lbs, but her hair and eye colour omitted. She was described as 'small very nice bright girl, seems suitable' by M E Quinlan on her application form. At the time of application she was a glove machinist, having been a slipper worker in the meantime.

The thing I found surprising is that she was assessed for service as a waitress. Now i appreciate that even in war one must maintain standards but was waitresses really Britain’s greatest need at that time?

The question ‘what do you know of the applicant’s qualifications as a waitress and how qualified are you to speak for her?’ is variously answered by her referees:
‘in no way’
‘make a good one’ and
‘I don’t know what sort of waitress she would make’

Further details are available in the
transcripts of her service records.

C17 distractions

I knew I shouldn’t have done it.
I knew I shouldn’t have ‘just checked’ in the burial records for Newchurch St Nicholas looking for the burial of Jordan Bridge in the C16. After all, I knew when he died from the manorial court rolls.
I should have known that once back in C17 records I’d spend too much time poking around the entries.
But I did it anyway.

I didn’t find Jordan Bridge’s burial as the records from that period are either missing or illegible.

But yes, I did spend ages backwards and forwards between marriages and births and burials linking families. It was all I could do not to pick up my pencil and start drawing trees out.

So that is probably it now. Once my current project mining the 1901 census is completed I’m heading back to the parish registers and transcripts of Clitheroe court rolls to start reconstituting these families.That will be fun. The aim is to produce a spreadsheet of the residents of Deadwenclough (as the area was known then) with some attempt at placing them in families.

That should keep me quiet for a bit.

52 residents in 52 weeks #2 Mary Ann Ashworth

Mary Ann was the second daughter of John Ashworth (52 residents #1), b 15 Sept 1809.

Her obituary stated that she was educated in Rochdale, about 8 miles over the moor. Presumably she boarded, either at the school or with friends. The Ashworths were close friends of the Royds family, major players in Rochdale, so perhaps she stayed there. I have been unable to trace the school but there was a school for the children of gentlemen in Rochdale so it could have been that.

She inherited most of her father’s estate including the lands around Springhill and the interests in the collieries and turnpikes. Census data and her marriage certificate suggest that she never actually did a day’s work.

She married Charles Patrick in 1855 at the age of 46, the ceremony being followed by their funding supper for their tenants at the Red Lion. There was no issue. Their marriage certificate is
here. Thankfully for a OPS researcher she had all her properties written into Trust before her marriage, a copy of which is included in the deeds…

Patrick rapidly set about developing the estate, enlarging the house, developing the farm and employing a coachman, gardener and groom. Strangely, Mary Ann saw no need for these as a single lady.

Mary Ann Patrick inherited land in Edgeside from her mother. In 1872 she donated land for the development of a school in Edgeside. This opened in 1873 and was licensed for worship in 1876. Mary Ann laid the foundation stone ‘with full masonic ceremonial’. She also identified land for a church and parsonage and willed money for their construction. The church was consecrated in 1885, still unfinished, leading a somewhat grumpy Bishop to amend his sermon accordingly.

Mary Ann Patrick nee Ashworth died in 1883 aged 74. She is commemorated in St Anne’s church, Edgeside, by a stained glass and less obviously by half the roads in the area being named Ashworth Lane, Ashworth Road etc. She and her sister also erected a memorial to their father in St Nicholas’ Newchurch.

Her will is complex and poorly drafted resulting in a land dispute between her nieces which had not been settled 15 years later.

St Annes window thumbnail St Annes window inscription thumbnail MI St Nicholas Ashworth 1 thumbnail

baptism Mary Ann Ashworth b 15 Sept 1809, bap 29 Oct 1809 Newchurch St Nicholas.(Bap LDS film 950353 via Lancs OPC)
m 9 Oct 1855 Newchurch St Nicholas
buried 21 Sept 1883 Newchurch St Nicholas (Burials 1871-1886 p 248 entry 1981 Original Parish Register via Lancs OPC)

52 residents in 52 weeks #1 John Ashworth

I drew up 52 potential ‘residents’ (or other people of importance in the history of Springhill) and put them into alphabetical order for this blog. That meant that the first entry in this 52 residents challenge is one John Ashworth…

John Ashworth bought the land on which Springhill house now stands and surrounding area in 1835. The house is seen on the OS map of 1840 and John Ashworth is enumerated as being there on the 1841 census - occupation ‘coal merchant’. There is also a reference in the obituary of his son-in-law Charles Patrick to Ashworth having been a woollen merchant but I can find no further reference to this.

A coal merchant he definitely was however, being one of the major partners of Ashworth Hargreaves & Co, the major pit owners in Rossendale with at least 17 collieries in Rossendale and a further four in Baxenden. These were small scale pits working seams in pats no more that 18” thick and in the main supplying local mills for steam production. This is an example of how developments in one field, in this case the mechanisation of the textile industry and the steam engine, led to business opportunities in related areas. The coal had to be moved somehow and Ashworth was a shareholder in the local turnpike companies. This didn’t stop his coal company creating two access roads from one pit (Old Meadow in Bacup) to the main road so customers from both directions could avoid the toll bar. No wonder the turnpikes never made money.

Having money didn’t prevent the family from tragedy, with one child dying in 1810 age 1 and another in 1844 aged 35.

John Ashworth died in 1850. His will described how he was charged under the will of his father Richard to pay an annuity to his sister Ann during her spinsterhood and John in his will left instructions that this should continue after his death. His land and shares were left to his spinster daughter Mary Ann, of whom more next week.

He remained connected with St Nicholas all his life and left his pew there to his daughter Mary Ann. I’d love to know which one it was…

MI St Nicholas Ashworth 1 thumbnail MI St Nicholas Ashworth 2 thumbnail


John Ashworth was baptised on 25 Dec 1777 the son of Richard and Betty Ashworth of Cloughfold in Newchurch St Nicholas by the Rev J Shorrocks. (Bishop’s Transcripts p2 entry 57LDS films 1040340 via Lancs OPC)
Sister Martha Ashworth was bap 26 Aug 1776, abode Newchurch. (Bishop’s transcripts p 1 entry 44 LDS film 1040340 via Lancs OPC)
Sister Ann bap 11 Jul 1782 when their abode was given as the wonderfully named ‘Top of Huttock’. (LDS film 950353 via Lancs OPC).

Married Betty Ormerod of Whitewell Bottom in St Nicholas on 11 Jun 1805 (Baptisms (sic) 1802-1812 entry 879, LDS film 950354 via Lancs OPC).
The couple had four children:
Elizabeth bap 2 Nov 1806, m Henry Slater 15 May 1828, 2 children (Bap LDS Film 950353, marriages 1825-1837 p 66 entry 197 LDS film 950394 via Lancs OPC)
Ormerod bap 25 May 1808, d 29 Mar 1810. (Bap LDS film 950353, death LDS film 950393 via Lancs OPC)
Mary Ann b 15 Sept 1809, bap 29 Oct 1809.(Bap LDS film 950353 via Lancs OPC)
John bap 7 Jun 1812, m Mary Howarth, 3 children, d15 Aug 1846. (Bap LDS film 950353 via Lancs OPC, death date from MI St Nicholas)

Census 1841 HO/107/509/6folio 18 pg 29

Died 25 Mar 1850 Cloughfold. (Burials 1848-1860 pg 33 entry 259, original parish register via Lancs OPC)
Obituary Charles Patrick RFP 23 Feb 1895