This page gives a few resources which may be of some use to Lancashire researchers but it does not include websites which can be found on my links page.
LANCSGEN MAIL LIST
This mail list is very active and if you subscribe you will get a lot of messages - upwards of 50 per day. Subscribing (and unsubbing) is very easy. It costs nothing so you have nothing to lose by trying it. But do remember to print out and keep the initial message which gives the addresses for unsubscribing and also for sending posts. To subscribe send an email to LANCSGEN-L-request@rootswebcom with just the single word "subscribe" (without the speech marks) in the body of the message.
See my links page for some Internet map sites. For most purposes the Ordnance Survey 1:50000 maps give the detail required, but each only covers a small part of the county. What I have found useful is street maps for checking on addresses in the census. I use an A-Z atlas of Greater Manchester published by Geographer's A-Z Map Company Ltd. I also have an Ordnance Survey Street Atlas of Lancashire published by Philips. This last does not include Greater Manchester or Liverpool, but apart from the metropolitan areas covers more or less every street in the present-day county. It does cross the border into Greater Manchester enough to include Ramsbottom. For those who live in the UK these (or similar) are well worth purchasing and are easily obtainable at Motorway service areas and the like. There are of course very many new streets as urban areas have expanded, and in the inner parts of towns streets have been demolished/rebuilt/renamed. In spite of this it is still possible to match many present day streets with those in the census.
A new development (late 2002) has been the coverage of the whole county at a scale of 1:2500 or about 25 inches to the mile on 3 CDs. The exact date depends on place but lies in the range 1888 to 1893. The discs are about 20 GBP each. Disc 2 covers the eastern part of the county going as far west as Blackburn and Leigh, and from just south of Manchester to north of Burnley. You can get excellent print outs of streets and so on. The discs are in Adobe pdf format. Contact Digital Archives Association, 3 Cedarways, Appleton, WARRINGTON, WA4 5EW (England).
Fiche can be purchased from the Lancashire Parish Register Society, the LFH&HS, and the MLFHS. See my links page for links to their sites.
MANNEX's DIRECTORY NE LANCASHIRE [includes Bury area] This is a facsimile on CD of an 1876 trade directory. It can be viewed using Adobe Acrobat Reader v4 or over. It is available from Archive CD Books Project. For details look at their website
KELLY's 1895 DIRECTORY OF LANCASHIRE
A huge directory available from ArchiveCD - see above for website
The 1841 census for the county is available on a set of 9 CD-rom discs from Stepping Stones. These are images of the pages. See their website for details. At present (August 2002) there is no other source for this census on CD but I have found the indexing/navigation of places more cumbersome than the S&N 1891 disc set.
S&N CENSUS DISCS ON CD-ROM
For the 1891 census what you get is the whole of the 1891 census for Lancashire on about 38 CD-rom discs. What you get are images of the original pages copied from the fiche not a transcription. This means you cannot search for a person by name. And some pages are hard to decipher or even downright unreadable. But this would be the same if you bought fiche. And if names are hard to decipher there is no guarantee that a transcriber would have got it right. There is an index to areas and an index to streets (although this does not cover all areas) which helps if you have a possible address from other sources. An excellent resource. Sets for 1861, 1871, 1901, and very shortly 1851 are already available. For details see their web page at BRITISH DATA ARCHIVE
I make no attempt to provide a county bibliography. Instead here are just a very small number of books I have used. I hope to add to the list in the future.
This book in the Archive Photographs series has many old photographs of Ramsbottom and its surroundings. Published by the Chalford Publishing Co (Stroud) and compiled by the Ramsbottom Heritage Society (see entry below)
A HISTORY OF EDENFIELD & DISTRICT
By John Simpson and published in 2003 by Edenfield Local History Society. Printed on good quality paper with many photographs and a wealth of information
PIGOT'S 1828 DIRECTORY FOR CUMBERLAND, LANCASHIRE, & WESTMORELAND is available as a facsimile edition published in 1995 by Michael Winton. If one of your ancestors had a trade, kept a shop, was a member of the clergy or even qualified as "gentry" he could be included. Also brief descriptions of each town with the then equivalent of bus timetables.
RAMSBOTTOM HERITAGE SOCIETY operate a Heritage Centre in the town but have also published a number of booklets as well as a regular newsletter. Some booklets are:-
Ramsbottom Reminiscences (vol i and ii)
Tottington 40 years Ago
For details see their website on my links page
TURTON LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY have a number of booklets covering the history of Turton, Bradshaw, Quarlton, Affetside. I have only bought 3 of these (18,19, 21) but these are well produced very informative booklets with a good number of pictures and maps. I cannot answer for the others.
The LPRS have a range of printed parish registers. See my links page for their website. Prices of past volumes are cheaper for members and the subscription includes free copies of newly published registers - but of course it may be some years before they get round to your parish (or else your parish was published so many years ago it is now out of stock.
THE ROAD TO NAB END
Author: William Woodruff
Publisher: Eland (London)
This book was actually published several years ago under a different title. The author was born in 1916 and brought up in a poor part of Blackburn in the years following the Great War. His family worked in the textile mills. It gives a good insight into the lives of mill-workers in this period - school, leisure, Wakes Weeks (in Blackpool), life in the mills, industrial relations and the General Strike, demonstrations and the police, open-air wrestling, pigeon racing.
Helmshore Local History Society have published a book of old photographs of the village (2nd edition 2000). It is very well presented on good quality paper. The captions are very full and informative. Apart from the pictures there are also newspaper cuttings, old concert programmes, dinner menus, large scale maps.