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20/03/2011

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 20 March 2011

In this Tracing Your Roots Census Special, Sally Magnusson visits Fox Lane in Leyland. With the help of genealogist Nick Barratt, she explores how, through the Census, we can piece together a street's changing history and also uncover secrets about our own family's past.

The first census records date back to the early 1800s. At this time, Leyland was a small village which became a small town over the nineteenth century. Sally visits one of the original weaver's cottages where the owners are intrigued to find out more about the original residents. Through the census records we build up a picture of how the weaving industry declined in the 1830's, with the weavers required to sub-let their cellars to poorer families. As the Industrial Revolution progresses we can see in the occupations listed in the census how the town evolves through to the beginnings of its famous motor industry.

Plus Sally and Nick are joined by Peter Christian, author of The Online Genealogist, and The Expert Guide to the Census. They'll discuss how having the Census available online has transformed family history research and reflect on what future family historians would lose if the Census is abolished.

And we convince one Fox Lane resident to fill out a form for the first time, by illustrating what they can learn about their own family's past from previous census records.

  • TONY AND BARBARA CHETWOOD

    When restoring their beautiful weaver's cottage, Tony and Barbara Chetwood felt they developed a strong connection with the house's sense of history. Through the census records we discover a host of interesting characters lived there. In fact, the original owner was a rather rich yeoman. What Barbara and Tony didn't expect was to come face to face with the living descendants of the Marsden family, who lived at 22 Fox Lane in the 1900s.

  • JEAN ROSSALL AND KAREN TAYLOR

    Karen Taylor had been thinking of looking into her family history, but as a busy mum she just hadn't found time. When Tracing Your Roots contacted Karen to ask if she was interested in visiting the house where her ancestors lived, she jumped at the opportunity. Karen and her mother Jean Rossall are astonished to find themselves round the kitchen table in the very space where their Marsden ancestors would have gathered for family meals. The Chetwoods are equally amazed to hear Jean's memories of her grandfather, William Marsden.

  • GLADYS SUTHERS

    Gladys was thrilled to become a resident of the Farington almshouses on Fox Lane. A keen member of the local historical society, she wanted to know more about how the almshouses were set up and who the former residents or "inmates" were. Remarkably, Jean Rossall's great aunt Alice Marsden ended her days at the almshouses.

  • GARETH THRELFALL

    27-year-old Gareth Threlfall is filling in his census form for the first time. He's recently moved to Fox Lane and asks Tracing Your Roots to find out how he's connected to the Threlfalls who ran several local businesses. Census records reveal Gareth's great, great, great grandfather, John Threlfall, started out as a humble cotton mill weaver and rose to become chief book-keeper, running a night school for children working at the mill. John Threlfall was so highly regarded a stained glass window was dedicated to his memory in the nearby church.

  • TONY AND BARBARA CHETWOOD

    TONY AND BARBARA CHETWOOD

  • JEAN ROSSALL AND KAREN TAYLOR

    JEAN ROSSALL AND KAREN TAYLOR

    Jean Rossall and her daughter Karen show Tony and Barbara photos of their Marsden ancestors, with Sally and local historian David Hunt.

  • GLADYS SUTHERS

    GLADYS SUTHERS

    Sally with Gladys Suthers and her neighbour Pat Wilson, outside the almshouses.

  • JOHN THRELFALL

    JOHN THRELFALL

    The stained glass window dedicated to John Threlfall, Gareth's great, great, great grandfather.
    (Photograph by Gary Poole)

Broadcasts

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  1. Image for Tracing Your Roots

    Tracing Your Roots

    Inspirational family history stories and key genealogy advice. Sally Magnusson and Nick Barratt…

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