British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa

Lancashire Diaries 1772-1910

With more than 1,000 surnames mentioned, this collection of diaries may provide clues to help you find your ancestors from east-central Lancashire, England. Read about hamlets, pubs, and schools that may have disappeared through the years. Learn about farm life and the cotton industry in the area.
Known as the Scowcroft Diaries, this database provides indexes of transcriptions by Arthur W. Critchley of a diary, kept for more than 50 years by Samuel Scowcroft.
Transcriptions from an earlier diary that exchanged hands within the Scowcroft family have been amalgamated into this coverage of the 19th century and some of the 18th and 20th. Also included is a listing of all the names in the Scowcroft family tree, along with a catalogue of unusual books on the history of the Turton Local History Society.
One diary was kept by Samuel Scowcroft (1838–1914), a local grocer and politician who came from a well-known Harwood/Bradshaw family.
His diary spans almost 50 years, from February 14, 1861 to June 28, 1910, recording everything of local importance in his life and times.
Extra information has been added from a separate diary transcribed by Edwin Scowcroft (1843–1931), covering the years 1772-1884.
Even if your ancestor is not of the Scowcroft lineage, digging in these indexes may well yield unexpected fruit to enrich the family tree.
In the early 1990s, Arthur W. Critchley set out to transcribe and compile amalgamated indexes from several diaries owned by his Scowcroft relatives and him. He devoted three years to the task, and the result is a canvas of life in east-central Lancashire, England from 1772 to 1910. 
The main region of geographic coverage is triangulated by Bury/Bolton, Preston and Burnley.
To learn more about this project, please read the Introduction.
Accessing the documents
The Amalgamated Indexes have been organized into separate PDFs for ease of use. (The full document is more than 900 pages.) Click on the links provided below to see the searchable PDFs.  
  • The Chronology Index is based on the Samuel Scowcroft Diaries, with extra information from the Black Diary (shown in bold).
  • The Surname Index was created by rearranging the Chronology alphabetically and bolding only the person names, of which there are 1,113.
  • The Place Index was created by rearranging the Chronology alphabetically and bolding only the place names. 
Additional Material includes:
You can also access the full document here.
The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa is honoured to have been entrusted by Arthur W. Critchley to make these indexes and related documents available on our website. 
Thanks to the efforts of BIFHSGO member Bryan D. Cook, the faded pages of the originals preserved by Mr. Critchley and his relatives are now available to genealogists worldwide.