Thursday, 27 September 2012


Margaret Hannan was the third child of Michael and Margaret Hannan.

1911 census showing Margaret's birth place as West Kyo, Durham

Margaret's story was a little harder to unearth.  It wasn't until the 1911 census was released that I could shed some more light onto where she was born, as I had been unable to find anything definite beforehand.

So, as you will have noticed the Hannan family followed their own naming pattern ~ Ellen the first daughter being named after her Aunt Ellen, Annie the second daughter being named after her maternal grandmother and now another daughter, this time named after her mother.

Margaret was born at West Kyo, Durham.  The first and only child of Michael and Margaret to be born away from Chesterfield.  West Kyo, also known locally as Old Kyo is a small village near to the town of Stanley in Co Durham.  The village was a mining village and grew during the 19th Century when coal mining was at its peak in the area. 

She was baptised at St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in the town of Stanley, Durham.  According to the baptism register she was born on 30th June 1885 and baptised on 2nd August 1885.  The names of her God Parents are difficult to make out from the baptism register, but it looks like Edward McKernon and Anna McKernon - this may well be incorrect though!

As Margaret's birth is registered in the Lanchester, Durham district (which covered Kyo) then it looks as though the family may well have been settled in the area for a while.  Her father Michael would have worked down one of the many coal mines in the area.  The 1880's were particularly hard, challenging times for the coal miners of England.  In September of 1882 a Special Conference of Miner's Delegates was held at Manchester.  The overall view of the various parties who attended was that it was long overdue for the coal miners to be given an increase in their wages.  If an increase was not obtained by 1st October 1883 then they would call for a general strike of all miners around the country.  It was also decided that each area should negotiate its own wage increase. 

The "old" Sun Inn c1900
Courtesy of credit - Chesterfield Photographic Society

With this in mind a meeting was held at The Sun Inn, Chesterfield with the delegates representing the miners of the area of Chesterfield and its surrounding areas.  They put to the vote whether to ask for an increase of 10% or 15%, the later amount of 15% won.  The delegates decided that they should visit each of the masters and ask for the wage increase and then return for a further meeting to discuss the replies and any further action that would need to be taken.  A mass gathering of the Chesterfield miners was planned for 4th October 1882, to enable the men to attend the meeting a request would be made to the colliery masters to allow the men to take a general holiday on that day.

The mass meeting went ahead and there was a large attendance of miners from all around East Derbyshire.  The men formed a procession and marched with banners and music from the Market Place to Horns Field where the meeting was to be held.  Great cheers and roars of "hear hear" were heard in agreement with the speakers.  The Chairman declared "the poor collier has reached his limit.  He can no longer afford to work for the low wages he had been, and the miners of this country were about to say with a voice of thunder that they could no longer endure the hardship".  I do not know which pit Michael Hannan worked at, but some of the local pits had offered wage increases of 5% and 10% at this point in the negotiations. 

Was Michael still living and working in Chesterfield or was he already in Durham?  If he was in Chesterfield then he probably enjoyed the days holiday, a good old mass meeting with his fellow miners and then some beer in the local public houses, to include some betting on the horses of course.

The impending strike was in the news for the next year until in December of 1883 it was decided that for the majority of the Chesterfield miners, the strike would not go ahead.  The North Staveley miners (employed by Staveley Coal and Iron Company), did strike for one day.  The calls for an increase in the wages did continue for the years to come, there were numerous small strikes of local miners. 

The final straw for Michael may have come in March of 1885, when due to a depression in the sale of coal and the low prices it was fetching, it was agreed that the wage increases which were introduced back in November 1882 be removed.  The wages of all miners in Derbyshire and Yorkshire were to be reverted back to that date by the colliery masters.  If Michael was still working in the Derbyshire mines at this time then with a wife, two small children and a baby on the way he may have had no option but to move the family away to mines of the Durham coalfields, where he would receive a better wage.  Even if this meant removing the family away from the all their fellow Irish and family in Chesterfield. 

Derbyshire Times 11th April 1885 page 6

April 1885 brought about realisation of the agreements of reduction in wages and in the middle of that month the colliery owners issued notices to the miners of a 10% reduction in wages.  If Michael had been employed at Clay Cross pit then the news was even more stark as on Tuesday 7th April around two thousand underground miners were given notice to leave their employment in fourteen days time.

Whatever the reason for them to move to Durham, one thing is for certain in that times for the Hannan family and the coal miners were even more brutal and poverty was rife when Margaret was born.  By the birth of the next child in 1888 the family or at least Margaret senior, was back living in Chesterfield.

On the 1901 census Margaret is now employed as a domestic servant, she would be 15 years old on the date of the census, her 16th birthday due in the August.  The family are living at Church Alley, very close to the Crooked Spire.  Margaret met a young man named George Granby and the couple married on 25th September 1907 at the Roman Catholic Church, Spencer Street, Chesterfield.  Witnesses to the marriage were Michael Hannan and Winifred Hannan (Margaret's father and younger sister). 

George is a few years older than Margaret being born in 1881, son of Charles and Ann Granby. At the time of George's birth the family were living at 24 Hollis Lane and Charles was employed a grocers labourer. When George was just 6 years old his father was involved in a carting accident. Whilst he was delivering groceries for his employer Mr J Wright (Whittington Moor) his horse was frightened by a passing train near Wheeldon Mill and drew up into the air. Charles jumped down from his cart but was knocked down by the horse, causing him to incur a broken leg and severe facial injuries, he was admitted to the Royal Hospital, Chesterfield.

In 1911 Margaret and George are living at 12 Hope Street, Brampton.  They have two children Margaret aged 3 years and Ann Ivy aged 1 year old.  George is employed as boot repairer.

The children of Margaret & George ~
The details have been taken from Internet sources only and so I would be most grateful if anyone could confirm or correct my information
Margaret Granby - born 1908 (? 4th May), married Frederick Day 1934 Sheffield, died ?1977 Loughborough.
Ann Ivy Granby - born 1910, married ? , died ?
George Granby ~ born 1912, married ? Ethel Moss 1948 Manchester, died ?
Winifred E ~ born 17th May 1915, married Oswald Howarth 1937 Halifax, died 1989 Bournemouth.
Eileen R M Granby ~ born 1928, married ? Stanley Blowers 1954 Ealing, died ?

Well that pretty much end's the information that I have managed to find on the life of Margaret Hannan known as "Maggie".  Her husband George passed away on 1st January 1944 and he was buried at Boythorpe Cemetery on 5th January 1944.  He does not have a grave stone but his plot is easy to locate from the grave plan.  He was living at 44 Lucas Road, Newbold at the time of his death.

Photo showing grave plot of George Granby
Boythorpe Cemetery, Chesterfield

Margaret is not buried with her husband.  The only death registered for a Margaret Granby is for 1976 at Wandsworth, London.  The Margaret registered is recorded as having a birth date of 30th June 1885, so it looks like this could well be our Margaret Hannan.  She had reached the grand age of 91 years old. 

If anyone can add anymore to the story of Margaret and George then please do let me know.  I would love to know where Margaret is buried and what their married lives were like.  What did George do in WW1?  What became of the children?

Please feel free to add comments to the blog for all to read and if you would like any further information on this post please do not hesitate to contact me.

For an excellent website on the Coal Mines of Durham click here

NEXT TO COME ~ WINIFRED HANNAN..........................

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


ANNIE HANNAN was the second child of Michael and Margaret Hannan. 

The baptism record states that Annie was born on 12th August 1882, which fell on a Saturday.  By now  the Hannan family were living at Church Alley, which was situated in the shadow of the Crooked Spire Church.  The alley led from Church Lane up to the graveyard area of the church.

Map showing Church Alley on the left, Church Lane runs along the bottom
and St Marys Gate along the right hand of the picture

Annie's birth however, was not registered until the first quarter (January, February or March) of 1883.  In those days Michael and Margaret were required by law to register the births of any children within 42 days of the birth or pay a fine of £2 to register after 42 days had passed, but up to 6 months later.  So would Michael and Margaret have told the true date of birth to the registrar when they eventually registered little Annie or does the birth certificate contain a slightly amended date of birth to avoid the payment of the £2 fine?

Annie was baptised on Sunday 10th September 1882 at the Roman Catholic Church on Spencer Street, Chesterfield.  Her Godparents were Patrick and Anna Hannan - most likely her Aunt and Uncle. 

A few years later on the 1891 census and Annie is 8 years old and attends school.  She now has two more sisters; five year old Margaret and toddler Winnie aged just 2 years old.  Their elder sister Ellen is residing with their Grandmother Ann and her Aunt and Uncles just a few streets away on Corporation Street. Their father Michael is a coal miner and the family are living at number 6 Church Alley.

Now Annie must have enjoyed school as she is the first of the family to have made a step up the ladder into professional employment.  In 1901 aged just 18 years old Annie is working away from home as an assistant teacher at the Convent School in Ratcliffe Gate, Mansfield.  How the family must have been so proud of her! 

On Tuesday 1st May 1906 Annie married John Morley at the Roman Catholic Church, Spencer Street.  They had two witnesses; Sylvester Morley (John's younger brother) and Margaret Hannan (Annie's younger sister). 

John was the son of John and Catherine Morley.  The family lived in Brampton, Chesterfield at 44 Alma Street in 1901.  John Jnr was working as a bricklayers labourer at this time.  His father was a potter along with his brother Sylvester.  By 1911 John's father; John Snr was landlord of the Anchor Inn at 4 Factory Street, Brampton and later he ran the Furnace Inn also in Brampton.  The Hannan and Morley family must have been quite close as in 1911 Annie's younger sister, 22 year old Winifred Hannan is working as a general servant for John Snr at the Anchor Inn.

1911 census for Annie & John Morley at 20 Spencer Street, Chesterfield
On the 1911 census Annie and John are living at number 20 Spencer Street, only a stones throw away from Annie's parents at number 21 Spencer Street.  The couple have been married 3 years and now have two young children ~

Mary Ann aged 4 years old
Lawrence Michael aged 1 year old

John is working as insurance agent and Annie is taking a break from her teaching to bring up her family, her occupation is recorded as "housework". 

In 1914 John, the couples last child was born, named after his father.   The same year saw the outbreak of World War 1.  John joined the 2nd / 6th Battalion Sherwood Foresters Regiment, which was formed at Chesterfield on 14th September 1914 as a second line unit, meaning it was for home service.  John would have been 32 years old and due to his age he was at the upper limits for the required recruitment age ~ in the first instance Kitchener set the ages limits between 19 and 30 years old, three weeks later however and the upper limit was raised to 35 years old. 

As the war took hold and the need for more men increased the battalion was required to take up a more active roll.  In April of 1916 they were sent to Ireland to quell the tensions and troubles there.  The Easter Rising took place between the 23rd April and 30th April 1916, so it is highly possible John was present to witness the violence and riots that took place.  It must have been all the more difficult for him being Roman Catholic and having married into an Irish family.  The Sherwood Foresters suffered heavy losses during the Battle of Mount Street in Dublin on 26th April 1916.  After the uprising, 15 men who had been identified as the leaders of the uprising were executed at Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin.  Twelve members of the Sherwood Foresters Regiment were to have the gruesome task of performing these execution's, which took place between the 3rd and 12th May 1916.  The 12 men fired 11 bullets, giving a little hope to the executioner's that they had fired the unloaded rifle.  It is not known which battalion actually took part in the executions. 

The Battalion returned to England and were stationed in Fovant, Wiltshire in January 1917.  Sadly their reprieve was short lived and on 26th February 1917 they landed at Le Harve.  On the 23rd September the Battalion marched from Forge in France just over the border to Vlamertinge in Belgium, to relieve the 2nd/5th South Staffordshire Battalion at 22.oohrs.  They were now stationed in the area running from the Grafenstafel Road to the Downing Trench.  They remained in their positions and on 25th September the Battalion was "fairly heavily shelled" and two men were wounded.  At 5.50am on 26th September, after heavy artillery barrage the battalion left their positions and set off to gain their objective to take Grafenstafel Road inclusive, which they had achieved by 7.30am.  They took a number of prisoners also.  The enemy continued to shell their position throughout the rest of the day and on into the next day, the 27th September.  Eventually at 8pm that evening they were relieved from duty by the 2nd/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters.  Sadly it seems by this time John had already lost his life in the line of duty.  The war diaries record; casualties 11 Officers and 220 Other Ranks.  On 29th September the British were relieved by the Anzacs at the British front line just behind Wieltje.

John was killed on 27th September 1917, his obituary in the Derbyshire Times on 13th October 1917, page 5 gives the following short biography of John and his wife Annie ~

Pte. John Morley
Derbyshire Times, 13th October 1917, p5

One of the Sherwood Forester Territorial Battalions has lost a well
known and popular figure in Private John Morley, whose wife
and 3 children live in Spencer Street, Chesterfield.  Writing to Mrs
Morley, her husband's platoon officer states :- "it is with deep regret
I have to inform you of the death in action of Pte. J. Morley, who died
a hero's death while gallantly advancing in the front line against the
Boche position.  We took our all our objectives, and it is through
the noble dash and fearless advance of such as your husband that we
won a glorious victory for our dear old country.  Your husband
was a good comrade and one of the best men.  He always inspired
confidence and success among his comrades.  I knew him personally
as a right good fellow and one of the best, always ready to do
his duty.  His Captain died with him in the advance"

Pte. Morley , who was 35 years of age, was a native of Brampton, and
for many years his father was the landlord of the Furnace Inn.  He
was the head chef to the officers of his battalion, and was quite a favourite
with them judging by the number of gifts he received from them from
time to time.  In private life he was employed successively by
Messrs. Swan, Sheffield Road, the Prudential Assurance Company
and Holmewood Colliery.  He was a well known figure at the
Chesterfield Roman Catholic Church.  Mrs Morley is a teacher
at Whittington Moor Boys School.

John; Pte. Morley 241329 was awarded the Victory and British medals for his sacrifice and service.  He is buried at the Wieltje Farm Cemetery in Belgium.  John left a wife and three young children  ~ 1o year old Mary Ann, 8 year old Lawrence and toddler 3 year old John.

Life in post War England must have been tough on Annie and her children.  She was lucky in that she was employed in a reputable and professional job as a teacher.  Times were hard and for Annie life had to go on, she would have had no other choice.  A few years later we can hope that she was again happy, as she married John Anderson at Spencer Street Roman Catholic Church on Saturday 26th June 1920.

I don't know much about Annie and John Anderson's married life, so if there is anyone one who is reading this blog and does know I would love to be able to fill the gaps in. 

Entry in probate register for Annie Anderson

Annie died on 21st November 1952.  She was living at 5 Crown Road, which is a street off of  Sheffield Road.  The street does still exist today.  In her will Annie left her effects of £1868 12s 7d to her son Lawrence Michael Morley, her married daughter Mary Ann Langenus and an unknown beneficiary was John Alfred Healey an optician.  I have not been able to find a definite death for her husband John Anderson.  Her youngest son John was not mentioned in the probate entry.

Annie is buried in Spital Cemetery in the "old ground, Roman Catholic area".  She is buried in grave plot 11054 which is just three plots behind her parents Michael and Margaret Hannan.  Neither Annie, nor her parents have a gravestone but it is easy to use the grave plot maps to locate the position of the graves.  They are both marked on the picture below, a double click on the picture will bring the image into a larger screen to enable better views.

Spital Cemetery, grave of Michael & Margaret in the forefront
Annie Anderson nee Hannan directly behind

The children of Annie & John -

the details below are taken from Internet sources only and so I would be most grateful if anyone can confirm or correct my information ~

Mary Ann ~ born 11th October 1906, married William Langenus 1937 Chesterfield,
died 1979 Chesterfield
Lawrence Michael Morley ~ born 5th August 1909, married ?Mary Storer 1941 Liverpool, died 1994 Chesterfield
John ~ born ?27th April 1914, married ?, died possibly 1989 Basford district

So the story of Annie comes to an end. If anyone has any further information to add to this blog or can fill in the gap between her children's births and her death in 1952, then please let me know so that I can complete the story. 


The Rood-Beam in Chesterfield Crooked Spire, crafted by Francis Langenus
picture by kind permission of John Ward, Aston Rowant, Oxfordshire

A little extra note - Mary Ann Morley married William Langenus.  The Langenus family were Belgium refugees who came to Chesterfield. 
A man named Francis Langenus carved the wooden Rood-Beam which still stands in the Chesterfield Crooked Spire Church. 

I do not know the exact connection of Francis and William, whether they are father and son or brothers, but a Frans Langenus of 3 The Bungalows, Littlemoor, Chesterfield died on 17th May 1954 and administration was granted to William Langenus, schoolmaster.

For more information on the Easter Risings and the Sherwood Foresters involvement see -

*1916, The Rising by National Library of Ireland click here
*excellent blog on the Kilmainham Executions click here
*MOD Sherwood Foresters Regiment click here

The dates and details in this blog are taken from various sources including ~

*Spencer Street Roman Catholic Church Registers - Sheffield Archives
*Spital burial registers, Chesterfield Local Studies Library
*WW1, Sherwood Foresters Regiment -
*War Diaries, 2nd/6th Battaion Sherwood Foresters

NEXT TO COME ~ MARGARET HANNAN....................

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Our family will be celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with a garden party (weather permitting!).  We will be eating copious amounts of traditional British food; sandwiches, coronation chicken, trifle and lots of cup cakes!  Washed down with beer, wine and of course cups of tea! There will be games for the children and buntings and flags flying, but how did our ancestors in Chesterfield celebrate previous Jubilee's?

Queen Victoria reigned to celebrate two Jubilee's; her 50 year Golden Jubilee on 20th June 1887 and her 60 years  reign, Diamond Jubilee in 1897.  Chesterfield certainly marked both occasions with joyous royal spirit and patriotism which left a lasting memorial in the market town of Chesterfield ~

Golden Jubilee ~

The town of Chesterfield was undecided on how to mark the Golden Jubilee, Victoria being a much loved and adored Queen the town wished to honour her appropriately.  There were three proposals put forward as suggested memorials ~

*purchase of a public park
*clearing of the debt owed on the Stephenson's Memorial Hall
*opening of new medical wards at the towns Royal Hospital

After great consideration by the council and Mayor Alderman Wood it was decided that the need for provision of a public recreation ground was of paramount importance to the well being of the inhabitants of Chesterfield and so a public park was to be the memorial of the Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.   The park was named Queens Park and is little changed to this day.

Three sites were under consideration for the placement of the park, but the 22 acre plot south of the town centre was settled upon. Being placed between the River Hipper and Boythorpe on land known as Maynards Meadows.

Much fund raising was undertaken by the residents of Chesterfield, including the Chesterfield Amateur Dramatic Societies "Grand Jubilee Performance" held at the Stephenson Memorial Hall on Tuesday 19th April 1887.  Entertainers included Miss Marie Rhodes, Miss Eva Lillian and Mr G F Bywater.  Tickets could be reserved prior to the performance for 3s or 10s for a family ticket to admit four persons.

Jubilee fever hit Chesterfield, souvenir tea sets, mugs and other paraphernalia were advertised for sale. A letter written to the Board Of Guardians at Chesterfield Workhouse from the members of the Chesterfield Jubilee Recreation Ground Committee, stated that "a special treat should be given on the occasion, of the celebration of the Queen's Jubilee to the inmates of the workhouse and the children at the Industrial Schools" an applause of "hear hear" was heard at the meeting.

Mayor Alderman Wood played his part in fund raising by holding a Jubilee Garden Party at his home at Hady.  On Wednesday 5th July at 5pm he opened his greenhouses and grounds for viewing and there was a concert performed by the Chesterfield Harmonic Society, Chesterfield Volunteer Brass Band and the Chesterfield Hand Bell Ringers.  Tickets were for sale at the Derbyshire Times and Derbyshire Courier newspaper offices, but for those who could not afford the ticket price I am sure the music rang out all around Chesterfield and filled the townspeople with glad tidings.

Eventually in August the Mayor Wood announced that £3114 16s had been raised so far, which was enough to purchase 17 acres of the land at West Bars from Mr Maynard.  The town marked the Golden Jubilee at the dedication of the park on 21st September 1887.  There was a long procession of subscriber's, public bodies, representatives of Chesterfield's trade and industry, Sunday Schools and the local Yeomanry who all marched through the main streets of Chesterfield to the land at Maynards Meadows.   Mayor Alderman Wood was presented with a silver spade with an ebony handle in order to plant a commemorative tree to mark the dedication.

Spade used by Mayor Wood
Taken from Modern Chesterfield, Pendleton & Jacques, 1908

Later that day the Mayor entertained the subscribers to lunch at the Upper Corn Exchange.  The volunteers were also given dinner, the elderly of Chesterfield lunched in the park and the Sunday School children returned to their respective schools and were treated to tea. 

The Queen was not the only reason for a Jubilee celebration in Chesterfield that year; the Holy Trinity Church celebrated the Jubilee of the laying of the foundation stone for the Church in 1837.  The Church wrote to Her Majesty telling her of the connection and how the Church was the burial place of the "genius" George Stevenson.  The Church received a telegraph in reply dated 19th May, from Windsor Castle at 09.10, stating that "the Queen thanks you and your parishioners for your kind and loyal congratulations".

And what was the weather like in June 1887? a question all English men would ask!  Well according to an article in the Derbyshire Times, dated 2nd July 1887 the Derbyshire Volunteers spent their Jubilee camping at Blackpool and celebrated the event with a big bonfire.  The men are said to have returned "looking as bronzed and sunburnt as men well can".  So it looks like the weather was good on the East coast at least, or was it the big bonfire that caused the bronzed look?!

Brampton held their Jubilee celebrations on the August bank holiday.  It began with a luncheon for ticket holders and a free lunch for the elderly.  The Chesterfield Volunteer Band then assembled at Brampton post office and led a procession to Walton Dam, where all types of games were held including "Cranky Horses" (any offers on what this game is??), shooting galleries and coconut throwing.  Local breweries; Brampton and Scarsdale gave 30 gallons of beer each to the festivities.  The Derbyshire Times recorded that there was 600lb beef, 350lb's of ham, 840lb's of bread, 50lb's of tea and 20 gallons of milk consumed that afternoon.

In November of 1887 the now ex-Mayor Alderman Wood was made a freeman of the town of Chesterfield, in honour of the contributions he had made to the town and its townsfolk.  Money was raised for the purchase of a silver casket to be presented to him but instead he asked for the money to be put to the erecting of a bandstand in the Queens Park.

On Tuesday 9th October 1888 the Chesterfield Jubilee Committee met for a final time and all agreed that their work was done in raising money to purchase a public park to commemorate Her Majesty Queen Victoria.  There was £32 left in the kitty, which after discussion was decided best to be put into another fund to raise the money to purchase the final 5 acres.   The price of the bandstand was also discussed at the meeting; £130 for an open band stand and £160 for one with shutters. Over the next year further fund raising was undertaken by the ladies bazaar committee and the final amount to secure the purchase of the further 5 acres of land was raised in October 1889.

The Queens Park was finally opened to the public on 2nd August 1893.  The laying of a cricket pitch was commenced the same year.  Further years saw the addition of a cricket pavilion in 1898, a boating lake, cycling tracks and even a gymnasium.  In 1901, in dedication of the death of Queen Victoria a further 17 acres of land were purchased and named the Queens Park Annex. 

Queens Park cricket ground today, with the pavilion in the background

In 1909 a statue of a young girl holding a rose was presented to the park by a local sculptor Herbert Lee. 

At the final meeting of the Chesterfield Jubilee Committee, Alderman Wood the chairman commented that "He trusted that in years to come this (the park) would be a great source of pleasure and benefit not only to the inhabitants of Chesterfield but to all those in the surrounding district and that in years to come it would be thought that they commemorated the Queens Jubilee of 1887, in the most common sense and practical way it could be commemorated"   To this speech he received a resounding "hear hear" which I think we can all most certainly agree with.  Each of our generations to have passed since the year 1887 will have had many happy times and tales to tell of our Queens Park and this blog has reminded us that they most certainly did commemorate the Queens Jubilee in a commonsense and practical way ~ luckily for the town of Chesterfield.

Diamond Jubilee ~

Chesterfield Drill Hall ~ drawing in Derbyshire Times 1st October 1898
Image included with kind permission of The British Newspaper Archive (
To commemorate the Diamond Jubilee the town of Chesterfield decided upon the building of a Drill Hall for the numerous Volunteers who had been previously based at Bakewell, the Headquarters of the 2nd Derbyshire Volunteer Battalion, Sherwood Foresters.  The men had often been required to drill out in all weathers and so a new drill hall would be of immense benefit to the Battalion.

Land was provided by the Corporation, at the top of Goldwell Hill near Ashgate Road.  The hall has now been demolished and is allotments.

Drill Hall, Chesterfield
picture care of

The Hall was opened on Wednesday 28th September 1898 by Lord Roberts V.C, described by the Derbyshire Times as "England's greatest General".   The weather was commented on as having been one or two showers, but nothing to dampen the proceedings as thousands converged onto Chesterfield to see Lord Roberts and the opening of the Drill Hall.  The people of Chesterfield rose to the occasion and hung out buntings and flags.  The Station Hotel on Corporation Street was adorned with flags in the form of shields and the Midland Hotel was decorated with greenery, shields and coloured flags.  Streamers and Union Jacks hung from Freeman's Hotel to the Stevenson Memorial Hall.  The town must have looked a colourful spectacle. 

A luncheon was provided afterwards for the most prominent members of Chesterfield at the Stephenson Memorial Hall.  Sports were held in the afternoon to entertain 5000 people at the Queens Park which included flat races and bicycle races.  The day was round off with around 10,00 people assembling in the Queens Park for a Military Torchlight Tatoo by "A" Company which was followed by a firework display.  The bandstand was illuminated with lights and a tent was erected for dancing. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

So, the Jubilee's of Chesterfield past have held a lasting impression on the town to this day.  If it were not for the foresight of Mayor Alderman Wood we would not have the park that we still use and enjoy today.  The drill hall has vanished from our landscape but now as I pass the allotments on my left as I drive along Saltergate, past the Goldwell Rooms onto Ashgate Road I will remember the excitement and thrill its presence once evoked on the people of Chesterfield.

Did our ancestor's join in with the celebrations of the Jubilee's past?  I hope so and I hope that they all enjoyed themselves!! The children may have delighted at their free Sunday School tea, the elderly the free luncheon's and the military amongst them a chance to have a brand new Drill Hall in the town centre which kept them out of the wind and rain!!  Would they, as did Mayor Alderman Wood think to the future and hope that we would all be happy with the choices they made? probably not, but here we are now remembering their actions over a century later!

I will leave the more recent Jubilee's for another time; our reigning Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has reached the same milestones as Queen Victoria did, the only two of our Monarch's to reach their Diamond Jubilee! 

Notes ~

The information, facts and figures in this blog post have been taken primarily from past copies of the Derbyshire Times Newspaper.

I did want to add a picture of the bandstand at the Queen's Park, but at present the Bank Holiday Fair is situated directly in front of it ~ so the picture will be added when possible.

Sources -
"Modern Chesterfield" by Pendleton and Jacques, 1908

Friday, 25 May 2012


On the 1911 census return Michael & Margaret have recorded that they have been married 32 years and that they have eight children that were born alive.  All are still living in 1911, which in those days was a great achievement for the Hannan family.   To view a family pedigree tree for Michael & Margaret's family please click here
I will now introduce you to each of the children, each will have their own blog page :~

ELLEN HANNAN (Nellie) was the first born child to Michael and, Margaret; born on Saturday 30th August 1879 whilst the family still lived on Glumangate; probably with Margaret's mother Ann.   Ellen's grandfather John had died a much earlier back in 1867. She was the first grandchild to Ann (and John) Hannan.

Ellen was baptised Helena Hannon, at the Church of the Annunciation, Spencer Street a few weeks later on 14th September 1879.  Her God Parents were Patrick Hannon and Helena Hannon; Patrick is the younger brother of Margaret so would be Uncle to Ellen.  There is only one other Helena / Ellen Hannan that I have found so far in the family tree, she was the Aunty of Margaret (sister to Margaret's father John).  Margaret and her Aunty Ellen were only ten years apart in age so it is possible that the girls were brought up closely and thus Margaret named her first daughter after her. 

Two years later on the 1881 census, Ellen and her mother do not appear in the returns for Chesterfield, in fact I have been unable to find them anywhere in England.  It is possible that Margaret returned to the family in Ireland to show off her beautiful toddler, or maybe times were hard and she needed their help? Unfortunately we will never know. Michael is lodging at 1 Blacksmith Yard, Glumangate with Catherine Cokeley a 62 year old widow, her son Patrick and a blind man named Patrick Doherty, all were from Ireland.  Blacksmith Yard was a yard off of Glumangate, minutes from the home of Ann Hannan (mother of Margaret).

Aged 11 years old on the 1891 census Ellen is living with her Grandmother Ann and her Uncles John and Thomas and Aunty Annie.  It is not clear whether Ellen was staying at the house for the night or if she lived with them on a more permanent basis.  They lived at 6 Corporation Street, next to the Temperance Hotel run by Isaac and Emma Phillips.  Ellen is still at school at this time, Uncle John is employed as a blacksmiths striker, Uncle Thomas is a picture framer and Aunty Annie is a hosiery saleswoman.

By 1901 the family have moved and now live close to the Roman Catholic Church at 14 Spencer Street.  Ellen is 21 years old, single and she works as a domestic servant.  A year later and wedding bells sound for Ellen when she marries Patrick McHugh on Saturday 28th June 1902 at the Roman Catholic Church, just a stones throw away.  Their witnesses were John McHugh and Anna Hannan (possibly Ellen's sister).  Ellen must have been heavily pregnant at the time as her first son John was born just four months later on the 25th October 1902!

Patrick was the son of Patrick and Maria McHugh, he was born in County Sligo sometime around 1877/8. 

1911 Census - Patrick & Ellen McHugh

On the 1911 census Ellen and Patrick are living at 5 Marsdens Place (Patrick gave this address on the 1911 census - the next door neighbour wrote Marsden Street), Chesterfield. Patrick works as a coal miner hewer at one of the local coal mines. 

1911 Census - Patrick's signature & address

Ellen and Patrick stated that they had been married nine years on the 1911 census and that they have four children (it would only have been 8 years at the census date of 2nd April 1911, did they simply round the figure up or change it to make themselves look more respectable as they had an eight year old son?).  Ellen has also reduced her age by one year. The children are recorded as ~

John McHugh aged 8 years,
Patrick McHugh aged 6 years,
Thomas McHugh aged 4 years
and baby James McHugh just 3 months old.

After all those son's, Ellen and Patrick must have been delighted when  on 6th October 1913 a daughter was born ~ Mary Kathleen McHugh!

There may be another boy born much later in 1925; Matthew T McHugh - but I have no further information on him at present.

Ellen lived to the grand age of 84 years old and passed away at Derwent House Care Home at Newbold, Chesterfield on 15th March 1964.  She is recorded as a widow, but I have been unable to find an exact death date for Patrick.  She was buried at Boythorpe Cemetery on 19th March 1964.

The children of Ellen and Patrick ~

these details below are only taken from Internet sources and I would be most grateful if anyone can confirm or correct my information ~

John Joseph ~ born 25th October 1902, married Alice Clay in 1933, died 1970 Basford?
Patrick ~ born 6th September 1904, married Mabel Nicholls in 1923, died 1993 Chesterfield?
Thomas ~ born 12th March 1906, died 1980 Oldham?
James ~ born 1911
Mary Kathleen ~ born 6th October 1913, married Arthur Bradley in 1940, died 2004 Chesterfield
Matthew T McHugh ~ born 1925, married Edna Lindsey in 1947?

So the story of Nellie comes to an end.  If anyone has any further information to add to this blog or can fill in the gap between her children's births and her death in 1964, then please let me know so that I can complete the story.  What happened to Patrick McHugh?

The dates and details in this blog are taken from various sources including ~

*Spencer Street Roman Catholic Church Registers -  Sheffield Archives
*Boythorpe Burial Registers - Chesterfield Local Studies Library.

NEXT TO COME ~ ANNIE HANNAN....................

Sunday, 22 April 2012


Marriage certificate for Margaret & Michael Hannan

On Monday 22nd April 1878 the marriage of Margaret Hannan and Michael Hannan took place at the Church of the Annunciation, Spencer Street, Chesterfield.

Margaret was a 19 year old spinster, daughter of John and Ann Hannan.  At the time of the marriage she was living at Glumangate with her parents and siblings. 

This is the first time we meet Michael, he was 21 years old when the couple married and was employed as a coal miner.  He is living at Wards Yard in Chesterfield which is only a short walk across the market place to the home of the Hannan family on Glumangate.  Michael has named his father on the marriage certificate as another Michael Hannan, his occupation was a farm labourer.

1876 map of Chesterfield ~ showing
Wards Yard and Glumangate

The marriage took place "by certificate" at the only Roman Catholic Church in Chesterfield  town centre at that time.  The couple had to obtain this certificate in order to marry as they were not marrying in a Church Of England establishment.  The purpose of the certificate is similar to that of having banns read out for a Church of England wedding.  But at this time Margaret and Michael could not have the banns read, instead they had to apply to the local registrar 21 days prior to the wedding, to request permission to marry in a non-conformist church.  The request would be posted in the registrar's office for 21 days to allow anyone with reason to contend the marriage to come forward.  After this time the Superintendent Registrar would issue the certificate and the couple were free to marry legally.

Church of the Annunciation, Spencer Street, Chesterfield

The Roman Catholic church on Spencer Street was built in 1854 and was much appreciated by the Catholics of Chesterfield as prior to this they only had a small chapel at Hunloke, Birdholme or the nearest Roman Catholic Church was at Spinkhill which is about 9 miles out of Chesterfield town centre.  Chesterfield had experienced an influx of Irish immigrants and the following of Catholicism in the town was growing rapidly along with its population.  A first attempt to provide a permanent place of worship for the Catholics was in 1843, when Father Edward Anselm applied to turn the old theatre on Low Pavement into a chapel.  Many of the Irish immigrants lived in the cramped terraced rows leading off of Low Pavement in an area which became known as "the dog kennels"; leaving no question's in ones mind of how grim this area of Chesterfield must have been and how the Irish were thought of by the locals! (another post idea I think!).  Unfortunately the idea was rejected as the corporation planned to turn the building into public offices.   Eventually the present Church on Spencer Street was commissioned and the foundation stone was laid by Father John Baron in May 1852.  The church opened its doors in 1854 to the great joy of the Catholics of Chesterfield.

The witnesses of the marriage were John Rowley and Bridgett Callaghan.  John was around 18 years old and worked as a coal miner, probably a work colleague of Michael.  Bridget was only about 14 years old.  In the 1881 census she is recorded as living with her parents Pat (a coal miner) and Jane Rowley at Spa Lane.  Both witnesses were born in Ireland. 

Both Michael and his witness John were able to sign their names on the marriage register but both of the girls, Margaret and Bridget left their X mark as a signature.

So were Margaret and Michael related?

Up to know and with all the research I have done I am still unable to find any connection for the two Hannan families.  So, maybe the Hannan name link was purely coincidence! We will have to wait and see what else I am able to unearth about the Hannan family.  Michael's family originate from Co Mayo and were labourers and unskilled workers, where as Margaret's father and grandfather were skilled tradesmen, "master" of their cordwainer trades. 

Church of the Annunciation, Spencer Street c.1910;EQUALS;DCCC000792&pos=2&action=zoom&id=6207

For more information, pictures and maps about the Church of the Annunciation see the following link, which is a document made by Derbyshire County Council regarding the area around Spencer Street and its conservation -

Monday, 16 April 2012


Glumangate 1876

Having made my last post on the birth of Margaret Hannan I wanted to find out more about their time living in Glumangate, after all this street is the only place where Margaret and her parents and siblings all lived together ~ the family home.

Looking at the 1861 census for Glumangate I do now think that the family originally lived on the other side of the road from number 38 (the house mentioned in the last post) on the west side of the street.  Following the route along the 1861 census return the Hannan family are living in between Mary Townsend who ran a lodging house and John Dutton who ran the Spinning Wheel Public House.   This public house had a variety of names over the years including the Joiners Arms, Green Dragon, White Hart, Foresters Arms and the Jubilee, it closed in 1955 when it was known as The Cavendish. 

Updated map of Glumangate showing
Hannan residence in 1861

Life on the street was not always peaceful; an article in The Sheffield Independent on 29th July 1862 describes one neighbourly disagreement ~
Mary Townsend reported a "very disagreeable smell, arising from the defendants house" to Constable Browell.  The defendant was John Hannan, shoemaker of Glumangate.  Constable Browell went to the Hannan home to find "a quantity of leather shavings burning on the fire".  So what would be John's explanation?....... blame the children of course!  "the defendant said his children had put them on the fire without his knowledge".  Naughty Hannan children or quick thinking John?  John was fined 1 shilling and costs of 9 shillings for an offence against the bye laws.

The Burgess roll for Glumangate, which lists who was entitled to vote in the borough election's includes John Hannan for the years 1863 until 1866. To qualify for this vote in 1863 he must have either lived or paid rates in the borough for two and half years. This entitlement was widened in 1869 to included females and the term in residence was reduced to one year. 

Sadly family life was to change forever in 1867, when John became ill suffering from consumption, also known as tuberculosis (TB) or phthisis.  Consumption is highly contagious, spread by air via coughs and sneezes.  Its symptoms could include fatigue, fever, night sweats, breathing difficulty, weight loss and eventually led to wasting away of the body tissues ~ which is where it gained it name "consumption".  In 1867 little was known about the disease, an inoculation was not used successfully until many years later in 1906.  It was not until the 1880's that the disease was classed as contagious and made a notifiable disease, so John had remained living at home, probably going about his day to day activities and working as a shoemaker whilst gradually becoming seriously ill.  Ann must have really struggled to care for her dying husband and a houseful of children, there were six children aged from 13 years old to baby Annie, the newest and last member of the family who was under 1 year old.  It is amazing that none of the children became infected as they would have been highly susceptible to the disease. 

John died with his wife Ann by his side at Glumangate on Monday 10th June 1867, he was only 40 years old.  His condition was documented as consumption but this had not been certified by a doctor, this may have been because the family could not afford medical care.  Margaret was only 9 years old when she lost her father.  Ann was left alone, with no husband or income, to survive the hardships of an Irish immigrant in Victorian England and raise her six children.  

A death notice was placed in the Derbyshire Times newspaper on 15th June 1867 page 2.  It simply reads -

HANNAN - June 10 at Chesterfield - Mr John Hannan,
shoemaker, aged 40

John was buried in a common grave on 12th June 1867 at Spital Cemetery, Chesterfield.  This cemetery was the only one in Chesterfield at the time to have an area for Roman Catholic burials.  He has no gravestone but looking at the plan of the grave plots I can roughly work out where he was laid to rest.  Some years later, on 5th February 1898 John's son Patrick buried his young wife Elizabeth in the same plot as John.  As common graves were allocated in plot order it may just have been pure chance that the same plot was used for both Hannan family member's. 

John's illness was not the first time that the family had contact with the consumption.  Back in 1855 John's father another John Hannan died of phthisis on 23rd April 1855 again at Glumangate.  The death certificate states that he had suffered with the disease for 3 years and this was certified by a doctor.  John senior was also a master cordwainer.

Life continued and by 1871 Ann and her six children are living across the road on the east side of Glumangate, in the last recorded house on the census enumeration schedule before Saltergate begins.  They live next door to John Bryan the greengrocer.  It is not clear if they had moved to this house before or after the death of John.  The two eldest son's John aged 16 years and Timothy aged 14 years old are both employed as coal miners.  All the other children, Margaret 12, Patrick 10, Thomas 6 and Annie 4 are all attending school.   The rate book for 18th May 1871 records "Ann Annon" as living in a property belonging to Wm Towndrow.  The rateable value for this property was £4 8s 0d, which was one of the lower values for the street, but not the lowest.  

During the following ten years Margaret married and moved into her own home just across the town centre in Church Alley.  The other children are all still living with Ann and all but Annie are working for a living.   The boys have left their employment in the mines and both Timothy 23 and Patrick 19 are working on the railways as a platelayer and labourer. John the eldest son is now 25 years old and has a trade as a blacksmith striker.  These times were probably the most well off and comfortable the family had ever experienced with at least three wages coming into the house, plus I am sure that Ann had a side line of some sort to make ends meet.

 The later Burgess rolls show that Ann was given the right to vote in the borough elections and she appears on the list from 1870 to 1878 and then again in 1880 till 1884.  This does tie in with the end of our Hannan connection to Glumangate as by the 1891 census Ann and two of her children John and Annie are now living at 6 Corporation Street, down towards railway station at the other side of the town centre. 

Before 1919 the Towndrow family sold some land and properties to Scarsdale Brewery.  The properties included the four houses at the top of the east side of Glumangate, one of which was number 38, the Hannan family home.  The smithy just below was also included in this sale.  The four houses had been built sometime in the 1850's after the old malthouse and warehouse used by Sarah Riggott were demolished.  They were built for the working classes and consisted of four rooms. 

Glumangate - east side showing Gardener's
public house and Thai restaurant behind

Possible location of number 38 Glumangate

The Corner House public house was built where the four houses had stood, sometime before 1923.  The top end of the row cornering on to Saltergate was the three storey house which was the premises for George Gascoyne's newsagents shop.  The pub has also been known as The Manhattan and is now a Thai restaurant.

Looking south down Glumangate -
1st Hannan house would be on the left
of the street, the west side

The Gardener's or Gardener's Arms, as it has been known, was rebuilt in around 1927 to replace the original smaller building.  The original pub had been known as The Grapes until around 1870 and it was originally situated in between Blacksmiths Yard and number 25 Glumangate. 

Sources -

Map image, Chesterfield Local Studies Library ref XXV.6 1876 1st edition
The Glumangate Story, David G Edwards
Images of Chesterfield, Roy Thompson

Saturday, 7 April 2012


Birth certificate of Margaret Hannan

Birthday memories or not?

My great, great grandmother Margaret Hannan's birth certificate states that she was born on this day ~ 7th April 1858, the Wednesday after Easter Sunday (which fell on 4th April in 1858).

Margaret was baptised along with several other babies on 30th May 1858 as Margarita Hannon at the Roman Catholic Church of the Annunciation on Spencer Street, Chesterfield.  However, the baptism register records Margaret's birth date as 27th April 1858.  Her God Parents were Thomas Horneby and Helena Hannon.

Baptism entry for Margaret Hannan

So which date is correct?

We will never know 100% but looking at other records relating to Margaret, including the marriage certificate for her marriage to Michael Hannan (yes, Hannan marrying another Hannan ~ that's another story!) dated 22nd April 1878; I believe that the birth certificate was incorrect and Margaret's birthday was actually on 27th April.  When she married Michael she gave her age as 19 years, if she had just celebrated a birthday on the 7th April then she would be 20 years old. 

Margaret was the first daughter born to John and Ann Hannan, the little sister to John and Timothy.  Ann would have her hands full with new born Margaret and two toddlers, John aged 3 years and Timothy aged just 1 year old.  She was also the first generation (direct ancestors that is) of our Hannan family born in England, her parents were both born in Ireland.  The birth certificate is again incorrect in that it gives the maiden name of Margaret's mother Ann as Manning when it is actually Mannion (or various spellings; Manyon, Manion).

Margaret's parents probably spoke with a strong Irish accent, that coupled alongside the fact that illiteracy was common place in the mid Victorian era would account for the discrepancies between the birth certificate and the baptism register.  Ann could only sign her  own marriage register with her mark X in 1853, so she was unlikely to notice that the birth had been registered incorrectly. 

The family lived at 38 Glumangate, Chesterfield which is a street in the centre of the town adjacent to Saltergate.  Back when Margaret was born the street had a mixture of classes residing there, from Mr Osborne the bank manager with his servants and nurse maids to the Townsend brother's Charles, William and Herbert who all worked as labourers at the coal mines.  There was a public house run by John Dutton, a medical practitioner named Charles Booth, Frank Calow who was blind was a green grocer and many craftsmen including George Berrisford the master cabinet maker.

Margaret's father John was a master cordwainer (shoemaker).  Looking at the 1861 census it seems that Glumangate was the home to many Irish cordwainer's, John was one of ten men on the street who followed the trade.

Sadly the house has long since been demolished but the street still remains pretty much unchanged to this day; the public house next to where Margaret and her family lived is still standing today.  The site of the Hannan home is now a Thai restaurant.

Map shows Glumangate 1881 and the home of the Hannan family
The street was re-numbered in 1903 and number 38 became number 33

The month of April in 1858 was a rather wet affair in Derbyshire, there were 11 days rainfall which resulted in 2.97 inches of rain.  The temperature was good though reaching the dizzy heights of 71 degrees centigrade. (1)  

Chesterfield was a busy up and coming market town, a few years after Margaret's birth in 1861 the town had a population of 9836 of that 4947 were male and 4889 were female.  There were 1909 inhabited houses and 43 houses left empty, meaning an average of five people occupied each house. (2)

(1) Derby Mercury 5th May 1858

This picture shows the junction of Glumangate and Saltergate, the Hannan house was just out of the frame, behind the lamp post on the right of the picture.

Link to Picture the, pictures of Glumangate -