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 -