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 -



  1. Lovely story... And great photos. And also a very good job done about finding the past of our own ancestors

  2. Thank you. Glad you liked it. Nice to receive some feed back. :-)