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 -

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