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..........................


  1. Welcome to Geneabloggers! Your blog looks very inviting. I'll have to stop back & read more.

  2. Louise, what a different world it must have been in those coal-mining days. I shudder when I read of the working conditions in the mines, let alone the salaries; I'm particularly smitten to learn of children putting in 12 hour days in those same mines in that bygone era of our history.

    I just found your blog this morning, thanks to GeneaBloggers. Best wishes to you as you continue your research and writing project here.

    1. The area of Chesterfield was a big mining area - most would have been employed down the pits from an early age. There was a high number of Irish (like my ancestors) who came and took up the coal mining work here.

    2. Jacqi, thanks for following the blog. I have retuned the favour - your blog looks very interesting and your reading list does - I will have a look again to see who else I can follow ;-)

  3. Hi Louise,

    Welcome to Geneabloggers. I see Jacqi Stevens already stopped by. She has a fantastic blog. I read it almost everyday.

    Regards, Grant

    1. Thanks Grant. Yes I am also now following Jacqi's blog. There are so many to follow though we are spoilt for choice ;-)

  4. Hi Kelly lovely to hear from you. This was my aim, to get in touch with other members of our family. So its great to make contact with you and your branch.

    I would love to hear any information that you have on your dad's side of the tree. I will send you a direct email. Obviously I can share anything that I have on the Hannan family, some is on here but there is still alot more that I can tell you. Do you know anything about where they came from? or any other information on their past lives? I would love to hear if yes! I don't suppose you have any photos? there doesnt seem to be many about.

    I do have to continue with the next sister Winifred ... its on my to do list!

    Bye for now and thanks for reading my blog :-)