Monday, 14 July 2014

52 Ancestors - Hannah Maria Spivey

Hannah Maria Spivey 1827 -  ?

Poor Hannah - she wasn't exactly what you might call lucky.  She never knew her father, she had an illegitimate boy who died young, and at least one of her other children led a troubled life too.

Hannah, my 4 x great aunt, was born to Amos and Sarah Spivey in Kirkburton, Yorkshire, in 1827.  Her father was buried in the village's parish church, All Hallows, exactly one month to the day before she was born.  Every time I come face to face with this fact, I can't help but feel desperately sorry for her mother, Sarah - eight months pregnant, with an eight year old daughter, and no way of supporting them.  She must have been worried sick.

By the time she was 14, Hannah was working in service as a domestic servant for shoemaker James Vouse of Howden in Yorkshire.  This must have been extremely hard work.  There were 12 people in that household, only three of whom were servants - and one of those was 70 years old and presumably the nanny for the four under-five year olds in the house.  It must have been non-stop drudgery from dawn to dusk, and quite possibly beyond.

Eight years later, aged just 22, she gave birth to Henry, an illegitimate son.  (He went on to become a coal miner and died of lung disease aged 23 - click here for his story.

In 1851, aged 24 and two respectively, Hannah and Henry were living back in Kirkburton with Hannha's mother Sarah, and Sarah's second husband John Eastwood.  Hannah doesn't appear to be working, although there is a good chance that like many women she was working from home to supplement the family income.

Hannah evidently married between 1851 and 1861, although I have been unable to find a record of it, as the 1861 census shows her as lodging in the Dives Inn in Huddersfield, with her husband Lochart Muir, a publican (but not the head publican, that was a Thomas W Newson). Little Henry is still in Kirkburton with his grandmother, as are Hannah and Lochart's two young daughters Sarah and Ella.

I get the impression that Hannah's husband was a bit of a rogue, and unable to settle in a job for long, and that the two of them probably had to travel around a fair bit as a result of this.  He'll get his own blog post sooner or later, but I mention it here as it can't have been easy on Hannah, traipsing around after him and not being able to be with her children.

In 1871 Hannah and Lochart are still living in Huddersfield, Lochart is apparently a draper now.  Their two daughters Sarah and Ella are living with them, as is Lochart's elder sister.

Two years later, Hannah's first-born, Henry, died.  He was followed four years later by Hannah's husband. 

Hannah re-married in 1882, to a James Sanderson, back in Kirkburton - and then seems to vanish from the records.  Maybe one day I will find out what happened to her.

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