|The spire, all that remains of |
Stowell Memorial church where
Albert and Hannah married in 1878
Albert Hough and Hannah Holt married in Salford, Lancashire, in August 1878. At the time Albert was working as a brickmaker like his father William. When they married they both gave their address as 51 Jane Street in Salford. For some reason Albert’s name was recorded as ‘Alfred Hough’, although his name was registered as Albert both when he was born and when he was baptised. He was also listed as Albert on his children's baptism records.
Their first child, Alice, was born in 1879. But when the census was taken in 1881, Hannah and little Alice were living with Albert’s brother John Hough and his family in Lynton Street in Salford. Albert wasn’t with them. I thought I’d found Albert/Alfred boarding with another family in Ardwick Street, not too far away. Now I'm not so sure. This man was listed as Alfred, and was described as a dyer, which would be quite a leap from being a brick maker. Albert’s occupation was listed as ‘labourer’ when his children were baptised. So far I haven't found any trace of him in 1881.
So why were Albert and Hannah not living together? The obvious explanation would be that as a young working-class couple they couldn’t afford to rent a place for themselves, and found lodging where they could. Little Alice and her brother Albert (born 1882) weren’t baptised until 1885, another hint that the family might have been hard up. Although, as we'll see, there may have been other reasons for the delay in baptising them.
Other possibilities come to mind. Was Albert working somewhere away from home for long periods? Was he perhaps in prison, or the workhouse? None of these ideas have produced any results so far.
Still missing, or missing again?
By the time of the 1891 census Hannah had four living children (another died in infancy) and she and the children were all boarding with a family in Siever Street in Pendleton, Salford. She was working as a charwoman. Again Albert is nowhere to be found. That’s not to say he wasn’t living somewhere in Salford or Manchester, but I haven’t been able to find him.
It seems strange that the couple should still be living apart. They had obviously spent some time together in the previous ten years to produce five children! The census is only a snapshot on a single night, so perhaps they had been living together for most of the intervening ten years.
Still, it would be interesting to find Albert’s whereabouts in 1881 and 1891. By 1901 Hannah had died and the widowed Albert was living with his eldest daughter Alice, her husband, their son and four of his own younger children – nine people in a four-roomed house. He was employed as a labourer.
Some unexplained baptism records
The Lancashire Online Parish Clerks site offers another strange puzzle related to this family. Most of Albert and Hannah’s children were baptised at St Ambrose church in Pendleton. Until 1902 this was a mission church of the parish of St Thomas, an Anglican (C of E) church. But James, born 26 June 1889, appears to have been baptised on 20 November at the Catholic Mother of God and St James church. There’s no photo of the record available, but the transcription reads:
Baptism: 20 Nov 1889
Mother of God and St James, Pendleton, Lancashire, England
Joannes Jacobus Hough - filius Alberti Hough & Hannae (formerly Holt)
Born: 26 Jun 1889
Abode: 40 Dawson St.
Godparents: Julia Anna Donovan
Baptised by: P. J. Markey
Source: Salford Diocesan Archives
(Catholic churches at the time recorded baptismal names in Latin).
Even more strange, Albert and Hannah’s next son John, born on 16 October 1892, was also baptised in the Mother of God and St James church in Pendleton on 1 November 1892. But then on 2 November 1892 he was apparently baptised again, this time at the Anglican church of St Ambrose in Pendleton.
Baptism: 1 Nov 1892 Mother of God and St James, Pendleton, Lancashire, England
Joannes Hoff - filius Alberti Hoff & Annae Rosae (formerly Holt)
Born: 16 Oct 1892
Godparents: Helena Bower
Baptised by: Henrico Van Wtberghe
Source: Salford Diocesan Archives
Baptism: 2 Nov 1892 St Ambrose, Pendleton, Lancashire, England
John Hough - [Child] of Albert Hough & Hannah
Born: 16 Oct 1892
Abode: 24 Buckingham St.
Baptised by: G. Morgan
Register: Baptisms 1881 - 1894, Page 175, Entry 1393
Source: Parish Register
The names are spelled a little differently, but it certainly looks like the same child. But why would he be baptised twice? As far as I’m aware, the Catholic and Anglican churches have always recognised baptisms carried out in each others’ churches as valid, so there would be no reason to have a child “done” in both churches, even if the parents were of different denominations. I've heard of baptism records being accidentally duplicated in the same church register, but not across two different churches. Any suggestions would be most welcome.
Albert, the father, was baptised in St Phillip's Salford, an Anglican church. I haven’t found a baptism record for Hannah, but her mother Elizabeth Hardman was Irish, so perhaps she was brought up Catholic. By the time Albert and Hannah's youngest child Elizabeth (a.k.a. Lily) was born they seem to have resolved the issue and she was baptised just once, at St Ambrose Anglican church.