Martha Joyes

It is not known how Martha Joyes came to meet John Hanson, from Bradfield in Berkshire; but their marriage was recorded in Billingshurst in 1827. Their first child Mary Ann was born later that year in the East Sussex parish of Mayfield. When a second girl Ruth, was born in Shermanbury two years later, John was said to be a maltster by trade.

They decided to move north to settle in Reading, Berkshire. Martha did not forget her family though, and in 1831, chose to name her next daughter Leah, after her own mother. At regular intervals there followed Thomas, Ellen, George and Rhoda Elizabeth. She died in 1843 after the birth of another son, Richard. John Hanson later remarried.

The life of one of Martha’s children has been traced. In 1851 George, then 13, was a house servant in the home of a solicitor. In later life, after marriage in 1859, he became a jeweller in Birmingham, where he lived with his wife Julia and their five daughters and son John [who became a chartered accountant in London]. By 1901 George, aged 64, was retired and living in Handsworth in Staffordshire. He died in 1909, age 71