Hannah was born in Idle but moved into the nearby industrial city of Bradford as a child. They lived in Black Abbey, an area which has since been demolished – and with good reason! Her father was working in one of the many textile mills and her older brother was getting into trouble.
I think Thompson Bell, Hannah’s “kissing cousin” (i.e. once removed) came to live with the family in the early eighteen-forties. His story is told in greater detail here. These two young people were the same age and perhaps it was inevitable that in 1846, both aged 20, they married.
The newly-weds moved into Providence Street, in White Abbey nearby. They had two children, William and Mary, whose son Hiram Bell Shearer was my great-grandfather.
In the 1861 census Hannah and Mary are alone. Perhaps there had been a separation: that would certainly account for the fact that there were no more children after Mary’s birth in 1851.
By 1871 the widowed Hannah is living and working as a housekeeper near her sister Martha in Summer Street. Then we lose track of her until she is laid to rest from her daughter Mary’s home in 1883.
Born Hannah Berry in 1826 in Idle, Bradford, Yorkshire
Married Thompson Bell on 6 September 1846
Died 1883 and buried on 5 February in Undercliffe Cemetery