42.19 – Hannah Hardaker (previously unmarked)

When we rediscovered 42.18, Ann Greenwood, we joked about how all it takes is a wedge of stone becoming visible to clue us in to hidden secrets. As we cleared the soil off of Ann, we found another corner. Another corner?! Well at least we can guess that this is the grave of Hannah Clogger, as marked down from a long-lost transcription effort in the past, well before the TAS. Except…sigh.

That long lost transcriber didn’t want to get their knees muddy and they missed a comma. The actual inscription reads “Hannah, the wife of John Hardaker, Clogger of Gauxholme”

One of the researchers did a double take and went zooming across the yard when they heard the full name, because they were aware of William Hardaker the painter and clogger whose 80 years spent putting together a natural history trove were rewarded by his collection being given their own room at the Centre Vale Historical Rooms after he died. Another Hardaker who was a clogger? William’s father William was, after all, and had come to Todmorden from Carleton in Craven as a clogger’s apprentice. It turned out after some research and a Hardaker family tree being consulted that this John was William Sr.’s uncle and was actually the first of the Carleton Hardakers to make their way to Todmorden.

So who was Hannah? She was born Hannah Firth at some point between 1767 and 1771 (depending on whether you trust the stone or the burial record) and married John in 1796 at Heptonstall St. Thomas. The Hardakers in Carleton and Todmorden (at least at first) were Quakers so their marriage will have had to take place at a parish church. They had four children – John, Hannah, Isabella and Ann – between 1799 and 1811. John had himself baptised into the Church of England in 1831 after he had moved to Newchurch, an interesting detail given his non-conformist roots. Several possible baptism records exist for Hannah and because of the varying ages given when she died it can’t be determined when she was born, who her father was, or what denomination she was raised as.

At least we can now say that her resting place has been not just rediscovered but actually identified properly, since “Hannah Clogger” wasn’t going to appear in anyone’s family search was it?

“Mourn not for me, tis all in vain,

Grate was your loss but grater is my gain”

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